Most of us like to use the Internet to check emails, see what is going on in the world and do a bit of shopping from time to time, but what if the Internet is taking over your life? Is there such a thing as being addicted to the Internet?
What is an addiction?
An addiction is defined as being addicted to something to such an extent that it can have a negative impact on your health or life; people who are addicted to something continue to use and act in the same way despite the fact that they know that their addiction is having a harmful effect on their life. Common addictions include alcohol and drugs, but there are hundreds of different addictions.
Internet addiction is becoming increasingly popular, especially as people now have 24 hour access to the Internet as a result of portable devices and hand-held tablets, iPods and mobile phones with online access. Gone are the days of using the computer in the spare room or study to write a coupe of emails or do a bit of work; nowadays, people are constantly in touch with the online world and many people surf the net from their couches, on the train home and even from their beds.
What kind of impact can an addiction to the Internet have?
An addiction to the Internet can have implications for your health and your social life; if you are always online, you have little time to do anything else and the Internet becomes a priority over your work, home life and social life. Relationships can really suffer as a result of any addiction; if you’re addicted to the Internet, your partner may feel unwanted and neglected and they may find it difficult to communicate with you or understand why you are so eager to spend all your time online.
Internet addiction can also affect your health; many people who use the Internet a lot go to bed very late and even then, their minds are filled with thoughts related to what they have been doing online for several hours that day and this can affect sleep quality. If you suffer from sleep disturbances or you are not getting enough sleep, this can affect your concentration, your performance at work and your mood; many people find that they become irritable when they haven’t had enough sleep and this has a major strain on relationships, which may already be under pressure.
What can be done?
There are various options for addressing addictions, including therapy and counselling, making changes to your lifestyle and routine and hypnotherapy. Relationship counselling can also be very beneficial for people who are experiencing difficulties in their relationship as a result of addiction.