Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction

    Internet addiction is a compulsive behavioural addiction where a person gets too much dependent on the use of the internet or on other online devices. Going online is just a regular part of our life. Internet helps people in travelling, learning and talking with others. Excessive use of internet can turn into an addiction that can cause stress on the work environment, families and friends. Internet addiction is referred to as an Internet addiction disorder.

    Internet: An addiction or a habit?

    Everyone is fond of something that they like to do regularly. Habits won’t cause much harm to the body, but addiction can be seriously harmful. So what’s the main difference between habits and addiction?

    Habits

    It is something that we do regularly or every day because we have practised it or incorporated in our daily routine. For example, habits like brushing teeth are a regular habit and dishwashing is part of regular habit. Habits can also be chewing nails or playing games when a person is stressed.

    Addiction

    It’s a behavioural change where we are aware of the consequences, but still we continue to do those things.

    If you like to browse the internet for 15-30 mins while you’re drinking morning tea, then it’s a habit

    But if you regularly browse the internet and you’re unable to stop yourself from using the internet beyond 30mins, then it can be an addiction.

    Types of Internet Addiction

    Internet provides all the required information, which may decrease a person’s productivity level.

    Information Overloaded:

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    Compulsions:

    Spending more time on online activities like gaming, trading of stocks and gambling can lead to impulsive behaviour in a person.

    Cyber sexual:

    Today’s generations are more interested in browsing a porn site. It has a negative impact on a person’s life and sometimes they can end up committing some crimes.

    Seeking Information:

    This kind of addiction can be mostly seen in kids because the curiosity to learn new things is seen in a child only. Lifelong learning helps in promoting health and longevity. The issue is not with learning new things, but the curiosity level can cause anxiety and overthinking.

    Causes of Internet addiction

    There are several factors that can cause internet addiction:

    • Underlying mental health condition
    • Mood swings
    • Environmental factors

    Symptoms of Internet addiction

    Emotional Addiction Physical Addiction
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Feelings of Euphoria
    • Inability to prioritize
    • No sense of time
    • Defensiveness
    • Avoidance of work 
    • Agitation
    • Mood Swings
    • Fear
    • Backache
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Headaches
    • Insomnia
    • Poor Nutrition
    • Headache
    • Poor personal hygiene
    • Neck pain
    • Dry eyes and vision problems
    • Weight gain or loss

    Effects of Internet addiction

    • Sudden weight gain
    • Forgetting your priority and responsibilities
    • Unfinished tasks
    • Facing difficulties while working
    • Ignoring family and friends
    • Financial problems due to online gambling and shopping
    • Hiding online activity
    • Always being occupied with the online activity
    • Using the internet for a longer time
    • Usage of the internet for changing the mood
    • Not able to avoid the internet when you need to avoid it
    • Using the internet for satisfaction purpose
    • Constantly thinking about browsing your mobile
    • Sudden mood change
    • Lost interest in other activities

    Treatment

    Internet addiction treatment comprises outpatient and inpatients treatment facilities which provide services for people with internet addictions. Recovery from internet addiction is possible with the right care. Some major treatment that a person can go through:

    • Mindfulness
    • Art and music therapy
    • Yoga and medication
    • Fitness and massage
    • Group therapy
    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
    • One-to-one counselling
    • Relapse prevention techniques

    Nowadays a person uses the internet for escaping from their problems. The use of the internet becomes compulsive and uncontrollable. For avoiding internet addiction, a person must involve himself in other activities like playing outdoor games, exploring new places and spending more time with family.