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Internet Addicts in Danger Essay

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Internet Addicts in Danger

Internet chat rooms have become a devastating disadvantage to the social interaction and growth of people in the world. More and more of the world’s youth are becoming addicted to Internet chat rooms. Not only are Internet chat room relationships leading to impersonal contact of people hiding flaws behind anonymity, they are leading to the abduction of many underage individuals. In an article published in The Age, a magazine in Melbourne, Australia, Doctor Mubarak Rahamathulla has researched teenagers that have become "pathologically addicted" to Internet chat rooms. Rahamathulla argues that this addiction could damage their social skills as well as their ability to form intimate relationships.
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Barr opens the article with this passage: "Check any other message board; they’ve got them for every conceivable subject. Comic books, sci-fi movies, long distance running- you’ll find someone chatting about something at any given time of day. And the discussion, for the most part, will be supportive, informative and good-natured. Not on the music sites. These well meaning forums intended to foster peace, love and understanding are a snarling snake pit, with fans one-upping each other with unfounded knowledge and unpopular ideas going down in flames." What Barr addresses in her article is a reflection of what is going on all over the Internet. In chat rooms on millions of different sites people are pretending to be who they are not, because they want to express opinions about a topic they feel passionate about, without being criticized. The idea is that if your screen name is chastised for a certain opinion, you are not really being chastised. It is this mentality that keeps people logged into chat rooms all hours of the day, every day, keeping them from the physically social world. And turning their life into an "online soap opera", as Jay Gerland, founder of wnymusic.com, refers to his message boards in Barr’s article. Gerland says "all you have online is a user name, you don’t have to have a face. So you’ve got 16-year-olds around with 50-year-olds.This place is like a soap opera,
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