Internet addiction is on the rise. You can see it around you. Even in groups, individuals choose to be alone, buried in their smartphones chatting with someone they’ve never seen and probably never will. The same scene greets your eyes in restaurants. Earlier family outings to theaters and restaurants were an occasion for strengthening the family bond. Today, this bond is taken for granted as people choose vacuous chats over sharing laughter with near and dear ones.
You can see it in schools and colleges; youngsters being exposed to a world that they are not quite ready for, but one that is easily placed within their reach, courtesy the internet.
It’s an addiction, no doubt. What are the reasons for this addiction? What are its harmful effects? What’s the way out?
The reasons for internet addiction are the proliferation of hand-held devices and easy availability of high-speed internet. Free Wi-Fi hotspots attract folks who think nothing of whiling their time away surfing the net. Parents, too, are not fully aware of the dangers of letting their wards explore the internet. It quickly becomes addictive, all the information, games, cartoons, movies, and of course, friends on social media. Peer pressure plays a role. You don’t want to feel left out of a group that plans its escapades and meetings on social media and chat applications.
Internet addiction is harmful, no doubt. At the very least, it eats into your time. You can accomplish a lot of productive work in the time you surf the net aimlessly. The information is out there, but do you really need to learn about black holes and look up the lyrics of a song when you have an assignment to deliver the next morning? Spending excessive time online opens you to the risk of phishing and identity theft attacks. Unsavory characters can befriend you, place you in a compromising position, and then blackmail you. Whatever you do online leaves a footprint. These footprints often lead to sites that you’d have a hard time explaining should the information become known. Potential employers trawl forums and chat rooms, and look up social media profiles of candidates. You place yourself at needless risk by visiting disreputable portals online.
The first step in curbing and controlling internet addiction to realize that you are spending an unhealthy amount of time online. Take stock of your life, and understand your priorities. Do you need to be on the zillion social networks and chat groups that keep pinging you every now and then? Is your business forcing you to spend too much time online? Curtain your online activities in a gradual manner and supplant these with wholesome activities in the real world. Talk with your friends and family about your addiction.
You will experience some kind of withdrawal, plan for it and see it through. You will feel the impulse to visit your favorite site – porn, chats, forums, etc. Resist the impulse. In time, it will weaken and if you keep your guard up, it will soon yield in front of your willpower.
Parents of minors should take a gentle but firm approach in regulating the time kids spend online.
In order to learn more about internet addiction and the clinical approach in dealing with it, get in touch with Hired Power. Our mental health experts will counsel you on how to kick this addiction. Call us today. 800-910-9299
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