Today the internet is used for just about everything from checking an email to running a business. It may seem as if internet usage on the daily basis is productive, however, it if becomes too much it can be a problem. There are some who use the internet so much that it has interfered with their personal and professional lives. When a person prefers to be at home on the internet gambling, surfing the web, or engaging in other online activities over doing something with friends and family this could be a problem. However, when a person is not willing to stop the excessive internet usage despite the trouble its causing, this is more serious and needs to be changed.
What is the Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Usage?
Internet: absolute communication, absolute isolation. ~Paul Carvel
The internet is necessary to accomplish many things in today’s technological age. It is used on phones, tablets, laptops, and computers around the world. Determining what regular usage vs. excessive usage is will depend upon the individual. There are some people that need the internet to operate their businesses, and some that rely on social media networks to talk to friends and family members. Unhealthy internet usage only occurs when the person is online so much that it hinders their ability to be productive in school, work, and elsewhere.
Risk Factors of Computer Addiction
There are some risk factors that make it more likely for you to become addicted to computers and internet usage. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, other addictions, no social support, experiencing social stress, or the inability to move around as you once did.
The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life. ~Andrew Brown
Symptoms and Signs of Internet and Computer Addiction
The symptoms you feel for internet and computer addiction will vary from person to person. Below are some warning signs that you could be on your way to a problem:
- Often lose track of time while using the internet
- Difficulty completing work or home tasks as a result of internet usage
- Isolation from friends and family
- Defensive when asked about internet use
- Sense of euphoria when using the internet
Cyber-sex and Porn
Both pornography and cyber-sex are sexual addiction issues; however, because they can be easily accessed online, they can also become an internet addiction. It is very easy for abusers to get stuck on the internet for hours on in engaged in sexual fantasies that could not happen in real life. As a result of the constant internet stimulation it begins to eat away at real life relationships.
Gambling has been an ongoing problem for many years, however, in recent times the availability of gambling games online has surged the addiction to new levels. Virtual casinos are open 24 hours per day 7 days per week and anyone with the internet is able to access it. It becomes easy for addicts who believe they will hit big to lose thousands of dollars while sitting in front of a computer screen.
Self Help Tips for Internet Addiction
There are plenty of ways you can try to get your internet usage under control. While you can conquer this addiction alone, it is always best to have some support on board to guide you. This way you don’t run the risk of slipping back into your old ways. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you identify the underlying causes of your internet addiction, figure out whether or not you’re dealing with loneliness, depression or anxiety, or simply longing for a personal connection. From there you want to develop new ways to cope with the real issue, seek out for internet stress relief and finally build a strong support system to help you get past it.
Modifying your internet usage is also very important. To do that you want to begin by first keeping a log of how much time you use the internet for non productive reasons. Then set new limits on when you can and cannot use the internet. Lastly, you want to find healthier things to do with your time to replace internet usage so that you don’t become bored and relapse.
Treatment and Counseling for Internet Addiction
Therapy when dealing with any form of addiction is advised. It can provide you with the tools you need to control your internet usage. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used for this. The process involves step by step methods for stopping compulsive behaviors that cause you to use the internet. It will help change the way you think about computer usage and help you find better ways to cope with unexpressed feelings.
It might be difficult for you to find some support groups for internet addiction as the idea is still very new. However, if there are simultaneous programs that can help you, it would be great to join them. For instance, if you’re using the internet to find relationships because your addicted to sex, sex addicts anonymous might be ideal. If you’re dealing with marriage problems, couples counseling would be best.
Help for Overcoming Internet Addiction
- The Center for Internet Addiction
- The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction
- Internet Addiction Test