Today, internet is considered as one of the largest sources of information that is used worldwide. People from across the globe communicate with each other through Internet. Whether it is watching a movie or catching up with an old friend, internet has made everything easier. Internet allowed us to be more productive by helping in our day to day activities.
- Essay on the Types of Internet Addiction
- Essay on the Symptoms of Internet Addiction
- Essay on the Causes of Internet Addiction
- Essay on the Effects of Internet Addiction
- Relationship Issues
- Decreased Productivity
- Disassociation and Instant Gratification
- Essay on the Prevention of Internet Addiction
Unfortunately, many people are addicted to the internet. The usage of internet has increased to a great extent that it started interfering in other key areas of life such as – education, work, and relationship, physical and emotional health. When internet becomes a priority, the individual no longer participate in life outside the virtual world.
Internet addiction is a compulsive disorder that interferes with normal living. It causes severe stress and relationship problems with family and friends.
Essay on the Types of Internet Addiction
There are different forms of addiction involved with over-use of internet, and it is essential to identify the category. Most of the times, internet addiction is characterized by a compulsive desire to interact online through cybersex, gambling, gaming, social networking and compulsive surfing.
Here is the detailed description of different types of internet addiction.
This type of internet addiction takes place in fantasy role playing sites and adult chat rooms. Watching internet pornography is the most common type of cybersex addiction.
This type of addiction includes compulsive gaming, gambling, trading stocks, shopping or excessive use of internet that interferes with personal and professional well-being.
Some people play on computer obsessively, such as – Solitaire, programming a computer etc. They enjoy playing offline games and stay in front of computer for long period. Such addiction is called general addiction and can be treated easily.
There are lot of people who have multiple social media accounts and chat rooms. These people take part in social networks and virtual messages with the purpose of having online relationships. They enjoy more with online friends than with family members or real friends.
Compulsive Web Surfing
Compulsive web surfing is a disorder where individuals keep on surfing the web or database to a point. They do not give time to friends, family members or regular work at home.
Not all the users who surf web become addicted to the internet. In some cases, excessive usage of internet is not associated with internet addiction. Internet is one of the best sources of information and there are many ways in which it can be used in a healthy way.
Now, the question is – how to recognize healthy internet use and unhealthy internet use?
Well, the level of internet usage differs from person to person and we should consider multiple factors to determine what level of internet usage is unhealthy. Some people depend on internet for professional work and use excessively. However, this does not mean that the person is internet addicted. Some people might use internet to connect with their family members who are staying far away. This too does not necessarily mean that the person is addicted.
Unhealthy usage of internet can often be characterized by the decision of the individual to interact online instead of the person in real life. The decision to spend time online without any purpose is a warning signal that the person is addicted. Using internet for long hours with the purpose of spending time can cause negative consequences in individuals in terms of broken relationship, increased anxiety, reduced productivity or financial distress.
Essay on the Symptoms of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction can be manifested in both physical and emotional symptoms. However, the symptoms vary from person to person. Individuals should watch for warning signals that internet addiction may be developing.
Internet addiction can be diagnosed with some of the below symptoms.
- Compulsive urge to use internet for increased amount of time to achieve browsing satisfaction. Individuals who lack control in computer usage often suffer from internet addiction.
- If you are staying online for more time than you have decided, it means there is something wrong. Using internet as a way of escaping reality or negative mood can be a sign of internet addiction.
- If you feel depressed, stressed or irritated when not using internet, you are suffering from severe internet addiction. You might have an addiction of internet if you are isolating yourself from family and friends to spend time online.
- If you have trouble focusing on regular work or you have found that your online time has made you slack on the daily tasks, you may be suffering from internet addiction.
If you are using internet to reduce stress or boost your mood, it means you are seriously addicted to internet. Many people with internet addiction fail to achieve relationship connections normally and end up with unproductive results. If you have any of the above symptoms, you should schedule appointment with physiatrist.
