Excessive Internet Use in Canada: A Legitimate Addiction or Compulsive Behaviour?

A couple of decades ago, you may never even have imagined that there would be such a term as Internet addiction.

Today, however, as the popularity of the World Wide Web has increased in all parts of the globe & Canada being no exception, the term Internet addiction has been coined.

Understanding Internet Addiction

Just as it is with any other forms of addiction, Internet addiction can be described as a compulsion to access the Internet in such a way that it interferes with your normal, social and personal life. No matter which aspect it is that you find interesting – be it the social networking sites, shopping sites, gambling sites or adult sites – there will be something on the Internet that triggers you to be addicted to it.

Legitimate Addiction or Compulsive Behavior?

However, researchers have debated that it is not the Internet per se which causes individuals to exhibit addictive patterns.

Instead, it is the high or the rush of whatever site it is that they are visiting.

For example, an Internet addict who spends ten hours or so browsing through shopping sites may actually be a compulsive shopper. A man who spends solitary hours in front of his computer to play at online gambling sites is actually a compulsive gambler.

Whether it is the thought of going online itself, or the compulsion to visit a particular type of site that a person is addicted to, the important thing to note is that such a possibility exists.

Social Implications

As a result of Internet addiction, a person who is supposed to be going on a night out with friends is seeking virtual communities online instead. This addiction to such a solitary activity like Internet usage is not healthy to your social growth as an individual. For those who are addicted to online shopping or gambling sites, financial problems will also result to this compulsive behavior.

Getting Help

If you believe that you or a person close to you might be exhibiting signs of Internet addiction, it is best to seek the help of a general practitioner or a psychologist so that the problem can be addressed immediately.

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