Internet Addiction, one




skip (2) on my own throw/threw/thrown
alter role-play under control
avatar alter-ego get through
against struggle gaining ground
spiral block out seek/sought
look into aggressive lose himself
holed up isolation unprecedented
whether consensus commissioner
overuse establish seek/sought
tend to therefore in particular
diagnosis consequences steady girlfriend
debate far-reaching order my life
explore and so on conciliation
trainee moderation shake the habit
ever more accessible deal with it
to do so competence make the most





Lars was addicted to the internet for two years. He was online all day, every day; playing, chatting and surfing. At the age of 15 he was spending more time in the virtual world than in the real one. He skipped so many classes that he was thrown out of high school and lost all his friends.

Today, he has his internet addiction under control.

“I was on my own . . . but because the game was my world, I didn’t feel alone. But in real life, I *was* alone. I didn’t like how that felt, so I continued playing because I felt I was needed and felt safe. I had that in real life, but I didn’t realize it, so I looked for it elsewhere.”

Lars had a virtual alter-ego called “Lydia”, his avatar in the World of Warcraft, a massively popular online, role-playing game. Lars was one of the best and played day and night.

His mother, Heinika Schuler, couldn’t get through to him anymore, and struggled against his increasing isolation and spiraling internet addiction.

Heinika Schuler, Lars’ Mother: “As his mother, it was a terrible situation. I just couldn’t reach him anymore. He blocked me out, reacted aggressively, and wouldn’t let anyone talk to him.

He rejected contact with others. and was holed up in his bedroom, playing this game and basically losing himself in it. It was terrible watching it happening. And the worse thing was not being able to reach my child anymore.”

Heinika Schuler sought help, and was shocked to learn that half a million Germans are addicted to the internet, spending more than four hours online everyday.

The government recently published an unprecedented study that looked into the problem.

Mechthild Dyckmans (FDP), German Government Commissioner for Drug Abuse: “The question now is whether it can be seen as an addiction. At which point does it become an addiction? But so there’s no consensus on this. Therefore what we’re doing now is establishing diagnosis and treatment guidelines, so that these cases can be better dealt with.”

The study showed that girls in particular are addicted to the internet because they tend to overuse social networking sites. This can have far-reaching consequences.

Ute Hoppmann-Lacour, Addiction Therapist: “It has a negative impact on their social competence and basic social skills that everyone learns, such as debating with others and exploring relationships through arguments and conciliation and so on. All these skills tend to suffer because internet relations are different from relationships in real life.”

Lars has managed to make some friends again. And he’s also had a steady girlfriend for the last two-and-a-half years. He uses social-networking sites, but only in moderation.

Lars Schuler: “Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are gaining ground. And some people live their whole lives through them. The internet just makes everything too accessible. You can get everything — films, games, everything you want — so there should be more regulation because some young people don’t know how to deal with it all.”

The internet is becoming ever more powerful, faster, and cheaper. And also harder to control.

Therapists say growing numbers of people are seeking help for internet addiction.

Lars knows how hard it is to shake the habit. Now nineteen, he’s still rebuilding his life.

Lars Schuler: “It felt good to relook to the future again and reorder my life. And to do so by myself. Okay with some help with my mother, but basically by myself. I went for a job interview by myself, and that felt very good.”

If all goes well, Lars will be starting a traineeship in early October. After four years of therapy, he’s planning to make the most of the opportunity.

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Computer Screen. Lars was an “ordinary” teenager. True or false? Was he an excellent student? Did he enjoy playing football, going to the movies and hiking in forests? Describe his old life (when he was 15 years old).

Is Lydia Lars’ girlfriend? Did he feel lonely online?

Lars got along well with his mother. Lars and his mother had a great relationship. Is this right or wrong? Describe their relationship when he was fifteen.

Headset, Microphone.
Did Heiniki also become addicted to the internet? What did she do? Was she shocked?

Laptop, Desktop Computer, PC.
The government is only concerned with alcohol and drug addiction. Is this correct or incorrect?

Do only boys become addicted to the internet? Does internet addiction only affect boys? Is there a difference between female and male internet addiction?

Power Cord, Cable.
Why are so many people attached to the internet? Are experts optimistic or pessimistic? What will happen in the future?

Smartphone, Cell Phone. What has happened to Lars? Is he still addicted to the internet?

Google, Bing, Duckduckgo.
Are some people in your school or company addicted to the internet? Who are they? What do they do?

YouTube, Tik-Tok.
Why are some or many people addicted to the internet?

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Is spending many hours on the internet good, bad, both, in-between or neither, or all of the above?

What do journalists, teachers, parents, psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists say about internet addiction?

Everyone believes internet addiction is negative and bad. What do you think?
How can people cure themselves of internet addiction or reduce internet dependency? What is the “ideal” use of the internet?

Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp.
What might happen in the future?

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