Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Lifestyle: Internet Addiction 101 – An Unforgiving Life Course And How To Drop It

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A quick search (quite ironically on the internet) for the meaning of internet addiction reveals “excessive Internet use that interferes with daily life”. If we subscribe to the policy of honesty as being the best, then we have to admit that to a certain degree, we are all addicted to internet. Dedicated addiction is a more apt word. We build our relationships around it, we build our careers around it. Heck, we build our lives around it and governments are starting to build nations around it.But our saving grace is in one keyword (actually two) in the definition – daily life. As the internet evolves into an important phenomenon of our lives, our daily life has also evolved. A daily life that builds itself around the internet is not addicted to internet. A daily life that depends solely on internet is surely internet-addicted. So this post is not for those who depend on the internet to fetch them news and keep up with trends and friends. This for those who can’t function in any capacity without the aid of internet. A two-hour loss of internet access to them is tantamount to a two-hour loss of oxygen to a patient in ICU – a complete flatline.There are different types of internet addiction;
– Information overload: Too much online surfing to discover new things and subjects
– Compulsions: Excessive time spent in online activities such as gaming, trading of stocks, gambling
– Cybersex addiction: Too much surfing of porn sites
– Cyber-relationship addiction: Excessive use of social networking sites to create relationshipsPsychological symptoms of typical internet addicts include feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, euphoric feelings when in front of the computer or phone, inability to keep schedules, isolation, defensiveness and agitation. The physical symptoms include backache, headaches, weight gain or loss, disturbances in sleep and blurred or strained vision. Internet addiction results in personal, family, academic, financial, and occupational problems that are characteristic of other addictions. Impairments of real life relationships are also disrupted as a result of excessive use of the internet.There are a number of steps you can take to get your internet use under control. While you can initiate many of these measures yourself, an addiction is hard to beat on your own, especially when temptation is always within easy reach. It can be all too easy to slip back into old patterns of usage. Look for outside support, whether it’s from family, friends, or a professional therapist.The first step is to determine if there is a problem. Then you need to recognize the triggers that make you reach for your phone and understand the difference between interacting in-person and online. Also strengthen your support network and build your coping skills. Finally, recognize any underlying problems that may support your compulsive behaviour. There are also professional therapy and counseling for smartphone addiction and in some circumstances, group support for smartphone addiction. Internet addiction is a real problem with a real solution.Photo Credit: Getty

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