Are you addicted to the internet?
Does your hand reach out for your phone first thing when you wake up? Do you excessively play games online? Has shopping online become a daily activity? Are you compulsively checking social media every few minutes? If you nodded yes to any or all of the questions, you may want to read on.
The Internet has turned our lives upside down. It has transformed communication to such an extent that it is now our favored means of daily communication. We use the Internet in almost everything we do. Order a pizza, buy a TV, share a moment with a friend, or send a message with a photo. Before the Internet, if one wanted to follow the news, one had to go to the newsstand in the morning and buy a local edition that reported what had happened the day before. Nevertheless, today, one or two mouse clicks are enough to get the latest information from the local newspaper and any news source from anywhere in the world.
Particularly in the wake of the pandemic, the internet seems to have ingrained itself into every possible aspect of our lives. To the point where our livelihood even depends on it due to work from home becoming a common phenomenon. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have gained importance, and it has become necessary to choose a good one. Cox, a leading ISP, has come forward with economical and reliable packages to ensure fast connectivity. Cox internet plans are suitable and are customizable according to your requirements. High-speed internet is a necessity now, and higher bandwidth is a cherry on top.
However, this brings forward the idea that the internet is fast becoming an addiction, to the point where it is now named the “Internet Addition Disorder,” more commonly known as the Compulsive Internet Use (CIU).
The worrying thing about this state is that when you suffer from it, you are ceaselessly surrounded by technology. The internet has taken over in the digital era today. Much of what we do, as the general population, is doable online. Cannot find the right shirt in the store? Do not fret- the Internet is here! Do you want to order pizza? Why call? Order it online! Cannot call a friend at 3 am to play a video game? I bet someone around the world is awake and ready to play! This is why this condition can be so dangerous, even in terms of treatment. It is hard to live in these days of internet loss. It encircles us all the time and most of us use it every day.
Generally, Internet Addiction Disorder falls into several categories. The most commonly recognized classifications of Internet addiction include video games, social media, e-mail, blogging, online shopping, and inappropriate use of Internet pornography. Some researchers suggest that what is particularly problematic is not the time a person spends on the Internet, but how they use the Internet. However, the risk of using the Internet can be just as important as the time spent.
What causes CUI
As with most cases, the exact cause of an internet addiction disorder is unlikely to be determined. This condition is characterized by several concomitant factors.
There is also some evidence that if you are addicted to the Internet, your brain is wired in the same way as people with chemical addictions such as alcohol or drugs. Interestingly, some research has linked internet addiction to physical changes in brain structure that specifically affect the amount of gray and white matter in the prefrontal areas of the brain. This part of the brain is associated with remembering details, focusing attention, planning, and prioritizing tasks.
It is believed that one of the causes of internet addiction disorder is that structural changes in the prefrontal area of the brain impair your ability to prioritize your life, preventing you from prioritizing your life i.e. the internet takes precedence over the daily life activities.
Types of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction is a wide-ranging term that covers a variety of behavioral and impulse control problems associated with the Internet, PC, and mobile technology. Although there are no officially accepted standards for diagnosing Internet addiction, researchers have identified some subcategories of specific sorts of computer and Internet addiction.
This is a relatively new and progressively troubling category, under the general diagnosis of internet addiction. Net compulsion is associated with compulsive online gambling, addiction to online auctions, or compulsively trading stock online.
These habits can damage financial constancy and interrupt work responsibilities. Spending or losing too much money can also cause stress in a relationship. With direct and easy access to online casinos and shops, it becomes easy for those who are already addicted to gambling to become addicted to the Internet.
Cyber or those addicted to online relationships are busy discovering and sustaining online relationships and often forget and neglect family and friends in real life. Usually, online relationships are formed in chat rooms or on various social networking sites, but they can be formed anywhere you can intermingle with people online.
Getting addicted to virtual social life and personality may leave a person with inadequate social skills and impractical anticipations when it comes to face-to-face interaction. Often this results in an inability to connect with the real world, which in turn makes people more dependent on their internet connections. Counseling or therapy are frequently needed to treat this addiction and bring about long-lasting behavioral change.
Video game usage and addiction severity have increased significantly during and after the post-COVID-19 pandemic, especially among teenagers. Researchers discovered that computer game obsession became a problem in particular settings. Office workers spent an unreasonable amount of time on these games, which led to a noticeable drop in productivity. Today, not only are the classic games but thousands of new ones are also available, and the state of addiction to computer games is as widespread and destructive as ever.
Many researchers question whether internet overuse is an addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or impulse control disorder. Regardless, the internet should not rule your life or the life of someone you love. Consider researching more to find the right path forward, but also remember not to wait too long before taking action to fix the addiction, if identified. Time is a precious thing, and you cannot sacrifice too much on technology tools designed to help us.