Internet addiction has a firm grip on myself and almost all the people I know or deal with. Undoubtedly, internet addiction is operating at high speed in our lives. And I have realised that it is not just me. Many people are finding it difficult to unplug. As your blogger spends a growing portion of his waking hours online, he sought some facts from a health researcher based in Cairns in Queensland. I wanted to look into some driving factors and the impact it has on our lives.The researcher first gave me the accurate definition of Internet addiction, which occurs when a person has a compulsive need to spend a great deal of time on the Internet, to the point where other areas of life such as relationships are allowed to suffer. Perhaps that could be the reason why i dread anything to do with relationships and socialisation in general. According to her, the person becomes dependent on using the Internet and needs to spend more and more time online to achieve the same high as drug addicts do when they take drugs. Other common names for Internet addiction are Internet addiction disorder and net addiction.In researcher own findings, she claim that males who are addicted to spending time online tend to prefer viewing pornographic websites, while females are attracted to chat rooms for making platonic and cybersexual relationships. Sounds like something familiar?Internet use consumes an ever-growing portion of our lives.Internet addiction involves the neurochemical, dopamine, which is related to reward motivated behaviour. Addictive qualities of the internet include easy access, sense of timelessness, the hypnotic quality of the screen, and the unfinished, intermittent nature of information. Internet addicts’ brains become conditioned by what they view on the screen.Internet addiction can come in different forms such as cyber sex addiction, cyber relationship addiction, Internet related compulsions, information overload and online gaming addiction. It has a synergistic effect that can work in conjunction with other addictions. It can interfere with everyday life, relationships, work and school. This usually happens when the user starts to compulsively or excessively go online, or finds that they are more comfortable around their online friends than they are with their peers in real life.People who are addicted to the internet display the same tell tale signs as those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol.
It is not just adults who suffer from the inability to unplug.Internet addiction is a widespread epidemic in children, youngsters and even elderly folks. People generally use their smartphone about twice as much as they think they do. The average person looks at his or her smartphone 100 times per day in some countries. Luckily for my case, I stopped using smartphones couple of years back to avoid that internet disorder being a challenge to me as i was suffering from nomophobia which is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.When i arrived at the decision, I realised the way internet use related to my psychological makeup, the onslaught of informational snippets was exhausting for my mind, leading to burnout, anxiety and sleep disorders. That however is no longer the case. Of the people I know are suffering from internet addiction, teens are perhaps not surprisingly are the hardest hit. A neighbours kid was couple of months back taken to hospital for gaming addiction after he failed to eat for days during mid term break. In fact, according to the researcher, teenagers now spend more than four hours each day multi tasking with a variety of media, from internet to instant messaging to television.Teens connect to social media several times per day and most are being heavy social media users. Overall, medical opinion is divided on whether Internet addiction exists as a mental disorder in its own right or whether it’s an expression of pre existing mental disorders or behavioural problems. Cairns researcher also told your blogger several signs of addictions which include but not limited to the Internet user needs to spend ever increasing amounts of time online to feel the same sense of satisfaction. Most users when offline, they experiences unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, moodiness and compulsive fantasising about the Internet. Interestingly, she said that such users uses the Internet it relieves them the symptoms.Some users turn to the Internet to cope with negative feelings such as guilt, anxiety or depression.Others also spends a significant amount of time engaging in other activities related to the Internet reading research, blogging like your blogger, e-book reading etc.In my case, I have completely neglected other areas of life such as relationships and leisure pursuits in favour of spending time on the Internet and can confidently say am satisfied. The pressures of social media, constant stimulus and nagging sense of needing to reply to an unseen message or tag someone can lead to issues with teens’ social development, sleep patterns and stress levels overall but such stuff is no longer a problem to me.