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Nesreen Elathram
Professor Douglas
UWRT 1101-090
December 3 2014
Study of the Internet Addicts by Observing Atkins Library Discourse Community
The discourse community was observed in Atkins library in the University of North
Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) on the seventh of October. It was noticed that most of the students
go to the library to catch up work, do their homework, study in groups, get tutorials, and finish
their projects. It was also observed that some of the students go to the library to get some rest
from their heavy, tiring lectures. Although the students have different tasks to do in the library,
they find the library as if it is the most comfortable spot in the university to achieve these tasks.
There were many students entering and leaving the place, reading sheets and watching
videos individually. Some of them were searching through the Internet, checking their accounts,
looking for information and studying their exams. Many other students were chatting and
discussing subjects that might be about their study or about their social life.
Reading and enjoying study is the essential purpose of libraries existence. The library
enhances the tendency to study by endowing the student with suitable, prepared environment to
study and to spend a very interactive time studying with close friends, which make the study
much easier than studying alone.
However, it was noticed that most of the students rely on the Internet more than on the
paper books to do their work. It was also observed that they look at their devices more than at

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each other or at their sheets, and this tendency toward using the Internet is strong in some
students more than in others. It was also noticed that most of the students attention was on their
devices. They are not concentrated on the surrounding the same as their concentration on their
machines.
The Internet is a very creative invention that opened the door for new generations of
technical discoveries and many researches. It facilitates peoples life, makes it easier in many
aspects of life. Through many ways, people take many advantages from the Internet. People
with different fields of study can get the needed information in a cursory way via online. When
some one contemplates on the use of the Internet, it seems that people cannot live without the
Internet because people are used to it. The Internet has become like part of the human body that
the body suffers without. But even though the Internet is very mandatory in todays life, it should
not be overused in a way that makes its negative impact more than its usefulness.
In his article Does The Internet Make You Dumber? the Wall Street journalist,
Nicholas Carr, discusses how the internet has a profound, nocuous impact on the human mind
that makes the person less intelligent by diverting the attention and curtailing the concentration
period. He states, A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the Net, with its constant
distractions and interruptions, is turning us into scattered and superficial thinkers (196). The
author`s point is that the Internet, with its diversity, weakens humans brains and makes them
stop thinking deeply. Carr also insists that the Internet does not provide profound information
that one can rely on to build a good way of thinking. As a result, the usage of the powerful
thinking of the brain will atrophy and lose its significance with time (196).
In addition, Carr writes, The pioneering neuroscientist Michael Merzenich believes our
brains are being `massively remodeled by our ever-intensifying use of the Web and related

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media (198). In other words, Carr believes that our brain can be affected by experience. It is
clear that environment has a significant impact on shaping the human mind and personality. The
media can be considered as a part of that environment. If the surrounding environment is studded
with a lot of violence, the human will definitely be affected by that violence. For example, if
someone were born in a jungle with nobody around him, that person would not speak because
speaking is an acquired characteristic that humans learn from other humans in their surroundings,
and the same situation for the way of thinking, values, principles and beliefs. If someone spent
most of the time in front of this screen more than anything else, the Internet would become the
persons first teacher by whom the person gains information, gets values and principles, and
learns how to plan and live his life.
Without doubt, the pragmatic benefits of the Internet are ineffable. It inundated the life
with much information. By one click people can get what might take them hours searching
through books and other paper sources. If someone wanted to talk about its benefits, it would
take days enumerating them. However, the influence of the Internet can build a rigid, opaque
wall between the person and his real life that the person should live and make him oblivious of
the surrounding world by believing that he lives in the right one while he is living in no more
than a picture drawn in his mind by his first teacher, the Internet. The peoples minds now are no
more than a result of what they gained either from their body`s information with which they were
born or from their earlier experience in childhood. It is like what happens to a young child`s
personality which is usually made by what the child went through during his earlier life, the
combination between his genetics and his surrounding environment. Furthermore, the events that
the child experienced are piling up throughout his life and making or altering his mind. For
example, some violent video games have an ominous impact on the child`s mind that might

