Five Signs That You Have An Addiction To The Internet

by Hank

Addiction to the internet, surfing the web, and checking our e-mail is no longer a condition of the young gamer generation. According to Greenfield Online, a consumer and marketing research firm, “out of approximately 83 million internet users in the United States, 11 million suffer from addiction.” Trust me, I understand how you can get lost looking at things on the internet, but sometimes we do not know when to say, “Enough is enough.”

Five Signs That You May Have A Problem…

  1. You have mixed feelings of pleasure and guilt while at the computer.
  2. You make unsuccessful efforts to quit or limit your computer use.
  3. You lose track of time while on the computer.
  4. You neglect friends, family and/or responsibilities in order to be online.
  5. You find yourself lying to your boss and family about the amount of time spent on the computer and what you do while on it.

A Few Extra Signs…

  • You feel anxious, depressed, or irritable when your computer time is shortened or interrupted.
  • You develop problems in school or on the job as a result of the time spent and the type of activities accessed on the computer.
  • When you are not on the computer, you think about it frequently and anticipate when you will use it again.

Source: The University of Texas at Dallas

A person who is “addicted” to the computer is likely to have several of the experiences and feelings on the list above.

Now that you know if you have a problem, what are can you do about it?

Encourage Other Interests. Internet addiction focuses on many people, young and old. Get your loved one out from behind the glow of the computer screen. Encouraging the affected person to pursue other hobbies and activities may help curb the cravings of a computer.

Set Clear Limits & Monitor. Moving the computer into a common area of the house instead of a bedroom can help you monitor how much computer usage is actually occurring. If the addicted person is a child, limiting time online will definitely help. It becomes more of a challenge when the person is older such as a spouse. 

Talk About Underlying Issues. Compulsive computer use can be the sign of deeper problems. Is your loved one having problems fitting in? Has there been a recent major change, like a move or divorce, which is causing stress?

Seek Professional Help. If all else fails, do not be afraid to seek professional counseling if you are concerned about your child or adult loved one. There may also be support groups available in your area as well.

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