Tag Archives: internet-addiction

Is Internet Addiction Real?

A few hours ago, Duodave posted an an interesting discussion on our LockerGnome Q&A site. He wonders if online addictions are real or something made up by professionals. I’m here to tell you that Internet addiction is very real. It can cause your health, relationships and work performance to deteriorate if you don’t realize you have a problem and work to overcome it.

An Internet (or Facebook!) addiction becomes evident when you begin to neglect the people and things in life which demand your attention. You spend much less time with your family. Work project may go undone or be turned in late. Sleep deprivation becomes the norm. Activities which used to give you pleasure are dumped in favor of staring at the computer screen longer.

For some people, losing themselves in online forums, blogs and social networks is a way to escape harsh circumstances in life. Does this sound familiar? It’s the same reason that many turn to drugs and alcohol. Life can be difficult to deal with sometimes, eh? Unfortunately, there are those who cannot find a way to cope. Instead, they find ways to mask the pain or anger. Internet addictions are much cheaper than using illegal substances or drinking yourself into a stupor. The worst part is that these people don’t realize that an addiction of this sort is just as destructive.

Just like substance abuse, addiction to the computer can be difficult to overcome. Users don’t want to leave the “safety” of their online identity. They may be reluctant to even admit they have a problem or not know what to do to fix it. These people don’t have to throw their computers out of a window, they simply need to learn how to balance their Internet usage with their physical life.

The first thing they will need to do is to figure out the underlying cause. What is going on around them that drove them to bury themselves in the virtual world? There needs to be a solid support network – don’t criticize or blame them. Offer to help… figure out other outlets for their stress, sadness or anger. Assist them in finding alternative solutions. Give them guidelines to use while cutting back on time spent online – even if they are an adult. They will need some type of structured plan in order to be successful without having to give up their social life on the web completely.

I am by no means a doctor or therapist. I am just some dude who happens to work and play online. However, I am very careful to balance all of that with other activities. I know all too well how easy it is to become caught up in what’s going on behind my computer screen. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve lost track of time when I’ve come across something interesting and then had to pull myself away. The key is balance, my friends. Moderate yourself just as you would with anything that could be harmful to your health and well-being.

Why Does the Internet Depress Teenagers?

According to a recent study, spending too much time on the Internet can lead to depression in teenagers. Those who use the Internet pathologically are 2.5 times more likely to become severely depressed. More than a thousand Chinese students were evaluated in this study. Those who spent more than five hours per day (some spent up to ten a day) surfing around online showed agitation when away from their computer. They also displayed little interest in socialization and human interaction.

I am not a doctor, psychiatrist or any other type of medical expert. However, those brief statements don’t sound like depression to me. It sounds more like an Internet addiction. Whether these kids were addicted or depressed – spending five to ten hours per day on the Internet isn’t healthy for any young person. Teens need human interaction – they need to hang out with people, participate in some type of activity and spend more time with their family. Hopefully most of you out there who are parents don’t let your kids spend this many hours per day surfing around the ‘net.

Are You Addicted to the Internet?

There was an interesting post over on Lockergnome today, asking whether you are addicted to the Internet. There’s even a link to a quiz so that you can find out if you are!

I could sit here and crack jokes about how addicted I am to the Internet. In reality, though, it’s not a laughing matter. There is a tremendous difference between spending a lot of time doing what you love – and being utterly and helplessly addicted to it. Internet addiction is a reality, and it’s growing at an alarming rate. People who are addicted to the web are becoming obsessed with what they do there to the point that they ignore their “real” life, their responsibilities, and often their health. Marriages have broken up due to this. People have lost jobs due to this. Kids have been suspended from school because of this. It’s scary, and it’s real.

So, I ask you – are YOU addicted to the Internet? Have you taken the quiz, and read your results? When and where do you draw the line between having fun, and tumbling into an addiction? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

Today on our downloads site, you’ll find several applications for both Windows and Mac. Heck, you might even find something for your mobile phone!

Do You Spend too Much Time on the Internet?

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That horrible sound I make at the beginning of this video represents time being sucked out of our day by spending too much time on the Internet. If you’re trying to manage your time, you should consider trying this service that I found.

KeepMeOut is designed to help you manage the time that you spend on any given website(s) you choose. Enter a web address of a site that is a time-sucker for you, such as Facebook, Twitter or even Geeks. Bookmark the KeepMeOut alias that is created, and only navigate to that site(s) by using the new bookmark. KeepMeOut will warn you if you have visited the site more than once in the time period you specified (such as 60 minutes, etc).

Why would I do this? Well, if I know that I am addicted to a site that is sucking up too much of my time, I can use KeepMeOut to keep me in check. I can walk away and do something else. Wicket, for instance, has a serious addiction to his Facebook account. I’ve had to install KeepMeOut just to get time on my own computer!

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