Life has been simpler, thanks to the Internet.
It has improved access to information and facilitated interactions with people all over the world.
It has, however, also resulted in many individuals spending an excessive amount of time in front of their computers, to the point where it has taken on a central role in their life. This may result in an addiction to the internet or internet-based devices.
Internet use addiction is the condition in which a person compulsively needs to spend too much time online, to the detriment of other aspects of their lives. The person addicted to the Internet has to use it more frequently to feel better about themselves and escape reality.
Studies of Internet Addiction
Many case studies of students whose academic performance declines as they spend more and more time online show that young people (adolescents (12–19 years) and adults between 20–29 years) are particularly very prone to internet addiction disorder as they stay up later and late to use the internet and in the process, endure health effects from lack of sleep.
A study by the Department of Adult Psychiatry at Poland Medical University revealed that Internet addiction was prevalent among young people, especially those who were merely children. In actuality, one in four kids has an internet addiction.
This is a concerning statistic that requires immediate attention.
In this article, we share symptoms that would increase your awareness of internet use addiction, and determine if you might be dealing with it:
Symptoms of Internet Addiction
You might have an internet use addiction if you frequently spend extended periods (defined as “several hours”) online engaging in non-work-related activities like web browsing or playing video games, along with 2 or more of the following symptoms:
- You have to be on the internet for long periods to experience a constant level of happiness.
- You depend on the Internet to get relief from unfavourable emotions like guilt, worry, or melancholy.
- You go through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if you can’t access the Internet, including worry, irritability, and constant fantasizing about it.
- You engage in internet-related activities for a sizable portion of your time each day.
- You prioritize time on the Internet over other facets of life (such as relationships, work, school, and hobbies).
- You are willing to sacrifice key relationships, jobs, or other circumstances in favour of the Internet.
Types of Internet Addiction
A wide range of behaviours and issues with impulse control using the internet, personal computers, and mobile devices are covered by the umbrella phrase “internet addiction.”
Internet addiction can be broken down into 5 subcategories:
One of the more self-explanatory internet addictions is cybersex addiction. It involves explicit webcam services, adult sites, sexual fantasy chat rooms, and internet pornography.
An obsession with any of these services can negatively impact the ability to have sexual, romantic or personal relationships in real life.
Online gambling, stock trading, bidding on online auction sites, and compulsive online shopping are just a few examples of interactive hobbies that can be quite destructive.
These behaviours may be detrimental to one’s financial security and interfere with work obligations. This can also cause a strain in relationships as a result of overspending or losing money.
Addiction to Online Relationships
Cyber or online connection junkies obsess about establishing and sustaining relationships online while often neglecting their real-life family and friends in the process.
Online relationships can develop wherever online engagement occurs, although typically in chat rooms or social media sites.
A person may develop poor social skills and unrealistic expectations for in-person encounters after being completely engrossed in online social life and persona. This often reduces opportunities for in-person interactions, which makes the person more reliant on their online contacts.
Counselling or Therapy is highly required to prompt a lasting behavioural change.
Obsessive Information seeking.
Today, there’s more access to information on the internet than before, and it has led to an overwhelming drive by many to collect and arrange data
Information-seeking can occasionally be an outward sign of underlying obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Additionally, compulsive information-seeking may result in decreased productivity at work and even job termination.
Treatment methods can range from modifying obsessive behaviour and establishing coping mechanisms to medication, depending on the addiction severity.
Gaming or Computer Addiction
Computer addiction, often known as computer game addiction, involves both online and offline computer-related behaviours. Games were programmed into computer software once computers became more accessible.
Researchers discovered right away that playing computer games obsessively was turning into a problem in several contexts. They also significantly reduce productivity when played for far too long.
Other types of Internet addiction include Compulsive talking, Compulsive VR use, Video streaming addiction, and article addiction.
Being aware of internet use addiction is just the start.
It is important that you take control of your and a good way to do so, is by using Applatch, a mobile app that helps you track your smartphone usage and lock addictive apps for a desired time.
The session only paused or stopped before the allotted time by an accountability partner, helping you stay true to your resolve!
Keeping your internet use control will go a long way in preventing smartphone addiction.