Over the past decades, the Internet has become an essential part of life for many people all over the world. Today, any modern person at least once a day visits the Internet in order to communicate, work, or simply search for the necessary information. The Internet is important in the modern world because it is an inexhaustible source of information, and an affordable way to acquire skills and knowledge, a place for dating and a way to keep in touch.
However, some people are so keen on spending time in the network that they become Internet-addicted. Internet addiction is a mental disorder that is accompanied by a large number of behavioral problems and generally means a person’s inability to leave the network or an obsessive desire to spend more time on the Internet. In this article, we will tell you everything you should know about internet addiction.
Symptoms of Internet addiction
The person can be considered an Internet addict if he or she:
- Feels good while spending time on the Internet and feels sad and discouraged while being offline
- Doesn’t want to go outside to meet friends and slowly loses contact with people offline
- Constantly updates social networks, e-mail, an account on a dating site, etc
- Loses the sense of time (spends hours on the Internet and doesn’t notice this)
- Forgets about work, study, household chores, meetings, and arrangements while surfing the Internet
- Constantly visit web-sites that doesn’t have any helpful information
- Spends a lot of money on the Internet and tries to hide this from relatives and friends
- Negative news or messages cause a lot of negative emotions in you such as rage, sadness, or anxiety
- Experiences eye pain, aching joints, sleep disturbance, and eating disorders
It is quite difficult to notice Internet addiction in yourself. That’s why it is important to take into account the concerns of your relatives and friends about spending too much time on the Internet.
What is the threat of internet addiction?
Psychologists compare the phenomenon of Internet addiction with alcohol and drug addiction. Conducted studies on the topic of Internet addiction show that prolonged and uncontrolled presence on the network changes the state of consciousness and brain functioning. This gradually leads to a loss of the ability to study and remember the information.
Moreover, an Internet-addict slowly loses the skills of real communication that leads to some kind of asociality. This means that addict experiences difficulties in communicating with new people and getting into an unfamiliar company becomes a stressful situation. This leads to that a person begins to avoid any kind of real communication which affects the work or study and may cause problems with sleep and eating disorders. You should also know that a few Internet addicts committed suicide.
In addition to mental disorders, Internet addiction can lead to the development of certain physical diseases. When we spend an enormous amount of time in front of the monitor screens, our vision is gradually getting worse. Moreover, many Internet-addicts have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Internet addiction is usually accompanied by a sedentary lifestyle. This leads to various malfunctions of the spine and joints (scoliosis, osteochondrosis, arthrosis), cardiovascular diseases (tachycardia, arrhythmia, arterial hypertension, varicose veins) and many other conditions.
Internet addiction treatment
It is not surprising that Internet addiction treatment has become a significant part of psychologists’ and psychiatrists’ income. Today the number of people that suffer from Internet addiction constantly increases. This kind of addiction can affect both men and women, both youth and adult people.
The inability to get rid of Internet addiction without outside help leads those who didn’t know about the negative consequences of the Internet to medical institutions. However, they are usually treated for mental disorders that are only a manifestation of Internet addition because the diagnosis of Internet addiction still doesn’t exist in the world practice.