Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chatting addiction - Are you becoming “online” deviant personality?

Reading academic psychology has been fascinating for me over last couple of years. 

It happened when I was brainstorming with my various stories and I wanted to explore characters that are original, complex, provocative, revengeful, lonely, and frustrated and yet in normal life they look absolutely sane. 

 I must admit that my grades in the field of science were never great. In fact, I was just average student in science. 

But when I was writing story of a multi personality disorder type I realized human depths, a kind of insight that I would not have known or the world that exists about deviant behaviors. 

I started to read text books on psychology, the basics and then I went to library to see books that are very old and to my fascination I came to know a different world. 

Sometimes I see virtual world (Chatting) too quite amusing. I find that what I have read in those psycho books, I find such personalities (here Ids) some of the best examples. But you may think excuse me what the hell is this article about and why am I reading it? Yeah! Why you’re reading it in first place! 

Well you may just skip it because there is nothing funny that you’re going to read in this long article. What you’re going to read requires a little bit of your time and patience. By the end of this unfinished article you will know 

1. What kind of deviant ids are online and how you can understand them. 
2. You will also know by your own conscience how much time to spend for chatting 
3. You will know why you should not allow virtual world to take over your real world. 

 If one has a behavior problem, in western countries they immediately are taken to doctor and then if anything is “not just right”, they take counseling or they lie on a couch. But what if one has shunned real life and sits in front of computer and spends lots of time on chatting with many ids? You get me? 

I am sure you got me and if you did not, let me be clearer that suppose you or you know someone who is “addicted” to chatting on internet with his or her “ids”. 

Is that online person behavior normal? 

That’s what you’re going to read about. 

That’s because over the years I see many of Ids who are frequently online have patterns of such behaviors that are not good indications for their “real” life. As I said over the years, I have known many of them intimately and over the time I found out that what the attitude they reflected in say year 1, or year 2, in year 4 they actually did that in real life. 

Below given are some of the characteristics of such behaviors who “acted” virtually and then after some years in real life they lived what they actually did online. 

Unstable intense interpersonal relationships. Severe mood shifts. Lack of clear sense of identity. Chronic feelings of emptiness, loneliness and boredom. Frequent and inappropriate displays of anger. Impulsiveness Efforts to avoid real world Consider the below given chats that some people have told me and you will know what they mean when they spend time online chatting. 

I have not taken names of ids and have edited their words to conceal the real people. Below are some of the things those net chatting addicts told me...

 “I am not suicidal or self damaging anymore and I will live in real world but it’s a frightening place and I am not sure about it as spending time online was much safer but I have to be normal all over again” 

 “I have not switched on the computer for last 10 hours but there is emptiness, loneliness and I don’t know what my friends are doing right now, but when I am online its all the same sometimes I am so confused that I don’t know what I am feeling and who the hell I am” 

 “Nobody is sure of online relationship turning in real, but I had so many heartbreaks that I take refuge in online relationships, I don’t know where else to go but the problem is I always end up spending whole of my time on net that it affects my real world”

 “I am going through temporary phase of insanity as I have had another fight with my lover and he ignored me, he blocked my email to his mail and he is the only one I had consistent relationship online for whole year and now I don’t know what to do” 

 “I live a double life, the thing called love, that I can’t get in real life I have tried to do in virtual one but now I escape real life to go into virtual one” 

 The aforesaid on a certain level look pretty normal to a regular chatter. It may look funny to a non chatter but anyone who spends more then 4 hours online and if they are saying the aforesaid, then it’s a red light. 

Let’s look into the kind of virtual “personality” ids 

 1. The endless search of Mr./Ms.Right id. 

What starts as curiosity and harmless flirting on net over a period of time gets real for the chatters and they are subconsciously in endless search of their partners. I know some old people who are in their 40’s and 50’s who hide their age to be just like teenagers and stick to net to chat with young ones for hours and hours together. As it is the virtual person has a fancy id, what they don’t know is that they are behaving real and sometimes they act out their imaginations to as trivial as some romantic film they might have seen in college days. When they can’t get love in real life, they actually put a mask online and satisfy their dreams online wasting hell of a lot of time. It starts with normal hours but then it takes a nasty turn where they realize that they are constantly chatting with their online partner’s day in and night out. 

