I am not a drug addict or a smoker but I think I am becoming Internet addict and looks like it’s even more dangerous as its changing the way my brain works…Do you feel the same?

IMG_20130512_185609[1]

Today in this post I would like to draw your attention to the most common and increasing problem in the society. I hope you think for some time and reflect back the way we are living today and make sure you are not falling into this trap of technology that we ourselves have woven around us today. We can also discuss more on this if you would like. I am trying to recover from this initial phase of internet addiction that I have recently realised and will be more than happy to share more insight into this if needed.

Sign of Internet Addiction: (reference: http://www.netaddiction.com/)

  • Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session)?
  • Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
  • Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
  • Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
  • Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
  • Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
  • Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
  • Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, and depression)?

Other Symptoms Include:

• Failed attempts to control behaviour
• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities
• Neglecting friends and family
• Neglecting sleep to stay online
• Being dishonest with others
• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behaviour
• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

The categories of internet addiction includes: (reference: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Internet_addiction)

  • Sex – the person uses the Internet to look at, download or swap pornography or to engage in casual cybersex with other users. This results in neglect of their real-world sex life with their partner or spouse.
  • Relationships – the person uses chat rooms to form online relationships (‘online dating’) at the expense of spending time with real-life family and friends. This could include having online affairs (‘cyber adultery’).
  • Games – this can include spending excessive amounts of time playing games, gambling, shopping or trading. This can lead to severe financial troubles.
  • Information – the user obsessively searches for and collects information.
  • Social networking addiction – includes the desire to constantly monitor social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This includes constantly updating profile posts and checking messages to inform friends of what you are doing at the present moment.

Cause: Now as per the various researches there can be many things that can actually cause this addiction. Some of the reasons can be as follows:

  • Personality issues – the user may have personality issues that make them likely to become dependent on a range of things – such as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, other drugs or the Internet – given the right circumstances.
  • Shyness – people who are shy in real-life situations may be drawn to the anonymity of the Internet and believe they can be their ‘true selves’ when online.
  • Biochemical responses – the person’s brain responds to the online rewards with ‘feel good’ chemicals and this biochemical ‘high’ encourages dependence.
  • Escapism – the Internet is so absorbing that the user can forget about their problems or escape negative emotions while online. Because it makes them feel better, it encourages them to turn to the Internet more and more for relief.
  • Instant gratification – search engines help users find what they want quickly – for example information, gambling opportunities or pornography. This instant gratification encourages them to stay online.

Our brain like our other body parts is always changing the way it works with changes in our activities. Our dependency on technology is reshaping our personality and wiring of our brain. Our brain is always adjusting to new things in life and how we are looking at the information in our daily life. “The deeper a technology is woven into the patterns of everyday life, the less choice we have about whether and how we use that technology,” Mr. Carr wrote in a recent blog post on the topic.

In today society students feel lonelier if they haven’t got their smart phone with them even when they are constantly surrounded by thousands of other fellow students. This seems to become big issues with the ability to communicate face to face and causing anxiety in people. We need to look into it and I would say that we bloggers spend a lot of time writing which is a very effective tool to focus on one topic and helps reduce internet addiction in case we are able to write without feeling the need to check our emails or browsing the internet every few minutes. Check out some self-help on the same.

Self-Help: In this situation you might want to use some self-help

  • Take note of your symptoms – for example, keep track of your behaviour, thoughts and feelings.
  • Think about why you use the Internet so much. What makes you go online? Is there a real problem you’re not facing up to?
  • Brainstorm (think about) other ways to cope with your problem that don’t involve the Internet. Choose some that will work and put them into practice.
  • Use relaxation methods like deep breathing or meditation to manage anxiety symptoms.
  • Rediscover the neglected areas of your life – for example, socialise with friends, make love to your partner, take your children to the beach, get out and be active.
  • Seek professional help if necessary.
Advertisements

32 comments on “I am not a drug addict or a smoker but I think I am becoming Internet addict and looks like it’s even more dangerous as its changing the way my brain works…Do you feel the same?

  1. All tools/technologies of different eras exist for different purposes and reasons…let’s just strive to use them for all the good and correct reasons.

    Thank you for sharing this insightful topic, my friend…Cheers!!

    • so true dear..you just said it correct but too much of anything is just not right and I think that’s where we are not smart enough to take a decision..may everyone get this insight and we can save ourselves from over doing things 🙂 I am glad that you liked it dear

  2. What a compelling post. I have written a similar one one of the sites I contribute to and do think of the Internet activity as an addiction for some people. The problem is made larger by the fact there are many portable devices, which means we can access the Internet even outside the home or office. Good details in your post!

    • Hi Christy,

      So nice to see your reply dear…thanks a lot and I guess we both are concern of this same issue. As its difficult to control these days…specially looking at the next generation they dont even know the world without these devices so they have no idea what is the possibility to use the time without cell phone etc…I feel sad for them at times..even though they are more smart because of information but some times have no clue what actual communication or face to face talk is really…

  3. what i see a lot of is many (seems like “most”) people’s obsession with their hand-held devices — usu. iPhones, i-anything, things like that. i hope i will always pay more attention to “what is out there” rather than some electronic device …

    • so true dear…its hard to resist when have access to so much of information…but we need to be very cautious not to fall in this trap of technology and make sure we use it for our own good..thanks for the reply dear

  4. i guess i am lucky, some of what you describe above i felt the first year of owning a computer. as with most things new to an individual one finds it hard to stop, time flys, others neglected however, as i used the internet more i found just for specific items like research and hocky. chat rooms are boring as is facebook but these are my opinion and i realized not all feel this way. cheers

  5. One of the saddest things to see….is a couple having dinner at a restaurant, and one of them is on the phone the whole time talking to someone else. The internet is a good tool as long as we don’t forget the connections that we need to nurture with the people who are (physically) around us.

