Internet Addiction: Are you Addicted to the Internet

by TessaSchlesinger

by Tessa Schlesinger . 20 years ago the web arrived. Since then, the web has become a way of life. Now there are serious concerns about internet addiction....

I was an early adopter. Somewhere towards the end of 1994 and early 1995, I realized I had found a technology that I should have been born to but which only arrived in my early 40s. The only reason I can’t say to you that I have been online 24/7 since that time is because I’ve had to eat, drink, sometimes work, sleep, look after a kid, and that’s about it. Otherwise, every spare moment, every waking moment has been spent online. I am an addict and I’ve been aware of that for the past few years. But like an addict, I haven’t been able to help myself. Yet, strangely, these last six months, the internet has begun to bore me, and I don’t really care so much about what it has to offer.

Is Internet Addiction Dangerous for Your Physical and Mental Health

Internet Addiciton : Depression, Weight Gain,

Yes, Internet Addiction is just as bad for you as any other addiction. Some of the results of internet addiction include weight gain, depression, weight loss, loss of interest in school work or job, carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes,and  loss of fitness which has its own dangers. Another danger is that insomniaresults as a result of the 'light' that interferes with the 'sleep gland.' Eventually, over a period of time, internet addictions don't get much sleep, and this begins to affect melatonin production, ability to think clearly, increases weight, irritability, and more.

What Causes Internet Addiction?

Causes of Internet Addiction

Some German research has isolated a gene that is more predominant in people who are addicted to the web than others. However, in all addictions, there are environmental factors which change the genetic influence (predisposition) to actuality.

Here's a list of the factors that are common to web addicts.

  • Loneliness. People who are lonely feel less lonely when they surf the web. Interaction with others on forums substitute for freindship in the real world. Many times, when people have met for the first time after years of close friendship on the web, they have found that they don't like each other and actually have very little in common. This is because some people have an altered persona on the web, but it's mainly because many of the factors that are evident in face to face contact are not evident online. Examples might be body odor, real life personality, physical appearance, and more.
  • Boredom. Sometimes people become addicted to the web because they are bored by the lack of stimulating factors in their real lives. This includes endless debates, arguments, love talks, etc. on forums, social networking sites, and even some 'unmentionable' sites.
  • Gaming fulfils the need to win. Often the people who become gaming addicts subsitute wins in the games for wins in real life. Those who are more likely to fall into this category tend to be geek and nerd types who do not do well in an overly politcal environment where office gossip, manipulation, etc., make winning difficult for those not inclined that way.
  • Dysfunctional Personalities: The reason for so much cyber bullying is that the web is the perfect environment for being able to say and do things that would, at some point, risk penalties and punishment. The anonymity of the web enables the bully to get the feeling of satisfaction that they need in order to continue with their lives.
Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment

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Web Rehab: How to give up your Internet addiction without giving up the Internet.

Whether you feel the Internet has taken over your life, or you're just having trouble not checking your phone for messages every couple of minutes, "Web Rehab" can help you get ...

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This is a Must Read!

Treatment for Internet Addiction
Treatment for Internet Addiction

German scientists find 'internet-addiction gene'
They compared the genetic makeup of 132 healthy internet users with those of the same number of likely Internet addicts - defined as someone who obsessively thought about the Internet and whose sense of wellbeing was shaken if they couldn't go online. Their findings, published in the September issue of Journal of Addiction Medicine, showed problematic users more often carried a variation of the CHRNA4 gene, which is typically linked to nicotine addiction.

Is the Web Driving Us Mad?
Afterward Russell was diagnosed with “reactive psychosis,” a form of temporary insanity. It had nothing to do with drugs or alcohol, his wife, Danica, stressed in a blog post, and everything to do with the machine that kept Russell connected even as he was breaking apart. “Though new to us,” Danica continued, “doctors say this is a common experience,” given Russell’s “sudden transition from relative anonymity to worldwide attention—both raves and ridicules.”

