Cyber Wellness - Internet Addiction

Chapter 5
State the symptoms and effects of internet addiction

Hmm, seems like the chapter is getting more and more interesting but I doubt it would last long.

What is “internet addiction”?

Addiction is a compulsion to repeat a behaviour regardless of its consequences. Internet addiction refers to any online-related compulsive behaviour that interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on the individual. It is a disorder similar to gambling. Addicts do not regard the internet as just an information and communication tool nor for enjoyment but they use internet as a means to escape from their problems while they spend time online like alcoholics when they drink.

There are various types of Internet Addiction in the following forms:
  1. Cyber-relational Addiction - Individuals spending excessive time on chat rooms, instant messaging, or social networking sites, become over-involved in online relationships or may even engage in virtual adultery. Those who are lonely or have low self-esteem will seek for companionship in the virtual environment and neglect reality. There is also a tendency for real life relationships with family and friends to be replaced with online friendships.
  2. Gaming Addiction - Online gaming addiction is an addiction to online video games, role-playing games, or any interactive gaming environment available through the Internet. The collaborative or competitive nature of working with or against other players in strategy-based internet games makes it difficult for players to take a break.
  3. Net Addiction - The wealth of data on the Internet gives rise to a new type of compulsive behaviour involving excessive web surfing and database searches. Individuals are so obsessed with data gathering that they spend a lot of time searching, collecting and organizing online information.
There is actually one more where the book forget to specify "Shopping addiction"!

Symptoms of internet addiction

  • Frequent thoughts about previous online activity
  • Anxiously waiting for next online session
  • Observable increase in the amount of time spent on the internet for satisfaction
  • On stopping internet use, they may experience feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression or irritability
  • Neglecting schoolwork
  • Lying to friends and family about computer use
  • Dropping out of other social groups (clubs or sports) and neglecting friends when they choose to use the computer
Most common activities that suffer because of excessive computer/internet use:
  • Time with family
  • Social events
  • Reading
  • Watching T.V.
  • Time with friends
  • Exercise
  • Hobbies (gardening, woodworking, sewing, etc.)
  • Sleep
There are several self-assessment tests available on the internet to test if you are a internet addict, try asking Mr. Google :)

Strategies to prevent internet addiction

Internet is no longer a luxury but a necessity in our society. That is why it is important to exercise control over internet usage and reduce time spent online to cope with internet addiction.

Below are some strategies to prevent internet addiction:
  • Keep the computer in a place accessible to all be it at home or in school where monitoring internet usage is easy
  • Set a time limit for internet use
  • Encourage to engage in other social activities
  • Participate in internet safety programs designed by community groups
  • Explore ways to surf the Internet more efficiently
  • Find yourself some other hobbies which include outdoor activities or just activities outside your house.
Stop internet addiction is good but I hope you don't get yourself into any other bad addiction.

Declaration: I mean no harm or infringement of copyright, am re-posting to share and create awareness on Cyber Wellness only.
Source: ITE Cyber Wellness Notes

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