As a practicing psychiatrist, he has treated many people whose lives have been ruined by their Internet activities, whether it’s compulsive shopping for things they cannot afford, sending out aggressive e-mails they regret, or hooking up in unprotected sex with people they only met for the first time.
Dr. Aboujaoude does not blame his patients, but he does blame the Internet.
He believes the nature of the Internet itself creates these problems because the technology offers anonymity and constant access. The more we use the Internet, the more we keep presenting ourselves on websites such as Facebook and Myspace, and the more we participate in chat rooms and forums, the more likely it is that a unique “e-personality” will emerge, according to Dr. Aboujaoude, and this alter ego is probably much wilder than we are in real life. (more…)