A thing to be understood here is the real issues that they had in their real life, often happen to them online too once the relationship shine is taken off after a period of time. So, after their romantic sessions, and even cam to cam sessions, such chatters again experience the same problems, unstable intense personal problems. Mood swings, frequent outbursts, with attitudes that shift from dependency, isolation, and avoidance. Once the fights occur the chatters are in invisible mode or they change the ids to come in other ids to “spy” on their lovers. And in normal cases it’s with both the ids hence partners change and the endless search of Mr./Ms.Right continues and chatting continues. What a waste of time if the same energy went in real world. 

In real life the real partners accuse each other of chatting and negligence whereas on virtual world they are totally changed to sensitive, caring, intelligent, wise and spiritual lovers! Ha and for the singles, why waste time on net to find Mr. Right or Miss. Right when you know in your brain that one in a million case is just not with you! 

 2. Radical mood shifts id. 
While chatting this is the id you will encounter often. This kind of id has no permanent online friends. This kind of id is the one which you encounter where you can’t chat with consistency. On a given day the person may behave rather upbeat and just after an hour, would go to extreme levels of apathy, instability, marked shifts from normal mood to depression lasting for hours or for few days. 

This kind of id is typically blaming id and an apt example of perfect irresponsible behavior. On a deeper level one can know this kind of id when chat sessions go for possible 4th or 5th online meetings where real personality comes up that is akin to self pity, unproductively leading to depression. Normally I have encountered this kind of ids in older age groups of people who are above 40. 

Alcoholism and drug abuse, negligence by their spouse may be the real cause for the same. 

 3. The Raging Bull Id. 
This is the id you will encounter in main chat rooms. 
The behavior of person with this id is that they are often abusive without any reason due to their own frustrations and mood swings. 

Typical characteristics of this personality or id is they have intense anger, lack of control, frequent display of anger, frustrations and care a damn attitude towards moral issues with unpredictable behavior. 

The anger in main room comes from opposite sex, or another id with good morals, or even sparked by trivial offence that was supposed to be taken by a little sense of humor. On your 4th or 5th chat session one can realize that underneath that personality or id lies a person who has fear from the threat of disappointment and rejection or abandonment. This kind of id has experienced past rejection in their real life and sometimes they may even fear intimacy. 

If another id wants to befriend them on one minute they will be open and next totally shut off with their angry outbursts. In real life too they give their vent of anger to their loved ones. 

 4. Who am I? 
Id This kind of id has extreme self image concept, sexual orientation, failed career, abnormal selection or choice of type of friends and values desired. 

But "Who am I" ids are akin to marked and persistence identity disturbances manifested by uncertainty Some chatters instead of taking chatting as social conversation, would “live” their life “imagined success” or “imagined happiness” in virtual world. They may consider themselves or their ids as extremely intelligent, attractiveness, or even sensitivity to opposite sexes. 

This is the kind of id you will come across when they constantly tell you how superior they are in their lifestyle and right thinking modes. I know one id that use to “teach” me how to succeed in life and later on take the credit that “thought” me secrets of success. 

Phew! On another level you will encounter the same id who would some day admit to you that they make a dumb mistake and then for hours they would say how stupid they are. At this level the opposite chatter may get an impression that the id is “opening up on human level” but that would just be a mistake. Because the next chat session the same id will be pepped up to again unfold some intellectual drama of superior self esteem. This kind of id is typically “needing to prove themselves again and again” kind of personalities. This kind of behavior pattern is more in females because self esteem to them is achieved when they impress others and they go out of their way to please others and feel they are being loved and they in turn love themselves. 

