The internet, while it offers enormous possibilities on many levels – information, data, speed of contact, time saved and relationships improved – also renews long-established problems of the offline world (solitude, pornography, violence, theft, viruses) but on a qualitatively different scale. Like any new development, digital technology cannot solve a problem without creating new ones.
What is addiction? It speaks of the essential need of every person for “something else” to live for, recognizing that alone we are not sufficient.
An addiction can be health if it helps personal development: think of food, water and sleep keeping the person healthy; culture, recreation and relationships enriching us, making life more beautiful and interesting for ourselves and for others.
Addiction becomes unhealthy, sick and even pathological if it prevents the development of the person, impoverishes their existence, even destroying that person. While a healthy addiction opens up to a relationship, to coming out of one’s shell, unhealthy addictions lead, on the contrary, to closing back in on oneself and to making one’s self the center of everything.