Internet addiction? You are probably wondering whether it is possible for someone to get addicted to the Internet. Well, this otherwise dynamic and positive force of technology can also become negative and debilitating. Just like the drinking of alcohol, purchasing of items and the eating of food can become addictive, so does the Internet addiction disorder. It is possible for you to get addicted to the Internet, especially due to the increased preoccupation with and interest in the Internet.
What Is Internet Addiction?
Addiction to the Internet may be described as an impulse control disorder, that is very similar to gambling addiction and does not involve the use of intoxicating drugs. Just like with any other addiction, people addicted to the Internet use this virtual fantasy world to connect with other people. They use this as a substitute to the real-life human connections. This addiction is a result of a user becoming emotionally attached to online friends or activities.
How Can You Know That You Have An Internet Addiction?
There are 11 main indicators of Internet addiction. Having three of the symptoms mentioned below amount to an abuse. However, having more than five of the symptoms can be described as an addiction.
- Spending too much time on the Internet than in other activities.
- Reduced self-control.
- If browsing your favorite sites make you feel excited than doing anything else.
- Neglecting your friends and family members just to be on the Internet.
- Withdrawal from other daily activities; focusing on the Internet alone and neglecting other activities.
- Lying about your regularity of Internet usage to friends and family members.
- The Internet is interfering with your school or job responsibilities.
- An increased urge to be on the Internet and restlessness whenever you are not using the Internet.
- You are ashamed about the much time you spend on the Internet.
- Changing your sleeping patterns just to be on the Internet.
- Change in weight or experiencing headaches, backaches or carpal tunnel could also be symptoms of Internet addiction and abuse.
Take a test to know whether you are having an Internet addiction or not:
For more information regarding Internet addiction, watch the following video
What Can I Do to Break My Internet Addiction?
1. Find Out Your Addiction Sources
You may be using the Internet to soothe your rocky moods, such as anxiety, stress and depression. To combat this addiction, you first have to understand what makes you love the Internet. For instance, the Internet could be reminding you of your past addiction to alcohol or drugs. Understanding the source of addiction will help you fight the addiction better.
2. Get More Real Life Friends
Basically, the more relationships you have in real life, the less you will need to be on the Internet, especially for the purpose of social interaction. You should set aside some time each week for family and friends. If you are shy about meeting new people, it is advisable to find groups with a common interest, such as an education class, a sports team or a book reading club.
3. Get Yourself Some Professional Help
Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy can be of great help when you are trying to overcome this addiction. The therapy works systematically to combat this dependency and perception of the use of Internet, computer and smartphone. It will also help you learn healthy ways of dealing with uncomfortable emotions. If this Internet addiction is interfering with your marriage life, you may need marriage counseling to overcome your addiction and help you to reconnect with your partner.
4. Complete Your Studies
If you are a student, it is advisable to first accomplish your studies. When you get home from school, finish doing your homework rather than using the Internet. Additionally, you should research from books and other materials in the library instead of getting the information from the Internet. Using books instead of the Internet for your studies will help you avoid the Internet, hence overcome Internet addiction.
5. Try Your Favorite Sports
Taking part in your favorite sports can also help to reduce the time you spend on the Internet, hence overcome the addiction. During your free time, participate in sports, preferably the ones that require teamwork, such as tennis, soccer, basketball, badminton and volleyball. You may also take part in activities like jogging, hiking, skating, swimming or bowling clubs to spend your free time. Spending more time outdoors in such activities will ensure that you have minimal time for the Internet. This will gradually alleviate the Internet addiction disorder.
6. Do Some Volunteer Work
Dedicating your time to the work for non-profit charitable organizations can also help you stay away from the Internet. It is one of the recommended ways of dealing with Internet addiction. Rather than waste so much time on the Internet, dedicate your free time towards improving the lives of others. You may do this daily, once a week or once a month, depending on how free you are. As you come to terms with technology addiction facts, you will realize that the more time you spend away from the Internet, the easier it is to deal with the addiction.
How to Regulate Proper Internet Use
- Keeping a log of the time you use the Internet for non-essential or non-work activities will help you realize where the problem is. After this, you need to identify the time you use the Internet and what makes you do so.
- Come up with a daily schedule of the time you will be using the Internet. Additionally, you may also make a commitment to be switching off the gadgets, including computers, Smartphone and tablets at certain time of the day to avoid using the Internet. You can also set up a timer, scheduling your Internet usage in a day.
- To compensate for the time you spend on the Internet, find something healthy to do. If you are lonely or bored, you can resist the craving for Internet by partaking in other activities such as games or visiting friends.