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make him a callous person instead of teaching him how to be a good person acting benignly in
his life, and aiming to help the other humans. Another point is that the Internet represents a huge
world of information; so spending many hours in front of this machine can cause apprehension to
the users. And when the level of this anxiety increases, it affects the way of thinking making the
person avoid deep thinking by passing swiftly on the ideas that he should concentrate on.
Therefore, the people can harm themselves inadvertently by spending too much time on the
Internet that may deplete all of their energies on doing something really does not worth it. It
shrinks their way of thinking while they are on the Internet because there are many things to look
at. And also most of the electronic devises emit vibrations that might undermine the brainpower.
Although Internet addiction is a new disorder, it has a deeply negative impact on people`s
life. It is an excessive long use of Internet without time considering. Many researchers
represented that Internet addiction could be a result of escape attempts from disorders such as
depression, shyness, and the presence of other addictions.
The first cause of this type of addiction is depression. People who suffer from depression
or mental disorder symptoms may tend to relieve their feeling of gloominess, and loneliness by
spending too much time online surfing the net, chatting with people, or doing other activities that
make them feel connected with the outside. They use the internet as a self-medication in the
same way that some people use alcohol or abuse drugs to self-medicate the symptoms of their
mental disorder (Tracy). As a consequence, they become addicted to the Internet by using up
their time in search of social connection to become free of their sense of isolation.
Shyness could also be one of the factors that lead to Internet addiction. Some people who
cannot express their feelings or opinions in an actual world could become addicted to the Internet
because they found the Internet is the best way to replace a difficult real world with an easy

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hypothetical one. In the hope that, they gain more confidence and self-assessment, they spend
very much time on the Internet, where they can make friends easily and share their interests
without fear. They can carefully control how they are perceived by others when they
communicate online, even going so far as to create an alternate personality thats not entirely
based in reality (Hinders).
Internet addiction could also be a result of pain relieving of other addictions. Since the
Internet represents an easy way to reach what people want, those who have an experience with a
known type of addiction tend to satiate their desire by using it. For instance, someone who has a
history of a chronic gambling, shopping, or sex addiction looks for whatever makes him
saturated with his needs. For the reason that, the Internet provides a quick access to his interests
such as online gambling casinos, shopping websites, or pornographic websites, he wastes dozens
of hours in front of this machine looking for satiation, which is impossible to get (Hinders).
In conclusion, Internet addiction could be an outcome of some trials that aim to reduce
social timidity or sad isolation, and also it could be an echo of the expansion of other addictive
behavior. Even though the internet is a massive source of a wealth of information and enjoyment,
people had better not let it take over their lives, and should notice that to get rid of a bad disorder
does not mean to gain a new worse one instead. With brief words, I want to conclude by saying
that nearly everything becomes harmful when we use it wrongly and overusing something is
considered using it wrongly. The Internet does not terminate in amusement and information. It
exemplifies a whole world where there are no constraints. It also was devised to help people
complete their tasks in short time not to contaminate their brains making them lose their
normality. Moreover, because people need technology in their life in order to achieve their tasks
easily and save much time, they have to manage the time spent on the Internet and not forget that

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the excessive usage of the Internet can make people live in a hypothetical world, where
everything is virtual.
Works Cited
Carr, Nicholas. "Does the Internet Make You Dumber?." Sourcework: Academic Writing from
Sources. Ed. Nancy E. Dollahite and Julie Haun. Boston: Heinle/Cengage Learning,
2012. 196-198. print.
Pinker, Steven. "Mind Over Mass Media." Sourcework: Academic Writing from Sources. Ed.
Nancy E. Dollahite and Julie Haun. Boston: Heinle/Cengage Learning, 2012. 199-200.
print.
Young, Kimberly S. Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction-and a
Winning Strategy for Recovery. New York: J. Wiley, 1998. Print.