Technological advancement has made life easy especially, with internet and communication devices. Accessibility to information and connections among people across the world is evident. In spite of the endless benefits of the internet, excessive use of it can be damaging. Internet addiction disorder has become a growing social concern with individuals spending more time on computers and the internet.
Types of internet addiction
- Duress- spending excessive time on online activities like gambling, gaming, auctions and stock trading. It leads to overspending, redirecting cash from useful projects and problems of concentration at workplaces.
- Cyber-relationship addiction- unregulated use of social network sites in the urge to create relationships. It causes a strain on real-life relationships as satisfaction is drawn from the virtual social media persons.
- Information overload- overuse of online surfing for information. This addiction kills creativity and productivity due to overreliance on the internet.
- Cybersex- addiction arising from undue usage of pornography sites for pleasure or to acquire the know-how. It affects the social life and sex life of a person as the porn spots offer gratification.
Symptoms of Online Addiction
- No sense of time
- Irritability feelings when disrupted
- Unable to maintain schedules
- Feeling of guilt when confronted with the habit
- Isolation from physical friends or family
- Physical signs such as strained vision, weight loss or gain, backaches and exhaustion due to sleep neglect.
In addition to the signs, online addiction becomes an addictive behavior when faced with the following:
- Increasing levels of need to be online always
- Continued internet use despite reigning damaging life effects
- Suffering emotional and physical lows (when offline) or highs (when online)
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Some of the signs associated with online addiction results to be the consequences of such behavior. For instance, damaged real life relationships as the addict spend more time surfing. It poses a threat to the stability of marriages and families.
Addiction leads to isolation. One goes to seclusion in order to be online without disturbance. Loss of friends can lead one to indulge in substance abuse or suffer mental disorders like depression, anxiety, psychosis or stress.
Health effects caused by lack of exercise and being positioned in one state for long. It poses a risk to the physical well-being of a person.
Remedies of Internet Addiction
The cognitive behavioral approach entails the abstinence or withdrawal from internet problematic applications. The addict has to practice other involving activities outside the internet world. For example, join sporting events or exercise to get the body off the computer.
Minimize online time expenditure as this will shift the focus to other life issues. Also, it will reduce the compulsion to engage in destructive online ventures.
Open up to family and friends about your problem and let them be accountable to what you engage in. Accountability keeps you on track in spite of great desire to go online. They will keep you connected to the real world which may reduce your interest of the virtual social relationships. Family therapy does help to model problems that would have forced an individual to shift to the internet as a substitute.
Psychological approaches based on clinical treatments also mitigates this addiction. For instance, motivational interviewing aims to change addictive behavior through resolving client ambivalence. Additionally, medications for treating psychological disorders like anti-anxiety and antidepressants do help in treating medical related effects of the internet obsession disorder.
Advanced cases may require rehabilitation or in-patient programs that will enable them to reduce usage and maintain a normal life and personal relationships.