Recognize Internet Addiction and Take Action

Jun 09, 2014

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With people using the Internet more often, Internet addiction is become a more increasing problem. Chat rooms, social media, e-mail, online gaming, online shopping, and videos have overtaken some people’s lives to the point it can be considered an addiction. 

As a result, some have become emotionally attached to the Internet. Internet addiction can have similar effects as other addictions. Personal, family, financial, and other problems arise because of this addiction. 

Real life communication and relationships are replaced with virtual relationships. People who are addicted and attempt to cut down on Internet use often experience similar withdrawal symptoms as those with other addictions.

As with any addiction, there are warning signs:

  • Constantly thinking about your next Internet “fix”
  • Increasing amount of time spent online
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to cut down on Internet use
  • Inability to control amount of time online
  • Lying about how much time you spend online
  • Using the Internet as an escape
  • Losing track of time while online
  • Feeling guilty about how much time is spent on the internet
  • Spending less time with family and friends due to Internet use

If you or someone you know has an internet addiction, there are things you can do to break the habit:

  • Make a list of activities you can do to replace time spent online
  • Set a limited time to use the Internet and stick with that time
  • Stay physically (not virtually) connected with friends
  • Use the Internet for useful purposes

Another option is installing an Internet monitor that will keep track of how much time you spend online. Net Nanny is an internet filter but it can also monitor time spent browsing the web. Use this feature to help control the amount of time online.