The internet has made life more comfortable and convenient for millions of people from all across the globe; the internet has made information more accessible. All you need is an internet enabled device and a reliable internet connection to access thousands of websites and blogs available today.
Just like everything good or nice, too much over indulgence isn’t healthy. Similarly, spending too much time online will surely have its toll on you. From taking up some of your social life, to sleeping late, to addiction to some online sites and pages, there are numerous risks to internet addiction. Not to forget the health risks of sitting down for too long as you browse on your computer. Here are ten of the most common signs of internet addiction.
1: Inability to Stop Using the Internet
Inability to stop using the internet is the first symptom of this form addition. Perhaps you should be using your laptop or phone for other things, but find yourself endlessly hoping from one site to the other. Shopping, gaming, entertainment sites; these are the most popular with internet addicts.
2: Excessive or Increased Use of Internet
Sure, the internet has made our lives more comfortable and fulfilling. However, that does not mean that you should do everything online. With any addition, there is an aspect referred by psychiatrists as Tolerance. Tolerance means that your body and mind get used to particular habit and over time requires more of the activity to get some level of satisfaction or “high”. While there is no clear-cut addiction threshold, you might be on the verge of becoming an internet addict if you are spending more time online now than you did last year! You’re online in bed, when having breakfast, and even when in the public transport headed to work, you still can’t your fingers off your Smartphone; you’re probably an internet addict!
3: Shrinking Work and Social Commitments
If you are always browsing the web, other aspects of your life will start to take a beating. Most of the addicts forgo important social and work commitments just to be online. The urge to be online becomes compelling enough to motivate you to miss work or important family events.
4: Lying About the Habit
This is another typical behavior eminent not only among internet addicts but also substance users. If you find yourself lying or underestimating the amount of time that you are online; shutting and hiding the computer when you realize someone is coming into the room, and outright lying to your spouse about what time you came to bed, there is a high chance that you have a problem.
5: Withdrawal Symptoms
Most people who are already addicted to a particular behavior or substance experience some withdrawal symptoms when denied access to it. For instance, lack of concentration when studying when thoughts about what might be going on online intrude; even company executives who have this problem find it difficult to sit in a meeting for 30 minutes without checking their email.
6: Risky Behaviors
The strong urge to be online despite being advised by a professional health care provider not to; results in some people engaging in risky behaviors. They start to jeopardize their career and education because of internet use. Stories of partners who have been married for decades breaking up and moving in with people whom they meet online for a couple of weeks; such has become very common nowadays.
7: Blurred and Strained Vision
Spending hours on your computer accessing different sites has been proven to cause strained and blurred vision. Anyone who has used a computer or even hand held device for long with incorrect light settings will have noticed that it causes blurred vision.
Some internet addicts will complain of back pain, but fail to make the connection between that and the endless hours they spend sitting. Perhaps you’ll have noticed that in the evening after work your back has a lingering, dull pain. Or that our shoulder blade aches as a result of leaning forward all day. Still, some will notice that their little finger aches or gets stiff, thanks to holding a computer mouse all day, 5 days a week. These signs should clearly ring alarm bells in you.
9: Weight Gain and Loss
As mentioned earlier, most people who spend the better part of the day online forgo important obligations and commitment. Some opt for fast foods and other unhealthy diets, thereby resulting in weight gain. Others forgo food altogether causing significant loss of weight. Both conditions can lead to health complications such as high blood pressure and stroke.
10: Euphoric Feelings;
A euphoric feeling is an intense feeling of happiness, pleasure, or excitement. Substance addicts experience these feelings when they take their drug of choice. Internet addiction causes victims to experience the same kind of feelings when they finally get access to the web.
Indeed, internet addiction is real and needs to be addressed as early as possible. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has proven through research that indeed there are people who suffer from internet addiction and need help. Since this is a relatively new form of addiction, more studies need to be conducted to understand and come up with plausible remedies to this problem. But in the meanwhile, avoid spending so much time on the net.