Are you addicted to the internet? Can you go a full day, week or even month without going on it? Could you quit it altogether? Hundreds of millions of us around the world go online every day and for many of us, going on the internet is just a normal part of everyday life. The internet brings people together and it makes many aspects of modern life much easier and more accessible. But is it too much of a good thing?
Why become addicted to the internet?
Why not? The internet is constantly evolving and growing bigger by the second. New websites are constantly being launched and existing websites are constantly being updated. If you want to find out something, you go on Google. If you want to get in touch with someone, you go on social media. If you want to watch a movie, film or some music videos, you go on sites like Netflix or Youtube.
Is internet addiction a bad thing?
It can be. Some studies have shown that if you become too reliant on the internet, your brain can start showing the same changes that happen in cocaine addicts and alcoholics. Some of the problems faced by internet addicts include low mood, social anxiety, social isolation, issues with work or school and marital problems.
Is internet addiction recognized anywhere?
Internet addiction is recognized by many institutions and organizations. There are some organizations that cater for people with specific addictions, such as gambling and pornography, and there are growing numbers of centers that actually cater for people with internet addiction. It’s a problem that’s on the rise, so expect it to become more of a prevalent issue in the coming years.
How to tell if you’re addicted
There are several signs that you could well be addicted to the internet: you feel uneasy and panicky when you go offline; you feel frustrated when someone disturbs you while you’re online; you lose track of time, intending to spend a few minutes online, but actually spending hours online instead; you start losing touch with your family and friends because of the huge amount of time you’re spending online; you show physical signs of addiction, such as weight gain, irregular sleeping patterns and dry eyes.
Coming off the internet
If you think you’re addicted to the internet, try cutting down on the amount of time you spend on it. Think of things you’re missing out on and make time for these. Get your news and entertainment from the real word by visiting newsstands, bookshops, concerts, museums and theaters. Rearrange your routine so your time is focused on other things and when you do go online, give yourself regular breaks every hour or so.
What to do if you’re addicted
If you think you’re addicted, start making changes by focusing on other aspects of life. The internet is a great thing to have, but it’s best to use it in moderation and not to rely on it too much. Why spend all your time online when there’s a big, wide world out there to discover?