How Technology Makes Us Afraid Of Intimacy

As teenagers, we can all admit to be a little bit obsessed with social media. From Facebook, to twitter, and even online gaming, we are all guilty to spending way too much time on these websites. But have you ever thought about how detrimental these websites could potentially hurt you? One could be so obsessed that they drop everything in their “real” life for these sources of media. According to Psychology Today “One of my clients, Lisa, 25, a socially anxious software engineer, hadn’t been to a party, let alone on a date, in months. She was far too busy racking up points on a new online multiplayer game. “I’m lonely most of the time, she confessed “but when I get lost in the game, I forget all about how terrible I feel. “” 

This social awkwardness created by her obsession with internet has created a term called “cybercellibate”. We can all admit that the occasional night alone is nice from time to time, but when these occasions turn into weeks or months all because of the computer is when the term can be applied to a person. These people are so intensely fixated on their computers that they will even throw away opportunities of friendship, romance, and intimacy just to feel the rush that they get from being on the web. 

Sometimes providing sex, affection or comfort or sometimes withholding the very rewards we long for–games, pornography, and social networking always offer some kind of payoff.  That’s where the trouble starts. Strangely enough, our brains don’t seem to care if the thrill comes from great sex, drugs, or an epic win in World of Warcraft; they all cause massive amounts of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, to start spilling into our brain’s reward center. Dopamine tends to keep us chasing after the same thrill again and again, regardless of the consequences. So while gaming or pornography can’t ever cure our loneliness, over time they do become an incredibly addictive salve–and that makes it easier and easier to turn away from people and back to cyberspace.

According to Bright Hub , “These are statistics that show how the Internet can affect you in different ways, from no affect to severe affect;

(1) Academic/ Mild 2%, Moderate 40%, Severe 58%

(2) Relationship/ Mild 2%, Moderate 45%, Severe 53%

(3) Financial/ Mild 10%, Moderate 38%, Severe 52%

(4) Occupational/ Mild 15%, Moderate 34%, Severe 51%

(5) Physical/ None 75%, Mild 15%, Moderate 10%, Severe 0%”. 

As you can see, the internet takes a toll on all different aspects of our lives. Its impact becomes more severe the more obsessed and more time you spend using it. It is important to remember that physical contact is more important than an adrenaline rush through gaming or sending out a tweet. We must use the internet in moderation before we reach the point of being cybercellibate- a unpopular and tarnishing label. 

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