Is this you? It's me!!
SEX AND TECHNOLOGY
Bangkok Post Mar 26, 2009
When a user turns into an addict
As Thai society has increasingly embraced high technology for the sake of convenience in many aspects of life, it has sometimes been misused and misplaced. It has even been used to provide sexual gratification.
Sex and love have become such a big part of the cyber world. Online chat channels have increasingly become a popular means of finding lovers and particularly sexual partners. Many enjoy watching themselves and others via webcams while others are addicted to social networking websites that allow them to connect to people with similar interests, which can lead to relationships in real life.
Mobile telephones, too, have claimed a role in the world of cyber sex, considering how easy it is to take pictures or even produce video clips with the modern cell phone. Soon 3G technology will be introduced and is expected to be integrated with webcams.
Many users, who occasionally use technology to satisfy their sexual needs can eventually become addicted to it. Such addiction can have negative effects on the individual, his or her family, community, and society at large.
The family can sometimes contribute to an individual's addiction, but the addiction, in turn, will become a problem for the family as well.
Parents become worried and disappointed to find out their children are using technology to release their sexual desire. The mental well-being of the whole family can be at risk.
Any community or society facing a high level of addiction or inappropriate use of technology will have to deal with various undesirable consequences, such as imitation of the undesirable behaviour, out-of-control youth groups, new social values and norms, crimes, and exploitation, such as the widespread trading of video clips showing celebrities having sex.
Identifying causes of addiction
A large number of studies have been conducted to understand the process and the causes of the use of technology for sex, and the following factors have been identified to have contributed to such behavioural addiction.
Many are simply curious to try new technology, while others are following their friends. Like video games and drugs, the initial trial leads to addiction for many users, most often teenagers. According to some studies, children with a below average IQ level are most likely to become addicts of the technology, although children with a high IQ can also get addicted.
2) Sexual excitement
Some people are sexually aroused when exhibiting themselves via image or video. Their behaviour is then reinforced by positive comments or responses from the viewers, which could result in eventual addiction.
3) Poor impulse control
Some people with personality problems, perhaps as a result of improper upbringing, or those unable to control their emotions are more susceptible to addiction. Such traits tend to embed themselves for the rest of their lives, unless they are addressed during the early stages of development.
4) Mental disorder
Those suffering certain mental disorders may lose decision-making and self-control abilities, resulting in the failure to control one's sexual impulses, which often occurs with poor aggression control as well. Because of such conditions, many sexual offenders are also found to have some degree of mental disorder.
5) Lack of self confidence
Perhaps the most common cause of such addiction is a lack of self confidence or self appreciation which is found in all groups and strata, regardless of physical appearance or social background. Even well-educated people can feel unappreciated and have trouble gaining acceptance from society.
Some people may resort to using their looks and physical appearances to gain acceptance and admiration from others. Although some exhibitionist behaviour in this category is accepted to some degree, such in the fashion or art industries, it can often lead to trouble if there is not enough self control.
Limiting the negative effects
Several techniques and principles can be used to limit the negative effects of addiction.
A good starting point is self control. Technology users should always be aware if their behaviour is wholesome or accepted by society, or is deviating from morality or culture at large.
They also need to learn to really love themselves, rather than indulge themselves with sexual pleasures. They should change their perspectives and must not believe that the technology use is a private matter because such behaviour can become an addiction that is out of control. They should not replace real face-to-face interactions with fellow humans with cyber relationships.
Family and friends can also help by expressing their love to users, showing them that there is more to life than temporary sexual gratification.
Parents and family members should also consult with mental health professionals on the issue, instead of believing that the problem will go away. Their loved ones may worsen and become more difficult to treat.