    • Such a classic example..same is with friends as well when there is a bunch of people meeting and still on phone ..its funny to watch that but its really sad as u did say …because in trying to be close to everyone we are loosing connection to the dear ones 😦

  6. Believe it or not, I had to confront and deal with this tendency way back in 1994 when the internet was completely text-based! (The internet’s first graphical user interface, or GUI, was called Mosaic and was in development then, followed by Netscape and then the others we know now.) It might be hard to imagine the internet being addictive when it was all text and command-driven, but it was! I had to be on it a lot due to my work in graduate school (library and information studies) and part of what we studied was the way the internet culture can take over. We were taught “technology is a good servant but a poor master” and were warned it would only get worse when pictures and videos could be downloaded in seconds. At the time it sounded like a space-age dream, but here we are!

    I do find that I have to limit my time online. Blogging has meant that I have almost no time for other network sites. The plus side is that once can stay connected with others even when circumstances (such as illness in family members) might normally lead to some isolation. Your warnings are well heeded; thanks for bringing this up.

    • So true Julia….I just wrote a reply and lost it…I feel so bad after writing a whole lot when you loose it..technology does frustate u at times…I totally agree with you that technology is better serving our needs and when it does not overtake our life and leads the way …but I feel for the teenagers these days as they have no clue what life was without these devices and they are loosing the balance in life at times due to this.

      Lovely to hear back from you dear Julia.. 🙂 Keep in touch

  7. Studies have shown that the internet does change the way our brains work. I was probably addicted a few years ago when I lived in a very remote place, but I have cut back my use since then. I have no social media accounts anymore. After the initial panic, I felt SO much better. Now my only online presence is WordPress, because it’s a creative activity. Good luck to you!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience dear….I can imagine what you wud have been feeling as I am going through that as of now since I have got my smart phone and I have made sure that I do not take internet connection on this so that it only works at home and not outside …I get up with my phone and sleep with it I am feeling these days…its so addictive..I now know why people leave facebook and other medias at time.. 🙂 I might do it one day !

  8. I was definitely addicted to a game through Facebook but since working on my blog, I rarely make it back to the game anymore … and when I do, I find it very boring which I take as a sign that I’m no longer addicted 🙂 I’ll probably never leave Facebook because, for some friends and family members, it is the only way we stay in touch. Games are really my downfall so I just avoid them. In fact, on Facebook, I block invites to games so I won’t even be tempted 🙂
    At least you recognize that you feel “addicted” and are trying to control it. So many people don’t!

    • Thank you so much dear for writing about your experience here..and it is so true …so many people send me game request all the time..but fortunately I haven’t gone down that path so far..although I do use internet for work and everything else as well to this extent that I have started getting neck problem sitting on computer all the time really…and I am trying to make sure I rather go and meet people then chatting at times and even blogging that have been my passion..lately I have cut back on it a little if I reach home after 10 or 11 pm then unlike old times I rather try to relax n go to bed …otherwise in old times I would end up staying till 2 or 3 AM in the morning reading posts or posting something at times…hope we all get the balance with this ..and I am glad that you found urself out of gaming addiction dear 🙂

      Have a wonderful and keep in touch 🙂

  9. Nice post that clearly addresses the issue! I’ve just writen a post on it myself as it’s an area I feel particularly strong about! I think unfortunately there is far too much money to be made via exploting our vulnerabilies as humans, and the internet is a great portal for this. The first stage is acknowledging that misuse is an issue, and then tackling this with educaion on correct use.

    • Hey Adam…very nice to meet you here and your blog seems to be very interesting as I am also reading a little bit about human behaviour and why we function and react in certain manner at times…As of now I am focusing on Sigmond’s theory to start with to understand the basics..but I want to know more about how can we reset the impressions of past if that includes bad experiences,..any insight you would like to share?

      • Hey, Thank you! I’m personally drawn to the idea of behaviourism and cognitive psychology (see work by skinner as a starting point if you’re interested). The combination of what cognition’s we hold along with the effects of our behaviour is an attractive model for behaviour in my opinion, although can oversimplify things at times.

  10. Kavita — you are so spot on. I have experienced some of these symptoms as well. Right now I am exhausted but I’m not heading to bed because I haven’t had my “fix” today. Thank you so much for sharing this information and for being so candid! I think I might go to bed now….

    • oh wow..so good to know this dear that this post helped you in any ways at all…and yes please do take care of urself as I am the same and many times give up health for being online..specially facebook…I spend so much time looking at the updates and mostly are not even important really…I trying hard now though to make sure I do not overlook my health and keep check on my habit..all the best dear..and May we all get the right sense to use internet!

  11. I’m definitely not addicted to the internet, no. Can easily give it a break!

    Yet, this was very interesting reading.

  12. I’m not addicted however, if the internet was to stop in the entire country say tomorrow…i would feel pretty lost. I guess i depend on the internet a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s