When it comes to addiction, most people tend to think of the major three: alcohol, drugs, and gambling. But addiction comes in all forms, and with today’s technology-driven society, Internet addiction is growing.
According to a Harvard study, 12,000,000 to 20,000,000 people have a mild Internet addiction, which is more than those with alcohol addiction.
What is Internet addiction?
Internet addiction comes in many forms, but it centers around spending too much time online. Those suffering from Internet addiction could be using social media, gaming, talking with other people, or simply surfing the web.
Internet addiction is classified by spending too much time online, far more than you necessarily have to. Signs of internet addiction include staying online for hours at a time, reducing the amount of sleep you receive in order to stay online, choosing to be on the internet instead of doing something in real life and trying to hide your internet usage from other people.
What’s causing Internet addiction to increase?
Technology, and its easy availability, is what is driving Internet addiction to increase. Smartphones allow us to have the Internet and apps at our fingertips, and this is causing people to remove themselves from personal relationships and experience and instead head online.
The rise in social media sites is also causing Internet addiction. People are using social media as a way to connect with other people, to share information about their life with other people, or to simply learn more about others. Social media sites, such as Facebook, are also a popular way to promote events.
Finally, the fact that almost everyone has access to a computer is driving Internet addiction to increase. Whether you have one at home or at work, the ability to go online is always right there.
What’s the problem with Internet addiction?
Like any addiction, it comes with negative consequences. An individual suffering from Internet addiction tend to be lonely, and they even have high rates of depression. These individuals don’t spend much time getting out of the house, which means they don’t enjoy social interactions or even get any exercise. These individuals are often more likely to start another bad habit, such as smoking, drinking, or eating an unhealthy diet, because of their addiction.
How can I put a stop to the Madness?
There are a few things you can do to combat your Internet addiction. First, you need to admit you have a problem. This will help you move forward.
Second, you need to remove yourself from the temptation. For example, if your Internet addiction revolves around social media, delete your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you find yourself surfing the web too much, drop your Internet service provider for 6 months. You’ll save a ton of money and find yourself out with physical friends FAR MORE often.
Finally, you need to seek help. Tell people in your life about your addiction so they can help you recover. If that’s not enough, seek professional help through a treatment program. The sooner you can seek help, the better chance you’ll have at beating your addiction.