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Loneliness - The lonely souls will meet their friends, relatives, and lovers online. It provides a way of connecting to people much faster and cheaper. With the latest technology paying only the internet charge, you can talk and see people who live across the globe. With the increase of dating sites, internet also enables virtual relationships with added privacy to the user.
Social Network Services have invaded the lives of the younger generation today. They are connected to these sites all throughout the day, and with the latest mobile technology, connection on the go is secured too. Things like status updates, writing on the wall, or poking a friend has become important tasks in their 'to-do' list for the day.
Not only these, nowadays search engines have become the 'Mr. Know all' or if you want 'Ms. Know all' for many. They search anything and everything in there. It can be the way to spell a simple word or a recipe or may be how to build a house too! The Internet has become the place where you can find anything whether it is good or bad. With this popularity gained by the Internet, now we have a personal disorder called 'Internet addiction'. Let us take a closer look to see what this disorder is.
Internet addiction defined
Internet overuse, pathological computer use or the problematic use of the computer that interferes with the day-to-day life is defined as the Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). The University of Texas has published some tips to help a person to identify whether he/she is an Internet addict. Read the list below and see if any of these statements actually describes you.
1.You have mixed feelings of well-being 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 to be online
5.You find yourself lying to your boss and family about the amount of time spent on the computer, also about what you do while on it
6 You feel anxious, depressed, or irritable when your computer time is shortened or interrupted
7. You use the computer repeatedly as an outlet when sad, upset, or for gratification.
8. You develop problems in school or on the job because of the time spent and the type of activities accessed on the computer
9. When you are not on the computer, you think about it frequently and anticipate when you will use it again
Cause of internet addiction
In many families, while parents are busy at work, neglected youngsters tend to spend their lonely hours at the computer. Parents also encourage this as a way of keeping their children occupied.
However, did they ever think that internet, the sweet nanny, could also be a monster one day? A habit that started for the convenience of the parents can go to the extent of a personal disorder due to many causes.
Depression - Teenagers tend to face many problems more than the children of other ages. Physical changes, changes in their feelings, and friends can lead to depression.
If there is nobody they can talk to, naturally, they will turn to the internet monster that is disguised as a sweet nanny. Even, the children who are low esteemed or having a history of addictions are also in danger of being internet addicts.
Hunger for information - People, who are always on the lookout for knowledge, will spend hours reading articles related to their favourite subjects. At the end of the day, it may lead to an unorganised life.
Social disorder - Some people find it difficult to interact with others in the real world. They don't get the attention or the respect they want from the others. Then as a result, they turn to the internet to live in their fantasy life online. They build up their own image in this 'internet world'. This affects real life relationships a lot. What if, one-day people stop meeting each other in real life, and then start seeing them online? All shops and cafes will be closed, and then the world will be a boring place to live.
Tips to help
While reading this if you felt this article describes you, do not worry! You are not alone. Many people are addicted to the internet nowadays. Let us give you steps to overcome this addiction. It is not hard to get over this addiction. If you could identify that there is a problem like this, you have solved the problem 50%.
* Try to identify the reasons for the addiction. Go through the causes of addiction again. See if any of those apply to you. If so, treat that first. If you have depression, see a psychiatrist. They will treat you to get you out of the depression.
* Learn how to handle stress. May be stress in school, or work may make you stay on the internet for long hours. Even the angry feelings, those you cannot control, may keep you out of the real world. Learn how to manage those feelings.
* Do you find it difficult to get on with people? Feeling excessively shy or the feeling that you never can understand people may keep you out of real life and enter the virtual world through the internet. Talk to your elders such as parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles who are close to you. They have experienced life more than you. They will tell you what needs to be done.
* Spend more time with your classmates and neighbours. Engage in sports activities or join a volunteering mission, where you can spend time helping people. This may reduce the time you have to spend on the internet
Most of these tips are given here are to try out yourself, but you can also get some outside support as well. Remember, internet addiction is not a crime it is just a disorder. With a little help, you can get over it. If someone you know is an internet addict, help them to find their way out of it. They need your help.