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Cybervirgins

The tendency of spreading sex has been adopted by many magazines of large circulation and by other media such as TV and Internet news sites. Magazines with large circulation have a well-defined and advertised section of “tips, tricks and secrets” concerning sex. It reminds me of the time when I was publishing computer science books where the tricks of using the software were revealed.

Apart from the fact that communication about sex has become technicized, giving space for tricks and the advice of “experts,” perhaps for exorcising the intense and inner engaging nature of sexuality, it remains a fact that sexual messages are present in a pervasive way in every media. It seems that the world is like a global “Sex and the City” set, made of free and varied sexual meetings. If this can be true in some areas of the world, the planetary diffusion of sexual messages culturally does not find much similarity worldwide. The reality is that at least two-thirds of the world lives in a rather restrictive, traditional, and sometimes even very repressive culture regarding sex.

The massive process of worldwide urbanization caused the appearance of a growing number of singles not only in the West but even in every emerging country, especially in Asia and the Middle East. In Shanghai, Delhi, Seoul, Bangkok, Dubai, Manila or Jakarta, the growing class of office employees is formed mainly of women, connected to the Internet.

They often live alone or with female roommates, are members of Internet social networks and dating sites, like Western women. During breaks at work they chat and a growing percentage connects to the Net from home also. This seems to be the lifestyle of many women in the West, but there is a fundamental difference: they live in a traditional society as far as sexual roles are concerned. Even though some countries, like Thailand, are well-known for their hot night life, the majority of people follow very traditional behavior and lifestyles.

As a contrast to their upbringing, a culture without filters can sneak through their computer screen (which has almost nothing to do with tradition) of virtual meetings, erotic chats and porno sites, sometimes extreme ones. The ease of getting in contact with anyone through dating sites is a great difference between ordinary reality and what one lives online on the screen. The gap between traditional culture and the online becomes more and more wide because the culture of a whole country evolves more slowly compared to the speed of technological and online transformation. A great dichotomy is being created between the way one should be and appear in a certain manner according to the requirements of traditional culture and what the Net offers.

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Computer addiction as survival for the ego

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Our nervous system has the mechanism of a reward system that, when activated, can trigger the processes of compulsions and addictions. In the Internet, people can get addicted to online gambling, to online gaming, to porn, to cybersex, to online auctions, to chat, even to news and to surfing. Neuroscientists have also documented how the learning and the pleasure centers of the brain are the same.

My hypothesis is that addictions that have to do with the mind activity, such as computer addiction, are there in order to keep the mind busy and therefore surviving. A silent mind would mean no-mind; silence and stillness are the worse enemy for the ego, that breeds thoughts continuously and feeds on them.

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Il nostro sistema nervoso possiede un meccanismo di gratificazione che, una volta attivato, può provocare processi compulsivi e di dipendenza. Su Internet, le persone possono diventare dipendenti dal gioco d’azzardo o i videogame online, la pornografia, il cybersex, le aste online, le chat, persino le news e il navigare in sé. I neuroscienziati hanno documentato anche come i centri cerebrali dell’apprendimento e del piacere siano gli stessi.

La mia ipotesi che è le dipendenze connesse all’attività mentale, come la dipendenza da computer, seguono un meccanismo simile per tenere la mente occupata, e quindi farla sopravvivere. Una mente silenziosa significherebbe una non-mente; il silenzio e l’immobilità sono i peggiori nemici dell’ego, che genera e si nutre continuamente di pensieri.

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