How to Check if Have an Internet Addiction
Today as we look around, we see that there are very few people who do not own a smartphone and even fewer people who use a smartphone without an internet connection in the form of mobile data or a Wi-Fi. Internet isn't a luxury anymore, it is a necessity.
Every organization, may it be offices, schools; supermarkets, etc. all work with the internet. This just shows how much society as a whole has shifted to a more advanced level, where people find it impossible to survive if everything is not at their fingertips. In such a society, an individual who is an internet addict might not stand out from the crowd, but it is always best to identify if anyone falls in that category and help them come out of it.
A person is called an internet addict when he/she spends a lot of time on the internet than an average person. However, some studies state that it is not the amount of time a person spends on the internet that matters, but the way it is used which determines if the person is an internet addict or not. The issue has become so serious that many countries are conducting studies and taking steps to control it.
There is also a disorder named IAD (Internet addiction disorder) where the normal day to day activities of an individual are affected by the excessive use of the internet. Internet addiction does not stick just to surfing the internet; it also includes online gaming, social networking, online shopping, watching pornographic content online, blogging, etc.
Some studies show that the anatomy of the brain of a person with internet addiction is different from that of a regular user. It is said that there is variation in the sizes of the grey area and white area in the prefrontal part of the brain of an internet addict. This area holds priority because this is the area which helps in tasks like remembering, planning, executing, etc.
Some studies also claim that the brain of a person who is addicted to a drug and the brain of a person who is an internet addict is similar. The hormones dopamine and serotonin which help a person feel pleasure is produced low in people suffering from IAD as compared to normal people which is why they engage in more activities on the internet because being on the internet initially helped them produce these hormones and with excessive use, more activities on the internet were required to produce more of these hormones to keep them at a normal level.
The best way to keep a person in check is continuous self-monitoring. This is the best option available because, in this current space and time, it is not possible for one person to keep an eye on the other and monitor their changes. So, if every individual was more aware of IAD and was continually making sure that he/she didn't fall into the category, it's the best way to stay away from the disorder.
To sum up, these are the internet addiction signs you need to know:
Internet addiction emotional signs:
Depression, Dishonesty, No Sense of Time, Defensiveness, Feelings of guilt, Anxiety, Feelings of Euphoria when using the Computer, Mood Swings, Fear, Loneliness, Inability to Prioritize or Keep Schedules, Isolation, Avoidance of Work, Agitation, Boredom with Routine Tasks, and Procrastination.
Internet addiction physical signs:
Backache, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Headaches, Insomnia, Poor Nutrition Poor Personal Hygiene, Neck Pain, Dry Eyes and other Vision Problems, Weight Gain or Loss
Some ways to keep oneself in check are:
- Spend more time with family and friends- Family and relationships are the worst affected when a person is an internet addict. So, it is necessary to make sure that every individual is connected to friends, family, and people outside the internet.
- Focus on more important areas of life such as work, health, etc. which have a great impact on the individual.
- Under stressed conditions look for alternatives other than the internet to help de-stress. This may include a stroll outside, reading a book, playing with pets, etc.
- Making sure the internet isn't the only focus of the mind.