Addiction is most often associated with substances that are injected or taken orally. However, online addiction (also known as technology addiction) is a very dangerous disorder and should be taken seriously.
Online addiction becomes a problem when:
- Relationships are deteriorating due to the individuals need to be online the whole time
- There is a reduction in professional or school performance
- Withdrawal symptoms are felt if the individual does not get online for a certain period of time
The most important aspect in determining if someone has an internet/online addiction is to look at the way that it negatively affects their quality of life.
The 4 components of an Internet addiction
- Negative Consequences – Relationships with the individuals significant others weaken as the Internet takes over quality of life and time.
- Unnecessary time spent online – Internet addicts spent countless hours online and tend to lose track of time while browsing and playing online games. Basic needs may also be forgotten such as eating or sleeping.
- Gratification – The individual will need to spend a certain time online in order to feel satisfied
- Withdrawal portrayals – Feelings of depression and anger will form if the individual cannot be online
Signs of an Internet addiction
- Wanting to be online all the time and thinking about technology 24/7
- Often individuals with an Internet addiction will lie awake at night thinking about what they would like to do online and who they would like to chat too
- Lying about how much time you spend online
- Escaping from negative emotions and feelings from using the Internet
- Experiencing lack of interest in school work or family time
Risks that come from having an Internet addiction
- Lack of performance when it comes to school work
- Lack of interest in social relationships
- The individuals health may be neglected due to not sleeping or eating properly
- Possibility of health disorders developing such as depression
Treatment for Internet addiction
- Studies into Internet addiction disorders have not been studied in detail, however research suggests that group therapy, as well as cognitive and behavioural therapies may assist individuals in limiting their Internet usage and time spent online