Excessive Internet Use Leads to Depression, Study Claims Read more:
A new study on internet addiction has been published by psychologists from Leeds University citing “striking” evidence that some internet users develop compulsive habits and replace real-world interaction with social networking and chat rooms reports Reuters. The study suggests that addictive surfing can have a serious impact on the mental health of users.

Internet Addiction: Facts and Figures
84% of college counselors "agree" or "strongly agree" that Internet Addiction Disorder is a legitimate disorder. 93% of college counselors have "some, but not sufficient training" or "no training" on diagnosing internet addiction disorder. 94% of college counselors have "no training" or "some, but not sufficient training" on the treatment of internet addiction disorder.

Find out if you're addicted to the web.

Internet Addiction Quiz

Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out of you are addicted to the web.

  1. Do you avoid doing other things because you're prefer to be online?
  2. Do your family and/or friends tell you that you're always on the web and you should get a life?
  3. Do you spend a lot of time on the Internet that is not necessary?
  4. Does being online make you feel calm and/or give you a better feeling about your life:
  5. Have you tried spending less time online but you just long to be online?
  6. Do you have fewer friends and do less outside activities since you went online?
  7. Does your school work or job get less of your attention because you're always online?
  8. Do think of being online all the time when you're doing other things?
  9. Are your closest friends online?
  10. Do you go to the same sites over and over again because they provide some sort of stimulation and it's difficult for you to do without that stimulation?

If you answer yes to four or more of these questions, you are, indeed, a web addict.


Knowledge is Power
Find Out About Internet Addiction
Find Out About Internet Addiction

Awesome books!

Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction--and a Winning Strategy for R...

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iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us

iDisorder: changes to your brain’s ability to process information and your ability to relate to the world due to your daily use of media and technology resulting in signs and sy...

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Are you addicted to the Internet/

Poll for internet Addiction

Helpful Links to Cl;inics that Cure Internet Addiction.

Internet Addiction Clinic

As internet Addiction is relatively new, treatment is currently available at some clinics that treat other forms of addiction. In time, there may be clinics which are specific to Internet Addiction only.

Cure for Internet Addiction

Treatment for Internet Addiction

Some people will be able to help themselves with internet addiction. Others will not be able to. They will then need to check into an Internet Addicition Clinic. Treatment is about six weeks. 

For those who believe that they can ween themselves off the web, here are some steps to take.

  • Before you do anything else, find out as much as you can about Internet Addiciton. I did, and it horrified me enough to want to do something about it. I read about half a dozen books plus did numerous searches on the web. The more inforamtion one has about it, the easier it is to plan to do something about it. It's also easier to understand the traps.
  • The second step would be to find a support group. Make no mistake, internet addiciton is as difficult to get rid of as any other addiction.
  • The third step is to find physical activities you would like to do to substitute for at least a few hours per week. These could include swimming, dancing, jogging, hiking, cycling, and more. Get as much exercise as you possibley can. Exercise cures many addictions.
  • The forth step would be to find ways to increasing your social interaction off line. That's because many of the factors of internet addiction are a substitute for lack of social activity in the real world. Fix that, and there is less disire to go on the web.
  • While you're doing all of this, spend less time on the sites where you are more strongly addicted. If you have to, in order to ease the pain, spend the time on sites that bore you the most. Force yourself to do this. 
  • Also simultaneously to these steps, start connecting with people who are also network addicts. Try to make them in your own geographical location and meet them off line rather than online. When you desperately 'need a fix,' let them be your first port of call. If nothing else, immediately arrange to meet off line.
What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
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The Digital Diet: The 4-step plan to break your tech addiction and regain balance in your life

We all know someone who needs a digital diet. Technology has overwhelmed our daily lives to the point of constant distraction. Many of us can no longer focus on a single task or...

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Helping Friends With Internet Addiction

Help Family Member with Internet Addiction

The best thing you can do for someone with any sort of Internet Addiction is find something which is sure to remove them from the web. The more frequently you can do that, the better. Introducing the Internet Addict to other people who they relate to is also helpful. At some point, it might be helpful to mention it, but like many addicts, denial can often be present.


Updated: 03/21/2013, TessaSchlesinger
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