The internet has and continues to provide billions of information to its users. The availability of information can be used for both constructive and deconstructive use. However, there is a growing phenomenon of internet addiction among users due to the increasing advancements in telecommunication technology and its availability. Addiction to the internet tends to change the life style of the user (Weinstein and Lejoyeux, 2010). With several hours been spent by a user on the internet, internet addiction is developed with the user minimizing other activities undertaken prior to the use of the internet. Activities such as interactions with others, jobs and other personal activities are neglected to the use of the internet. There is a high tendency for a user who is addicted to the internet to suffer so mental and physical health setbacks.
The article evaluates the causes of internet addiction, its effects to the individual and suggests ways of overcoming and managing internet addiction.
Explanation and Insight (Causes) of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction is associated with an individual been preoccupied with the internet. This tends to be associated with the individual having thoughts about previous activities when the user was online. There is also the usual anticipation of going back online and the expectations of the next online session (Beard, 2005).
Internet addiction can also be associated with the increasing number of times and the longer duration spent online to achieve some level of satisfaction.
In the bid to overcome internet addiction, there tends to be a repeated and unsuccessful effort to control cut down and stop the usage of internet. There are psychological effects that results from the feeling of restlessness, moodiness, depression and irritability when access to the internet is reduced (Caplan, 2002). In some cases, there tends to be a longer stay online than the originally stipulated time and intended time.
Internet addiction tends to also lead to the risked loss of significant relationships, job, career opportunities and education as a result of the use of the internet. The use of the internet leading to internet addiction has the chance for the individual to sacrifice daily activities and prioritize the use of the internet to other commitments (Caplan, 2002).
Internet addiction has been identified to lead individuals in such conditions to lie to other important people in their lives in order to conceal their activities online as well as their duration online.
Effects of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction leads to personal, family, academics, financial and job related problems that can be associated with other addictions (Griffiths, 2003). There are usually impairments of real life relationships resulting in disruptions due to the excessive usage of the internet and internet addiction. There is also a high chance of preference to live in solitude as well as interact with other people in real life. This leads to such individuals been branded as socially awkward. Internet addiction also leads to distrust as individuals tend to lie about their activities online and the times spent online. These have the chance to negatively affect the quality of life and relationship enjoyed previously.
Beard (2005) explained that Internet addiction leads to people creating online profiles that enable them change their identities to suit a fantasy. This has the chance of people also creating and leaving a secret life style. In some cases, there is the chance of building a low self – esteem that leads to fear of been bullied and sidelined. In some cases, these lead to clinical problems such as depression and anxiety.
Internet addiction also comes with associated medical conditions such as physical discomfort from sitting for longer periods, dry eyes, backaches, and severe headaches, irregularities associated with eating such as skipping meals; poor personal hygiene; and poor sleep patterns.
Ways to Overcome and Manage Internet Addiction
Overcoming internet addiction can be very challenging and requires the individual undertaking some level of commitment to overcome the addiction. According to Weinstein and Lejoyeux (2010), the first step to fighting internet addiction is admitting that the individual has the problem. It is imperative to also seek for professional help.
Subsequently, Beard (2005) explained the need to joint programs that help resolve internet addiction. Such programs provide support and counseling services for such individuals whilst ensuring individuals progress from such addictions.
The article aimed to find the causes of internet addiction, its effects to the individual and suggests ways of overcoming and managing internet addiction. Internet addiction was identified to come with several challenges and effects. Internet addiction also comes with associated medical conditions such as physical discomfort from sitting for longer periods, dry eyes, backaches, and severe headaches, irregularities associated with eating such as skipping meals; poor personal hygiene; and poor sleep patterns. Internet addiction can also be associated with the increasing number of times one stays online not for business but for some other reasons and the longer duration spent online to achieve some level of satisfaction. Internet addiction leads to personal, family, academics, financial and job related problems that can be associated with other addictions.
The availability and usage of the internet must be curtailed to help reduce the increasing cases of internet addiction. Also, there is the need for more awareness to be created about the abuse of the internet; its subsequent addiction and effects.
If you are a student at London School of Management Education (LSME) and you are negatively addicted to the internet, please contact your lecturers and facilitators for support on how to overcome this addiction.
Hope to see you next week with another interesting article.
Please share this article with a friend or pal who is addicted to the internet and needs some support.
- Beard, K. W (2005). Internet addiction: A review of current assessment techniques and potential assessment questions. Cyber Psychology & Behavior. 2005. Feb; 8 (1); pp 7 – 14.
- Caplan, S. E (2002). Problematic internet use and psychosocial well – being: Development of a theory – based cognitive – behavioral measurement instrument. Computers in Human behavior. 18: 553 – 575.
- Griffiths, M. D (2003). Internet abuse in the workplace – Issues and concerns for employers and employment counselors. Journal of employment counseling, 40. Pp 87 – 96.
- Kaltiala – Heinoo, R. Lintonen, T and Rimpela, A (2004). Internet addiction: Potentially problematic use of the internet in a population of 12 – 18 year – old adolescents. Addiction Research and theory, 12, pp 89 – 96.
- Weinstein, A and Lejoyeux, M (2010). Internet addiction or excessive Internet use. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 2010. Aug. 36 (5); 277 – 283.