The internet is without a doubt one of man’s most miraculous inventions, and its creation is equal in importance to the wheel and fire itself. It allows people to share and access information in an instant, something that was impossible just 35 years ago. Whether it is connecting with friends, conducting research, playing online games or shopping, the internet has changed the world. In fact, the internet is so exhilarating some people have become subject to internet addiction.
How Does Internet Addiction Work?
Addiction to the internet is a bit different from addiction to controlled substances such as alcohol or drugs. As a consequence many people question whether or not this phenomenon actually exists. Whereas abuse of alcohol or drugs causes various neurological and physiological changes which are easily measured, these effects are not as prevalent in those that become addicted to the internet. No one is going to die of an “internet overdose,” which can occur with cocaine and other drugs.
However, this doesn’t mean that the phenomenon should be downplayed or ignored. Any activity that consumes so much of your time that it is taking you away from other, more important responsibilities is harmful. The inherent danger of excessive internet usage is that it allows people to escape from reality, becoming a new person in the digital world. This can cause behaviors which are impulsive.
Signs You Or Someone You Know Is An Internet Addict
- Spends virtually every waking moment on the web
- Has insomnia or other sleeping related disorders
- Frequent headaches (resulting from spending hours watching the computer screen)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Isolates self from family members or friends
- Employment difficulties and problems completing basic daily tasks
How To Overcome Online Addiction
Due to the fact that the internet is a newer technology, and was released to the public within the last 30 years, people have been slow to recognize online addiction as a problem. In fact, it isn’t taken seriously be many people because it doesn’t cause the death and mayhem that is associated with drugs such as heroin or crystal meth. Therefore, the first step in overcoming this type of addiction is to recognize you have it.
Some people will use the internet more than others, particularly if they run an online business or perform freelance work. The internet is also an excellent research tool for university and college students. But those who are using the internet primarily for entertainment related purposes, who are not engaged in productive work that betters their lives, are at greatest risk of becoming addicted.
Disconnecting from the web and getting back in tune with the physical world is important, even for those that classify themselves as online professionals. Hiking in the woods, visiting the beach, or engaging in physical fitness, martial arts, gardening or yoga are non-electronic activities that provide balance and mental and physical wellbeing. This will provide you with a better quality of life while making the time you do spend online more meaningful.