Essay on the Causes of Internet Addiction
It is hard to say what causes internet addiction. To understand how internet addiction causes, you should first compare it with different types of addictions such as drug addiction, relationship addiction etc. drug addicts feel normal, if their drug needs are fulfilled. Similarly, internet addict feel normal by surfing internet for longer periods.
Internet addiction is a newer phenomenon and there is no clear definition of internet addiction. More research needs to be conducted to know the primary causes of internet addiction. The causes can vary with gender, age and personality.
Some of the possible causes of internet addiction are as below –
Society plays an important role in different types of behavioral issues, such as internet addiction, drug addiction, TV addiction etc. If the individual’s friends or family members are constantly engaged in a particular activity, such behavior is socially acceptable. Internet addiction seems to be common among people who interact more online in the form of online games, chat rooms, social media etc.
This is another possible cause of internet addiction. Someone who is addicted to a substance is prone to become addicted to other activities. People with mental disorder like – depression, stress, anxiety may self-medicate by using internet to relieve their symptoms. For example – people with depression, anxiety, stress or any other mental condition may use alcohol or other substance to feel better.
The emotions and thinking pattern of person play a vital role in driving addiction behaviors. Thoughts and emotions tank on the top of list, when it comes to any form of addiction. It is all about how the person handles difficult emotions. As an escape mechanism, people who are suffering from anxiety or depression can easily get lost in the virtual world. When a person experiences the feelings of loneliness and finds relief while online, the seed of internet addiction starts to sprout.
An internet activity that encourages a compulsive behavior is another possible reason behind internet addiction. For example – online casinos and gambling sites encourage the individual to play again and again. Some people are information addict and do not stop themselves from browsing the web and reading informational articles.
People who are shy find it difficult to interact with others and many develop internet addiction. They often feel that meeting people online is less intimidating than direct communication. A lot of people have a strong desire for human connection and it is high in people suffering with social anxiety. Chat rooms and social media sites give them an opportunity to connect with others without facing the fear of direct communication. When they communication online, they can control how they are perceived by others.
People become addicted to the internet because they receive a positive feeling. Someone with right mix of addictive personality and poor emotional health could get addicted if internet happens to fall into their life.
Essay on the Effects of Internet Addiction
People who spend hours on the internet start to see some negative effects in their lives. In a survey, it was found that internet addicts spend more than 60% of their time online. Addiction comes out as a compulsive need to engage in an activity that poses threat to other areas of life. The idea of internet addiction seems to be silly, especially in those who do not have any kind of disorder.
As said above, addictive behavior can be defined as something that increases tolerance levels or the need to spend more time. People who spend unusual amount of time online meet all the key criteria for addiction. The effects of internet addiction tend to become apparent with time.
Some of the possible effects of internet addiction are –
This is the most common effect of internet addiction. When someone is immersed in online activities for a longer period, it means they are not interested in real world activities. The changes become more apparent in terms of friends, family and beloved ones. Certain types of internet addiction such as online casino, gambling, rummy etc poses certain threats to stability in relationship.
Similarly, continuous web surfing can cause threat to close relationships. Loss of relationship in person’s life results in loss of self-identity and connection with life.
An individual who spends lot of time online may get isolated from family and friends. In some cases, the effects of internet addiction results in conditions involving loneliness and depression. Lack of social interaction can have an effect on the physical and mental condition of the individual. A with other addictions, the longer an individual uses, the severe are the symptoms.
The effects of internet addiction can be so severe that the person doesn’t feel the need of social interaction. As the screen time increases, the person may lack physical exercise – as a result of which his/her health starts to decline.
People suffering with internet addiction remain online just to avoid some important activities such as making a call or completing their office work. These people often go out less frequently and do not interact much with others. Moreover, they have low rates of productivity as they either put off doing the work or unable to do the work.
Surfing aimlessly or playing games for hours wastes a lot of precious time. Internet addicts are wrapped up with online activities and fail to notice that how time has gone by.
