Blog 6: My Internet Addiction, by Armen Vardanian

These days I normally use the Internet for shopping purposes for the items that I cannot find in the local stores, such as: educational textbooks, household or personal articles, and for the material that are available only in download forms.

I have used the Internet for gaming and dating purposes in the past, but found such activity is not suitable for me.  I lost my interest in on-line gaming because it would take too much time from the other hobbies I enjoyed in my life.  The women I met on dating sites were mostly from other countries, and these relationships did not move forward, because on-line communication cannot replace face-to-face interaction with a real person.  Furthermore, from my past experience I feel that the long distance relationships generally fade out in time.

Despite the fact that I was not interesting in on-line gaming, I developed an addiction to one specific game in particular – playing on-line Poker (card game) with people around the world.  The on-line virtual environment resembled a Poker table with avatars (real people behind the masked figures) playing the game.  The website required a deposit in a small dollar amount (about $20 to $30,) which then can be used for betting purposes in the game.  I was not a good poker player, but occasionally would win a game or two after playing the game for several hours.  Nevertheless, I would lose game after game, and subsequently the money I have deposited earlier.  The desire to return my money back and win a large pot drove me to the next game, which would turn into another fiasco.  I spent many hours in front of my computer just to face disappointments of losing and finding my website valet vault empty again and again.  The adventure, which lasted for couple of years, took my breath away and sucked me in for good.  Running in circles for winning results did not help me in gaining my money back, but caused to develop on-line gambling addiction, which was very difficult to escape.  I did not know how to halt the trend and finally decided to stop using my computer at home for six months.  It took a long time for me to shed my harmful habits, accept monetary loss, admit that on-line gambling is addictive, and escape playing on-line Poker.  My pursuit for the imaginable fortune caused me to lose several thousand dollars and waste valuable time, which I sincerely regret.  However, I’m happy that I was able to leave dark days of my addiction behind me, able to control my gambling habits, and live a new life.  I use computer at home since then without problems as I learned my lesson.  I also lost my interest in on-line gambling.

Since 2011 the U.S. residence cannot play on-line Poker on websites of several large companies, who were found in money laundering and violating banking regulations.  The restrictions were imposed by U.S Attorney in violation of “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.”

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