Computers and technology have changed the way we live our daily lives. They have become part of our daily routines and have changed the way we socialize. However, with all of the positive effects technology has, there are also the negatives. This is especially true with the internet. The internet is an example of modern technology that provides a tremendous amount of benefits, but also negative side effects. One major side effect of the internet is addiction.
Internet addiction is common among many millennials, and these people do not even realize that they have an addiction. Being addicted to the internet can lead to many side effects which could harm your social, emotional, and physical health.
The first major category of side effects include problems which affect social health. An effect of internet addiction is to be more isolated from family and friends. In today’s day and age, people are spending less time interacting face to face and more time interacting face to screen. This can affect social development between family members and friends. Another example is the imaginary friend. There are online computer games where the player becomes part of an online family. Overtime you have an online wife, dog, and children. It is your second family, a family online, even though you have never made face to face contact with anybody. This is a completely different social environment. What’s bad about having an online virtual family? Nothing really, but in many cases players have neglected time with their actual family to be with their virtual family. This is a social problem developed from internet addiction.
Another category of common internet addiction side effects is in physical health. When a person is using the internet, 99% of the time they are seated or laying down. They could be on their laptop, desktop or mobile device. On average, Americans spend hours every day on a computer. Overtime, this habit leads to improper posture. When you are seated, a lot of people will lean forward in their computer chair towards the screen. This can cause back and neck problems along with disproportionate posture. Also, more time on the computer means less time exercising, which causes weight gain in many people.
One other category is emotional health effects. The internet as changed the way we socialize and it unfortunately has created new ways young people can become depressed. Cyber bullying is an example of something that can cause immense emotional effects in many people. Some teenagers have even committed suicide from cyber bullying.
Lastly, internet addiction can simply lead to bad habits. One example would be procrastination. It is very easy to go on social media and not write an essay for a homework assignment. On the internet there are many distractions taking away your focus from important work. Another thing along with procrastination is losing track of time. When you are playing a game in a virtual world, you can lose track of real time. This may not be good if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. It may seem like a minor side effect of internet addiction, but understand that people lose their jobs because of losing track of time.
Effects from internet addiction can go unnoticed at first, but over the course of years, these effects can change how productive your day is and how healthy of a person you come to be. The best piece of advice is to use your time wisely on the internet. If you are in the habit of staying online for 6 hours a day, try 5 hours a day and continue to limit your time week after week. Internet addiction is common, but just like any habit, it is possible to break it.
Filed Under: Internet, Internet Safety, Social Issues
- Length: 1017 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Internet addiction is a growing problem with more and more people. The internet is much more accessible to people now than it was just a few years ago. The internet provides people with entertainment, loads of information, and an escape from everyday life, but like anything else, too much a good thing can be addictive. This paper will cover what internet addiction is, warning signs of internet addiction, problems caused by internet addiction, who develops internet addiction, preventing and treating internet addiction, and safety guidelines for internet users.
In the modern world internet access is a vital part of everyday life. It is important for education, and is a necessary skill for those entering the job markets of today. The internet is highly entertaining and informative. These qualities make the internet an attractive escape from the stress of everyday life. People can enter a different world and make the problems of the real world disappear. Anything is possible on the internet. Internet addiction has the same symptoms as an addition to drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, or caffeine. When someone becomes addicted to the internet they will have increasing tolerance to the amount of time they spend online, withdrawal, mood changes between when online and off, and there will be an interruption of social relationships and activities. People with an addiction will need more time online to be happy. When access to the internet is not available people will show signs of anxiety, depression, irritability, trembling hands, and restlessness.
There are five types of internet addiction. The first is Net-Gaming. People with this addiction participate in online games, Multi User Dungeon Games (MUDs), will visit virtual casinos, and my become obsessed with e-auctions and online trading and shopping. Another type of internet addiction is Cyber-Relational Addiction. People with this tend to make chat room relationships more important than their relationships with family or friends. They may even try to meet someone personally after meeting him or her online. The third type of internet addiction is Information Overload. People become obsessed with tracking down certain information and organizing it.
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Internet Addiction Internet Use Pathological Online Games Social Relationships Internet Access Everyday Life Real World Dungeon
This could reach obsessive-compulsive levels. The fourth type of internet addiction is Computer Addiction. This is not a true internet addiction but has the same qualities. People with this become obsessed with just being on a computer. The last type of internet addiction is Cybersexual Addiction. People that fall into this category will spend more time viewing, downloading, and trading online pornography. People will participate in online fantasy and role-playing chat rooms. They may even be tempted to send pornographic pictures of themselves to other users.
There are many warning signs of internet addiction. The user will lose track of time while online. They will sacrifice hours of sleep to spend time online. They will become angry when they are interrupted. They will check their email several times a day. They will become irritable when not allowed online. They would rather spend time online than with friends or family. People will lie about the amount of time they have spent on the internet. Relationships online become more important that those with real life friends and family to some people. They start losing interest in activities that they once enjoyed.
Personal, family, academic, financial, and occupational problems are caused by internet addiction. These are the same problems as with any other addiction. Real life relationships are disrupted. People spend more time by themselves. Arguments arise about the amount of time spent online. People will attempt to hind the amount of time they spend online. This causes distrust. Money problems may arise because of shopping online or the service provider.
Not any one type of person is prone to developing internet addiction. People who lack strong relationships with others are more likely to develop the addiction. The internet becomes an escape for those who are already suffering for psychological difficulties, such as, anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. People who have struggled with other addictions may also be more likely to develop an internet addiction.
To prevent or treat internet addiction you should agree on some ground rules. Parents should monitor the amount of time children spend online and should watch for the warning signs. If there are signs of internet addiction, a plan should be worked out to help with the problem. Stopping the use of the internet may not be necessary. Like any other addiction, they may have to stop slowly. Keep a timers or a schedule of the amount of time allowed online near the computer so that they can see when they are online. Make sure that the computer is in a room of the house that has a lot of traffic, like the dinning room or living room. You may need to make a list of activities that the person could do when not online.
There are some safety guidelines for using the internet. Most of them apply to minors but I think that everyone should abide by them as well. You should never reveal your name, address, telephone number or anything that can identify you to someone online. Never send a picture of yourself to someone over the internet or through the mail to someone you met online. You should never make plans to meet someone in real life that you meet online. Always remember that not everyone online may be telling the truth about himself or herself or anything else. A minor should tell a parent or teacher if something that someone says online to them is found offensive, rude, nasty or makes them feel uncomfortable. Don’t pretend to be someone that you not when you talking online. Your password should never be revealed to anyone online.
I hope you learned something about internet addiction through this paper. If someone you know may be addicted to the internet, try to get them some help. Sometimes outside help may be needed. There are internet addiction support groups, but if you can’t fine one close to you, call your local ADD or drug addiction center, they can help with tips to getting over addictions.