The interet can be very useful in many aspects of our daily life. Some can use theinternet to chat with friends and loved ones, journal their life and thoughts on blogs, and update their life through social media. However, many can spend too much time on the internet. And too much can be too bad.
In fact, psychologists have coined internet addiction as a real condition. Read on to find out.
What is Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction is an impulse control disorder, much like gambling addiction. Although it does not involve any drug or substance, it is a behavioral disorder that can lead to negative effects.
Many people who have internet addiction feel an abnormal attachment to online friends and activities. They use that virual world to connect with real people, even use it as a substitute to real-life interaction.
How Do You Know If You Are An Internet Addict?
You will know if you or someone you know is addicted to the internet through the following symptoms, which are similar to substance addiction behavior:
- Thinking about the last online activity and anticipating the next time you go online
- Going online longer than planned or intended
- Going to the internet for many times during the day despite the need to finish tasks or attend to responsibilities
- Inability to successfully cut down on internet use despite multiple attempts
- Being restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when not online or when cutting down on internet use
- Risked missing appointments, losing jobs, having relationship conflicts, and other problems for the sake of using the internet or being online
- Lying to family members, relatives, friends or officemates about the extent of internet use
- Using the internet to escape (problems, boredom, loneliness, etc)
Physical Effects of Internet Addiction
Spending too much time online, in front of the screen, or typing on the keyboard can lead to many physical and health problems, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, severe headaches, backaches, dry eyes, skipping meals, skipping sleep or even trips to the bathroom, as well as overall failure to attend to personal hygiene and well-being.
More Debilitating Effects of Internet Addiction
Those who are addicted to the internet may tend to forget that there are real connections to be made outside of the computer screen. They forget that real fulfillment comes in person-to-person connections, while they stay huddled up in their devices or cooped up in their rooms in front of the computer.
As with all addictions, there are many negative effects not only in the health but also in many aspects in the life of the addicted person. With internet addiction in particular, people fall into problems that involve their personal, family, financial, occupational, and academic life.
Many of those who are addicted to the internet may even be disconnected with the real world and have developed their online personas through profiles and avatars online. Here, they can be whoever or whatever they want to be.
Those who have the highest risk of internet addiction are those who have low self-esteem, have feelings of inadequacy or displacement from society, or who fear disapproval from peers. These negative concepts of self-worth and identity lead to addiction as well as other clinical disorders such as anxiety and depression.
How To Get Help?
The first step towards beating this addiction is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Being in denial or minimizing the issue will not help it. You should know that there is a problem, especially if other people are pointing it out to you. Reassess your internet use or text or call our counselors for help: