Nicola F. Johnson
Year of publication: 2009
Overuse of the internet is often characterised as problematic, disruptive, or addictive, with stories frequently claiming that online use interferes with relationships, or that ‘excessive’ time in front of computer screens is unhealthy. People joke about suffering from withdrawal if they cannot check their emails and some parents worry about their children’s use of computers, wondering whether it is to the detriment of other life experiences normally associated with childhood. Is it possible that people, both young and old, are addicted to computers and Internet use?”The Multiplicities of Internet Addiction” contests the claim that computers – specifically internet use – are addictive, arguing that use of the internet is now a form of everyday leisure engaged in by many people in Western society and one which is reflective of the benefits and employment of microcomputers within society. Offering an analysis of the nature of addiction alongside an evaluation of the current day usage of computers, this volume explains how new learning spaces have developed which are also sites of leisure. These sites challenge traditional notions of childhood as the environment in which people are positioned is increasingly digitised.With a discussion of this everyday practice constituting both leisure and learning in this digital age, “The Multiplicities of Internet Addiction” informs our understanding of the discourses surrounding internet addiction and our grasp of the emerging relationships between leisure and our learning, as well as the increasing blur between our private and public spheres. Presenting a detailed empirical study of home computer use, this book will be of interest not only to sociologists of culture and popular culture, but also to scholars of media, ICT and education.