The Internet has been a wonderful tool for knowledge and entertainment. It also has a pretty definite downside. Like an infinite garden, many weeds have taken root, taken over and will not be removed any time soon.
At Credit Canada we offer up free credit counselling advice and often come into contact with triumvirate of internet evil: online gaming, online trading and online gambling.
According to Stats Canada, Online gaming brings $2.3 billion in GDP to the Canadian Gaming Industry. With the $220 million gross the game ‘Halo’ made in one day last year (and $3.4 billion worldwide) Hollywood is eating its heart out. Canadians are apparently playing 140 minutes on average (not per week) per day. 36% of this population of Canadian internet users are between the ages of 25 to 44. Online games make it easy for gamers to collaborate with others to join in their obsession.
Like online gaming, the proliferation of online trading institutions has been unleashed as one of the latest proactive ways for people to take over their own financial destiny. In the wrong hands it could be a real gamble. To say they would have to be obsessed with the handling and monitoring of their accounts would be an understatement. Similar to a game of risk, there is the possibility of doing crazy things like leveraging their home equity or simply putting all their eggs in one basket to make money. A lot of internet spam offers up easy tips on hot stocks that at best are just a diabolical way to suck you dry of your money.
Also like online gaming, online gambling is the latest juggernaut to take over the internet. With multiple Poker shows on TV almost daily, gambling is now part of the mainstream. Online sites are everywhere and they make these games easy to play and authorize the use of your credit card. It is still like the Wild West due to unregulated online sites, and like the real world, the online house always wins. Unlike daytrading or online gaming, there is a rush or thrill in playing these games of chance because you get to say you've outsmarted the big house.
What are the real problems you ask with these different types of internet usage? It doesn't take professional credit counselling or any complex studies to let you know that with extreme usage of these internet tools they can lead to unpaid bills, adverse moods, missing important dates, job loss and eventually cause a serious flag to your credit rating. There is still insufficient evidence that your creditors will change your credit rating at this point due to one of these addictions.
If you find yourself or anyone you know in any of these situations, they can contact the credit counselling experts at Credit Canada to get assistance with budgeting, money management and options for dealing with financial problems.
CAMH, OLG and 211.ca are valuable resources to assist you in dealing with these issues; these organizations can provide you with tips on how to help yourself or others with these situations or simply to start the discussion.