Internet addiction is a term that many of us have heard with the broadening of the technological age, but many still do not realize exactly what the term encompasses and just how many individuals are affected by the disorder. To broadly define it, internet addiction is the overuse of the internet or using a computer excessively and to the point that daily life is interfered with. When one thinks of an addiction to the internet, it may bring to mind someone addicted to computer games or constant online social networking, but the fact is, internet addiction may also relate to the usage of the internet to participate in other activities including viewing pornography online, constant blogging, and compulsive online shopping.
Do You have the Signs of Internet Addiction?
Another commonly used term in relation to having an addiction to the internet is that it is also a behavioral addiction. In the case of an internet addiction, the behavioral addictions relate to the use of the internet. While it depends on the level of addiction that a person is experiencing, just exactly what symptoms of behavioral addiction they may show, the following warning signs of a possible internet addiction:
- An individual is constantly preoccupied with the internet. This may either mean that the person is always on the internet or that even when they aren’t technically online, they are thinking about when they will be able to get online again.
- When they try to cut back on the amount of time they are online, they are not successful and suffer from feelings of moodiness and irritability when they are not able to get online as much as they wish they could.
- One’s personal relationships and jobs are affected by the dependency that someone has to the internet.
- An individual creates lies to tell counselors, co-workers, and family members to cover up just how much they do depend on the internet.
Behavioral Addiction to the Internet
In addition to the previously mentioned signs of internet addiction, if someone is already seriously addicted to online usage, then chances are their lives have already been dramatically affected by the addiction. An addiction to the internet causes issues in all aspects of one’s life including friendships, marriages, academics, work, and financial issues. This is because those who are suffering from a behavioral addiction to the internet find themselves isolated from their friends and family. This causes arguments with those who are being ignored due to the addiction. Problems with academics and work occur when responsibilities are ignored so that more time can be spent online.
Internet Addiction is More Common Than You Think
Addiction to the internet is much more common than many people realize and can be just as destructive to someone’s life as a drug addiction. If you or a loved one are showing any signs of internet addiction, then treatment may need to be sought. Consider what treatment options are in your area to address an addiction to the internet.