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Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyber Freaks and Those Who Love Them Paperback – January, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From the Introduction of "Virtual Addiction": "When I first approached the idea for this book, it was based in part, on my personal experience with the power of the Internet. When I was first introduced to the Internet I became almost instantly entranced by the online world. I noticed that I was spending far more time online than I had planned to each time I went online (and still do). I also noticed that the Internet experience was exciting to me. It felt like an adventure, and it was fun. The colors, sounds, and information all available 24 hours a day felt almost intoxicating. Like many of you, I had already been using a computer. I had essentially used it for word processing, desktop publishing, and financial programs. Although I liked the computer, it never excited me the way it did after I went online."

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 227 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 1 edition (January 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572241721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572241725
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
The title is relatively offensive and derogatory towards people who are addicted to the Internet. To call Internet-addicted users "cyberfreaks" or "netheads" minimizes the serious impact of what this condition does to people's personal and professional lives. However, despite the improper book title, I was hopeful the book would offer quality guidance for those who suffer from net addiction. But to my great disappointment, the book was full of dull, academic, and general theory about models of chemical dependency without any genuine attempt to understand how the Internet addiction differs from other compulsive disorders. While some of the chapters ended with brief checklists, none offered any concrete, constructive, and detailed exercises to help sufferers cope with the problem. Furthermore, the book is quite remedial as the author wastes a great deal of time to describe each Internet application (e.g., The Web, Chat Rooms, Newsgroups), as if readers would not already understand what many of these functions are from previous online exposure. The book is not enlightening and does not offer much more than would be common sense to an average person. Through his writing, Dr. Greenfield not only reveals his lack of Internet knowledge but shows that he clearly does not know his own subject matter. He bases his entire book on an online poll conducted at abcnews.com that provides some broad statistics but does little to reveal the depth of the problem. It seems that this book reflects the author's shallow attempt to gain notoriety rather than a sincere attempt to truly help people.
In the author's desperation to receive positive feedback, he even had to ASK someone to write a review on Amazon (see first review). If Dr. Greenfield were truly interested in understanding how his book impacts the public, he should try to read unsolicited and unbiased reviews.
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Format: Paperback
As a technophobe, I had never expected to spend the kind of time online that I do. Dr. Greenfield's book helped me to finally understand why I was so drawn to this world, and whether or not I truly had a problem. I respectfully disagree with the previous reviewer. How much is too much is a very complicated question, especially in light of the mainstreaming of the net. But I think the author manages to answer it gracefully and intelligently, and offer some sensible steps for change. I recommend this book without hesitation.
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Format: Paperback
That early reviewer who took offense with the title of Dr. Greenfield's book obviously has an agenda or a problem. I read this book and I find his criticisms petty, unfounded and biased. Dr. Greenfield's detailed coverage of each of the Internet applications are far from a waste of time to those who are not engaged in their use, for family members or employers for instance, who are grasping for understanding about their loved one's or associate's addictive behaviors. That the critic claims to be offended even by the book's title is telling of the thin veil covering what I imagine is his own problem with Internet abuse.

Published in 1999, Dr. Greenfield's book was way ahead of it's time, bringing light to a problem that only now, in 2012, is being generally acknowledged. I look forward to Dr. Greenfield's update.
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