Internet addiction, social media addiction
In the space of a generation, the internet has gone from being a novelty and a rarity on everyday households to the most comprehensive tool in modern life. In Britain, we spend around 40% of our waking day is spent looking at screens, with much of that time being connected online.
So, when does excessive screen time and internet usage become a problem?
Habit versus addiction
Unlike alcohol or drug dependency, internet addiction is a little harder to pin down conclusively as a problem issue, when so many of us spend so much time online as part of our daily life.
Visiting the same websites every day is an example of a habit, whereas struggling to stop engaging with a certain online activity, such as social media, news sites, or gaming, could be a sign of addiction.
Can you be addicted to being online?
However, if your usage of the internet is compulsive and results in the kinds of symptoms usually associated with addiction, then there is a good chance you may have a problem.
What are the consequences?
Internet addiction is about far more than wasting time or procrastination.
Your problematic relationship with the web can cause myriad mental and social symptoms, including;
- Mood swings
- Breakdown of close relationships
- Poor performance at work or school
As well as physical issues associated with computer and phone use, such as;
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Poor personal hygiene
- Vision issues
- Weight gain or loss
Getting professional help
Luckily, there is help out there, as more and more is gradually being understood about the nature of internet addiction. You could take some of the following steps if you worry that your relationship with the internet is problematic and is affecting your daily life, your health or your relationships.
- Speak to your GP
- Contact an NHS internet addiction clinic
- Consider residential rehabilitation for severe internet addiction
Don’t let your relationship with the internet ruin your health and real-life relationships. Learn about the warning signs of internet addiction now and, if necessary, take action.