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“Staying awake till 4 am, finding an interesting article on a celebrity, then googling it to see if it's true. Next stalking them on social network site, stalking their best friend, sharing a meme they liked, going to that meme, see if your friends have liked it, finding a video shared by a friend, watching that video then watching the next video and finally sleeping with your laptop on.”
With the increase in web facilities, over usage has become problematic. Internet addiction, the problematic and over usage of the internet is affecting our lives in ways we need to be concerned about. People are constantly using, are connected and are dependent on the virtual world for even the most basic need such as buying groceries. Initially, the internet was only used for tasks that were difficult to accomplish humanly and its more of a trend, especially with the social media internet overuse has increased.
Research studies have shown that dependent computer users use almost 35% of their time spent on the computer in Chat Rooms.
Yes, the internet does make our life easier but it has adverse effects too.
Effects of Internet addiction
- Academic and professional negligence: Students overly indulging on the Internet may end up spending the majority of their time on social networking site than on doing their homework or preparing for an exam, resulting in poor academic performance. The same can also happen in the case of an adult who instead to finish his/her task spends time on the internet, leading to poor productivity and concentration and may also cause failure in their career.
- Dependency on the virtual relationship: A 2010 article in The Guardian talks about how a couple were so indulged in their internet game of raising a virtual daughter that their negligence to their actual daughter resulted in the death of their daughter. This may be an example of a severe case of internet addiction but it does highlight the possible devastation. Living in the virtual world may often result in negligence of the real world around you.
- Other psychological problems: Neglecting the real world can lead to loneliness and eventually depression. A UK study showed a group of internet addicts among the internet users were found more like to be depressed.
- Physical effects: Continuously sitting in front of a laptop or desktop can cause severe back pain, vision difficulties, neck pain and can make us lethargic.
Internet addiction solution and Coping techniques:
- Appreciate the people and events in real life. The above mentioned 2010 article showed how not being in touch with the real world can affect us. So scheduling time to spend with friends and family on a daily basis can be helpful. Or simply take a walk (without your phone) and interact with your neighbour.
- Make accessing the internet a little harder such as following a strict priority list or use multiple locks the system in your laptop or desktop.
- Schedule time for using the Internet and use the internet only at that time. And avoid using phones while doing other things such as dinner, spending time with your children or when guest are around. This will allow you to use the internet while not letting it interfere with other tasks.
- Distract yourself by engaging in a task that requires a lot of concentration.
- Mute the notifications of all the apps on your smartphone.
- Learn to differentiate between virtual and real relationships.
- Engaging in hobbies, sports and other skills that are of one’s interest such as that of painting.
Internet usage and addiction in today's world is an increasing concern. Though the Internet is helpful in many aspects when used excessively and in a wrong way can damage lives. Beware before it overrules your lives. Seek professional help at Cadabam’s Hospitals for assistance. Assessment test, psychotherapy such as cognitive behaviour therapy and support groups are available for treatment.
If you need more information about internet addiction or have any queries do mail us your queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit us at Cadabam’s Hospitals. Alternatively, you call at our 24/7 helpline number- +91 97414 76476.