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“Pa, I’m giving a speech at our class Speech Competition in a few days”, said Josh, “can we discuss some ideas?”

“Sure,” said Rosh, “What’s your topic?”

“Internet- the new Nicotine!”

Father and son started on their usual walk, and discussed the ideas Josh was going to present.

“Can you live without the Internet?” Josh was asking, “That means no music downloads, no YouTube videos, and no photo sharing. Woe, it means no Internet games, no shopping on Amazon, and no quick and free price and specs comparisons. It would be Chaos. Welcome to the world of Internet – the New Nicotine!”

“That madness would happen to someone if their business was only on the Internet,” Rosh argued as he walked along with his son, “Like trading shares, options, currencies or CFDs online."

"That person could lose money if they had a trade on and couldn’t see what was happening in the market. But that is addiction by circumstance, not by choice.”

“For someone like you Pa, it gets worse. No emails, no Internet banking and no Google Search. Call it what you will, but you are addicted.”

Rosh smiled and asked his animated son, “But how do you know if someone is addicted?”

“Well,” said Josh, “if you explode like a volcano when your internet disconnects, or while you are playing your favorite online game - then you are!”

“It’s like wanting to go to the toilet while somebody else is already in it. You are jumping outside the door yelling, “Hurry up, I need to go – urgently!”

On the computer (ten things)“A long time ago, people had a set time to go to toilet, I mean, Internet."

"Now, with smartphones, everyone’s almost always online, and not coping too well without it. They need it to catch a plane, to catch up with their kids, and even to catch a nap.”

Rosh shook his head, and nettled his son further, “You could argue that Internet gives you wings."

"You can be anywhere, anytime. In no time! Without having to walk two steps.”

“I certainly wouldn’t want to be flying around if a hacker came along and stuffed up my handheld or phone,” Josh argued, “or if it froze, or had a virus, or just dropped dead. I’d come crashing down to earth.”

“With an internet addiction, there are just so many negative outcomes. When we are on the net, we’re just staring at a screen. We’re not even moving much. That causes bad health. And big tummies.”

internet addiction“Because we aren’t talking to physical people, we are losing our social and people skills."

"We lose them because we don’t say please and thank you to the computer.”

“We don’t have a live social environment around us, unless we teleconference or Skype."

"But even then, it’s just us and the talking images."

"There’s no opportunity for body chemistry, and very limited for body language."

"It’s too sanitized, too safe. It’s too stale.”

“I’m thinking of using a visualization in my speech Pa. Let me ask you to do what I’m going to ask my audience to do. Please squint your eyes for a moment,” Josh paused.

Rosh did.

Cat entertainment centre“Good!” said Josh, “Now, hunch forward as if you are sitting on a chair at the table.”

Rosh did.

“That’s good,” continued Josh, “Now put your arms out and pretend you are typing.”

Rosh did.

“Great,” Josh concluded, “That’s how you will end up looking if you marry the Internet.”

Rosh laughed aloud at his son’s visualization. Then asked, “But what if I hadn’t played along with you? What if your audience don’t? What would you say then? What’s Plan B?”

Josh paused, surprised at the question, then answered in his stride, “I’ll be doing it anyway as well, to illustrate, as I ask them to."

"If they don’t, I’ll say: I see you didn’t want to do it. Because you didn’t want to end up looking like that, did you?”

Rosh laughed again at the retort. Then asked, “So, what would you have us do instead?”

“Think about it,” advised Josh, “Break the habit, and join the world of living.”

“And to get more information on how to break this habit,” asked Rosh, “Should we just visit your website? Or do you have RSS feeds, online forums, chats or streaming videos.”

“Perhaps we could even download your free BREAK THE HABIT e-book or subscribe to your newsletters or blog posts. Or should we simply email you for moral support?”

“Awww Pa,” groaned Josh, “be serious.”

“I’m deadly serious,” answered Rosh, “Where can you find those addicted to the net, son? On the net! Where are they most likely to go, to get help? On the net! Now will that cause a slippery slope or a snowball effect on the net?”

Josh rolled up his eyes in exasperation. But the birds who had closely followed the conversation so far, twittered loudly amongst themselves. Another debate had begun.

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