Mention the phrase Internet addiction to a teenager who is extremely familiar with the workings of the online community and disbelief might be the first reaction that get.
However, the reality is that there is such a thing as Internet addiction.
Just like all the other types of addiction, Internet addicts feel anxiety at the thought of not being able to go online. Whenever they are in front of the computer, they tend to forget their social, personal and professional obligations.
Since browsing the Internet is a solitary activity, the social growth of an individual who is addicted to the Internet is stunted.
5 Quick Questions to Ask Yourself
If you think that you or someone close to you is a ‘candidate’ for Internet addiction, consider the following 5 questions:
#1 – Do you often find yourself spending more time online than you intended? For example, if you only have one hour free to go online because there is another appointment that you need to keep on the next hour – and you missed the appointment due your preoccupation to the Internet, this could be a sign of addiction.
#2 – Do you prefer the company of the internet to ‘real’ people? If you prefer to browse through social websites instead of spending time with your real friends in the outside world, you might be an Internet addict.
#3 – Do you neglect other duties in favor of being online? Neglecting household chores, outside obligations, or other tasks may be a sign of internet addiction.
#4 – Are you defensive when asked about what you are doing online? If you frequently cover up or minimize when explaining the amount of time you spend online, there could be trouble brewing.
#5 – Do you become overly annoyed if you are disturbed in the middle of an online session? Do you become irritated if you are disturbed while online? If so, this is another warning sign
If you are an Internet addict, it means that your Internet usage is not on a healthy level anymore. The compulsion to go online negatively affects your life in general.
If you would like to know whether you are addicted to the Internet, you should carefully consider the above questions. If you feel that there is a need for you to be cured of your Internet addiction, you can consult a psychologist or a general practitioner for help.
For a more comprehensive test, check out our Canadian IAT (Internet Addiction Test) here.