Even though online addiction does not involve drugs or alcohol, it can be as equally destructive. Online addictions are a disease of the brain’s reward system which is easily reinforced by the immediate gratification, visuals, sounds, and wins provided by the Internet 24/7. In the U.S. 18% of porn users become addicted, while 7% of video gamers and 3% of online gamblers develop an addiction. Social media addictions affect 210 million people worldwide.
Excessive Internet use can decrease a person’s quality of life by causing relational, career, financial, health, legal, or educational issues.
Online addictions are not just identified by the amount of time spent on the Internet but also by how your use is impacting your life. For more information visit http://netaddiction.com.
- Lying or hiding the extent of Internet use
- Internet use has increased over time
- Neglecting responsibilities to go online
- Attempts to cut back have been unsuccessful
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Poor nutrition and personal hygiene
- Changes in sleep or eating habits
- Going online to escape or decrease stress
- Withdrawing from friends and families
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable