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Internet Addiction as Onlife Derealization between Loss and Recovery

Primavera Fisogni

The concept of addiction, highly investigated by psychology and psychia- try, still remains under-researched in philosophy, despite its anthropolog- ical relevance. Very few is known about the processes that detach from or reconnect the human person to the world. This paper is aimed at focusing on Internet addiction as a particular case of derealization of the hyper con- nected world where offline and online are melted together. An interesting phenomenon of the Onlife age (Floridi, 2015) Internet addiction presents a twofold profile: on one side it is strictly related to the loss of the ‘real’ world; on the other side, it reveals the effort to compensate the offline loss with online exposure. The very key for grasping this double movement, as I argue through the lens of General System Thinking (Bartelannfy, 1976; Urbani Ulivi, 2019), can be noticed in the act of filling the void: common to any addictive behavior, and to the phenomena of derealization in gen- eral, this attitude is highly revealing of a cluster of dynamics whose activity is systemic at its core. Perturbation, dissipation, and coherence will be highlighted. On this premise I’ll explain why in the hikikomori syndrome the prolonged exposure to Internet activities (Fisogni and Fisogni, 2020) or online gaming (Tateno, 2016) can be therapeutic, as recently reported.

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