In real life, one would find such ids neglected by their partners. It would also be the case where one of the partners is overtly educated and has no career in real life and turn to chatting while the less educated partner is bringing the dough. A constant lie not only in virtual world but in real world is key mark in their life. When their home people ask what they do all the time on net, they would answer that they are surfing some good web site but in reality they are wasting time on chatting for more then 4 hours. 

 6. Big bore id 
Do I need to say anything for that kind of id? Well yes! Boredom is common in 99.99% of human beings in the world and I presume it’s even more online.

 Boredom and loneliness is the major problem area and also the most studied subject in psychology. But what if that is affecting a person online? 
They actually started chatting to avoid regular feelings of emptiness in their daily life. They motivate themselves and find ways to be able to spend online time and make an id to celebrate all their time including birthdays, anniversaries, new years, and what not. 

They are very consistent with their online routines so much so that a normal chatter who visits a regular room will know that at this particular time that id will always be online. Prolonged hours of chatting actually in long run make them impulsive in real life, lack of patience to keep up with real world, disappointing relationships, and self destructive acts. It will result in existential angst. 

The need to fill the void or emptiness will become more and more intense with frequent outbursts, alcoholism and existential crisis. The big problem is they would fear real world and feel safe in virtual world. They just have nothing to do in real world. An interesting thing to know is they even hate internet besides hating themselves as they are not able to do anything. 

 7. Gender changing id 
I know some of you might be laughing. On a normal level this is the id that is temporary because if one meets such id, one cannot establish online relationship as truth will be out. 

I recall once a feminine id gave me private message and then invited me to view her cam. I could not say no hence the face was good and the person was keeping her fingers below the nose. 

She had long hairs and good eyes so later, the id removed fingers from face and I found a moustache! It was funny and I had a good laugh. But to this level its ok to have fun on net and no ill feelings. But I know many people who change their ids frequently to be like opposite sex and they actually chat like one. 

In the real world we hear cases of cross dressings and gender changes but it would be shocking to know that some ids over a long period of time feel happy to be “playing” a role. 

One of my Muslim friend who I know personally has for two years been in a female id and he is a man of 42 years. I found that to be abnormal as I ask him what fun you get on chatting and behaving like that. He just says that he feels good when he makes female id and many males in main room give him private messages. 

Be careful with such ids. They are not only playing with your emotions but they actually post your data of private chats to other public forums. The aforesaid ids are for those that affect even your chatting experiences not to your pleasant liking. But what is the normal mode of chatting then? It’s ok in moderate measures to “blow your lid off” or be angry for some time. 

But if it is on a regular basis and it has become a long, prolonged habit, then one is not only distanced from real world but in the virtual world the person goes deeper and deeper and then only to realize that being a chat addict was nothing but sheer waste of life. Chatting becomes addiction and if not controlled years and years of life will be wasted. 

Youngsters will waste their youth and old fellows who think they are “virtually” young will lose the respect of their family members. One or two hours of chatting is just ok but if it goes for more then four hours consistently over years then it is the first sign of starting to be virtually a deviant personality. The only problem is the person or id does not know how much deviant he or she is. 

 For others who want to quit chatting, one has to understand that change is very important and self discipline is needed. A net addict will refuse to change as change is the real hard work. In order to change, the person must first “Self assess” as to where he or she stands. 

What will he or she gain by facing monitor daily? What are the reasons to be net addict? The change is best initiated with self assessment of own attitudes and goals in life. 

One must recognize current position of real life and understand in what direction modifications should be made. 

It tells you where you are and how far you will go virtually or in real life. How much amount of seriousness is needed in internet and how much in real life responsibilities? 

 For people who want don’t want to be net addict will require to put some other activity instead of chatting and this will be real test of character but a habit that has taken years to form will take at least 1/10th of time to deform. 

The new habit or hobby one starts should start with good intentions and become natural as old habit. One has to start a passionate hobby or devote time to something more interesting then chatting. For others who don’t want to quit chatting and be virtual all the time, well best of luck as I said earlier this article is still not complete and I still have many characters to add.