The internet has now taken centre stage in most of our daily activities. From entertainment to communication, education and religion, the internet has become an almost inevitable aspect of our daily activities.
But, when used in excess, the internet has the ability to interfere with work, life, relationships, and daily routines.
Internet addiction is a condition that has a lot of negative consequences on those who spend large amounts of time online socializing with friends, playing games, gambling or just surfing the web.
You may have an internet addiction without even knowing it. Thus, it is important to know the symptoms so you can take measures to solve the addiction since it has long-term adverse effects.
Signs and symptoms of Internet addiction
Internet addictions may be manifest in many ways. They include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Feeling preoccupied with the internet. (thinking about your previous online activity or anticipating the next time you will go online)
- Feeling the desire to use the internet for more time to satisfy your use of the web. (similar to a tolerance that is addressed in substance abuse problems)
- Having a lack of control in efforts to stop using the internet or to cut back on use.
- Feeling restless, irritable, depressed or otherwise moody when not using the internet.
- Staying online longer than you originally planned to.
- Jeopardized a job, relationship, educational opportunity or another important opportunity because of the internet.
- Lying to friends, family members or others to conceal the true amount of time you spend online or your activities while online.
- Using the internet as a way of escaping reality, escaping problems or relieving a negative mood.
Before the signs can be manifest, it goes through stages. How is internet addiction caused?
Causes of Internet Addiction
People become addicted to the internet for several different reasons. Most of the time, the urge to compulsively use the internet results from a desire to manage unpleasant feelings such as depression, anxiety, stress or loneliness. Some also feel socially unacceptable in the real world and turn to social media to feel they belong. In the process, they lose the sense of time and physical space, leading to compulsive use of the internet/internet addiction.
Here are some of the causes:
- Loneliness: Some people try to fill relationship gaps online
- Self-medication for a mental health disorder. Many people use the internet to mask anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses.
- Some people are strongly urged to seek information, and the internet readily provides that in humongous volumes.
Internet addiction is a condition that can escalate into serious social and psychological issues and stress when not given much attention.
We hope this article helped you learn about Internet addiction. You may also want to look at our article on social media addiction.