When things in life aren’t going exactly the way we planned, sometimes we want the nearest exit. Some people unfortunately abuse alcohol, drugs or choose some other method just to get away from it all. Internet addiction is another way to escape problems and it is very real. I’m not just talking visting a few websites or mindless surfing on occasion, this is hours upon hours of endless, mindless surfing, emailing, facebook and twitter checking, shopping even blogging. Many times, I found myself on my computer into the wee hours of the morning visiting website after website just to get away from what the real problem was. My career (or lack thereof) was constantly on my mind and I felt like I’d lost control. Although this problem has been at the center of debate regarding whether or not this is a real disorder by the medical community, it will soon be classified as a mental illness and has been termed IAD (Internet Addiction Disorder) by some sources. Below are a few helpful tips that will help to identify and hopefully curb this compulsion:
- Persistently losing track of time
- Isolating yourself from friends and family
- Neglecting your job or chores that need to be attended to
- Feeling guilty and depressed over the amount of time you spend online
- Feeling a rush of joy everytime you log on
If you are experiencing any of the above, accept that there is a problem and record the amount of time you spend on the internet. Seeing that in writing can have a powerful affect.
Set goals as far as how long you will spend on the internet i.e. 30 or 60 minutes a day. If that is too challenging, try scaling back in the beginning until you reach your target goal.
Talk to someone about the problem, you never know who might be having the same experience you are.
Try to identify the real problem, oftentimes addictions are born out of stress, fear or anxiety over a particular situation. A balanced diet and a great workout always keeps me from having a meltdown!
Below is a link to a quiz that can help gauge if your internet use is normal or needs some tweaking!