Disassociation and Instant Gratification
Internet addicts become heavily involved in online community with the purpose of escaping from real life problems. For example – if someone is involved in online social network, they use it to avoid having to deal with face to face interactions in real world. Internet addicts may even have a poor impulse control, which means they cannot stop themselves from clicking on the links or checking emails.
The advent of social media has created an obsession to share personal life with the world. People expect others to drop everything to respond to a text or email. Many people have trouble living in the moment because they are too busy sharing moments with others.
As said above, depression could be one of the possible causes of internet addiction. Depressed people may use internet as a self-medication to feel better, as it allows them to ignore the problems they are facing currently. Remember that they feel better for a time being only. Internet addiction can worsen the symptoms of depression when they logout. They still have to face their problems and deal with them, rather than putting them off.
Besides the above effects, internet addicts may notice decreased levels of personal hygiene. They hardly care about their looks. Internet addicts tend to feel zoned out after several hours of internet usage. Moreover, they may develop physical symptoms such as – back, shoulder, joints and hand pain. Some people even develop poor eyesight issues due to prolonged hours in front of computer.
Essay on the Prevention of Internet Addiction
When it comes to technology, you should create a healthy work-life balance. There are some simple ways to prevent internet addiction and live a healthy life.
To seek help with internet addiction disorder, you should be given a mental test to assess your dependency on the internet. The most common assessment to make diagnosis of internet addiction include – problematic internet use questionnaire, compulsive internet use scale and internet addiction test.
Many of us surf the internet and there is a fine line between casual surfing and compulsive surfing. If you fear that you may lose interest in real life activities as you prefer to be on the internet, you may be on your way to addiction.
Here are some proven ways to prevent internet addiction.
Admit the Fact
If you are using internet for prolonged hours, you should first admit that you are at risk of internet addiction. You are not the only one with the problem. Internet addiction has become a prominent issue and large group of people are facing this issue. Do not be embarrassed to accept or share your problem with others.
Limit Computer Time
To prevent internet addiction, set aside some time for computer use. If you have a laptop, do not use it on holidays. Keep it somewhere and try not to go near it. Keep the screen closed, if you are not using it. When the computer is no looking at you, you are less likely to use it.
Use an alarm clock as time to limit computer usage time. You can even program your computer in such a way that it shuts down automatically after 30-40 minutes.
Avoid Send Messages and Mails
Call people instead of messaging them or sending an email. This will keep you way from computer. If you are in college or office, try doing work together with a friend or colleague. Make copies of information needed. If you have to browse same information again and again, you should consider copying the information, rather than browsing again and again. This will stop you from using the internet again and again.
Start a Hobby
Get involved in a hobby or class that keeps you away from computer, laptop, smartphones and other internet enabled devices. You can even make a habit of going to concerts, events, film screening etc happening in your city. Make sure that you get involved in those activities for long period. If you are not interested in a hobby or event, you can help with meals. Cook something for your family to stay away from internet. Avoid eating meals at computer. Instead, eat at a separate place to avoid going online.
You can go for a short trip with your family or even friends. Instead of watching TV or getting involved in individual things – you should spend some time with your family. You can even watch a movie along with your family or go out for an evening walk.
All the above things will help you prevent internet addiction. Remember that you are not the only one suffering from internet addiction. There are hundreds of people suffering from internet addiction and it can be treated easily.
Internet addiction refers to the compulsive need to stay online that interferes with normal life and may affect relationships. It can negatively affect personal relationships with beloved ones as well as cause negative impact on life. By spending hours on the internet, the development of social skills may be impacted negatively.
There are a number of ways to prevent and treat internet addiction. Some of the popular ways to treat internet addiction are – psychotherapy, counselling, support groups etc. The main objective of internet addiction treatment is to reduce the compulsion to use internet and reach a point where the individual uses internet for certain period. The individuals should be able to use internet as a ‘Choice’ and not ‘Compulsion’.