Read Dr. Greenfield’s Book: Virtual Addiction – Help for Netheads, Cyber Freaks and Those Who Love Them


“Virtual Addiction” by Dr. David Greenfield


About Dr. Greenfield’s Book

Virtual Addiction” is an enlightening look at the Nature of compulsive use of the Internet. As we progress quickly into the Internet age, this book addresses the ramifications of Internet abuse in our daily lives and provides help for this burgeoning clinical phenomenon”
–Dr. Kimberly S. Young, author of “Caught in the Net” and President, The Center for On-Line Addiction


“As Dave Greenfield astutely recognizes, the Internet is neither the perfect global village envisioned by cyber-utopians, nor the destructive realm of immorality described by doomsayers. Rather, there is both promise and peril in cyberspace, and Dr. Greenfield’s eminently readable book offers sage (and often humorous) advice for the average user on how to maintain a happy and balanced life both on-line and off.”
–Paul Schiff Berman, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut School of Law

“While recognizing and sharing his own need to keep his Internet and family life in balance, Dr. Greenfield offers practical and therapeutic suggestions for how we can stop. Not only is this book a must-read for those feeling out-of-control and not knowing where to turn, but it should also be required reading for those about to log onto the Internet for the first time.” 
–Rand Holman, MBA, Market Analyst & Researcher, freelance business and technology writer

 “The power of the Internet combined with the seductive nature of  cybersex presents a unique breeding ground for addictive behavior to flourish. It is imperative that our culture understand the importance of utilizing this new medium with balance and perspective in order to maximize the beneficial potential of cyberspace. Dr. Greenfield has presented us with an excellent and much-needed resource to help web surfers avoid Internet pitfalls as well as climb out of virtual addiction for those already cyber-trapped”
–Donna Rice Hughs, author of “Kids Online: Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace”,
Vice-President of “Enough is Enough, and Commissioner for Child Online Protection Commission

 “As the phenomena of the Internet continues to explode and permeate every aspect of people’s lives, the concerns about misuse and overuse grow. Dr. Greenfield covers a variety of questions that online users may have about their Internet patterns and provides practical guidelines  to help them ascertain whether they have a problem, and if so, steps they can take. The book is a must for those who fit this category, those questioning whether they do, and their loved ones.”
–Al Cooper, Ph.D., Clinical Director, San Jose Marital and Sexuality Centre and Training Coordinator,
Counseling and Psychological Services, Stanford University.

As a psychologist, I’m a heavy user of the Internet, to search databases for articles about my patient’s problems, to find self-help web resources and books to recommend to them, to say nothing of using email and being a lurker on about ten professional listservs. Then, because I am blind and newspapers do not come out in Braille, I gleefully read the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor online; the first time in my life I can read newspapers independently. But am I an addict or just a heavy user of this wonderful resource?

Virtual Addiction by Greenfield helps each of us to answer that question and to help our patients do the same. If there are reasons to answer with a “yes”, this book also provides plenty of resources and tips for getting unhooked without having to become a Ludite.

Greenfield first talks about the nature of addiction and the similarities among all addictions. “If it gets you high it’s all the same.” Then he gives warning signs and two self-quizzes. He handles questions like “is it abuse or addiction?” and “Do I need abstinence or controlled use?” and gives tips for reclaiming your life. These include exercise, taking a net holiday and considering a support group.

Much of the book considers particular pitfalls like cyberrelationships, e-shopping and e-investing, and Internet addiction on the job. Each chapter is replete with case histories and helpful suggestions for conquering the problem. For example, in the chapter on shopping and investing online, it is suggested that you turn off the computer between transactions and make a list of what you’re going to buy before you go online. It is suggested that every company have and widely distribute an Internet use policy as well as providing employee assistance services for employees with problems of virtual addiction. A chapter on safeguarding your children online and a chapter on the future of the Internet round out the text. Appendices include FAQs and resources for further help on and off-line.

Virtual Addiction is a useful resource for lay and professional audiences alike. An index and consideration of online games and MUDS would be useful additions, as would a chapter on repetitive strain injury and desktop yoga. Whether someone who was truly hooked could turn it off, tune into themselves and get their life back in balance using only this book is questionable to me. However, even if it only helps someone realize they have a problem, before they end up losing a job, a marriage or a lot of money, it’s well worth the price of the paperback!
– Katherine Schneider Counseling Service, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Virtual Addiction provides a good deal of advice about what kind of planning and cooperation from family will be useful to compulsive computer users.  It discusses the nature of addiction, doing self-diagnosis, and the problems with cyber-relationships, online shopping, online investing, and using computers at work.  For example, Greenfield suggests to those who do too much online shopping that they turn off the computer after each time they use it, decide what they need before they go online and stick to that, avoid browsing through lots of products, try to use phone or mail instead, shop online with other people around to help rather than doing it alone, tell other people about one’s problems, and six other suggestions.  Greenfield’s style is casual and confident, yet he takes these problems seriously.
– Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jan 21st 2005