This story from CNN, headlined “Man sues IBM over firing, says he’s an Internet addict”, highlights the growing problem of people who are allowing their overuse of computers and the internet to negatively affect their lives. Now, unlike the endless streams of legal talking heads on the all-news networks, I am not going to give my opinion about the specifics of this case. Aren’t you relieved?
However, for a hypnotist, what is interesting about this case is that the fired internet addict is claiming that the source of the compulsive computer use was a trauma he suffered in the past. If you are familiar with Cal Banyan’s The Secret Language of Feelings, the computer addiction can be viewed as just another way of distracting yourself from painful emotions.
The CNN article quotes from a Stanford University study that has a similar way of looking at this new addiction:
Stanford University issued a nationwide study last year that found that up to 14 percent of computer users reported neglecting work, school, families, food and sleep to use the Internet. The study’s director, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, said then that he was most concerned about the numbers of people who hid their nonessential Internet use or used the Internet to escape a negative mood, the same way that alcoholics might.
As technology develops, it seems that people will never run out of new ways to distract themselves away from their emotions. Fortunately, hypnosis can help people face their feelings and learn to react to them in a more effective way, rather than using internet chat rooms, games or blogs as a way of numbing themselves temporarily.
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