The Internet: Past And Present
In the years 2005 to 2009, there was no widespread definition of Internet addiction.
Why choose those years? A couple of reasons:
I can personally remember a distinct period of before and after especially with regards to how people in my age group communicated and their expectations from life.
I can remember a time when Myspace and AOL were social media, blogs were considered a new thing, and everyone had flip phones. There was no real type of clickbait and YouTube was still in its early stages. Many people alive today cannot relate to this experience.
With widespread Internet use, you also get a larger user base. With a larger user base, you are able to easily draw conclusions about how specific things affect a specific population over time. In this case, the population is humanity and the thing is unrestricted Internet access.
As of this writing 4.5 billion people use the Internet on a consistent basis. Thats a large amount of people and obviously any type of large-scale deployment of something as alluring as the Internet will have a tangible effect on many people.
Even though this technology I grew up with as a teen is considered relatively primitive compared to the times we live in now, I still came out on the other side with a mild to moderate Internet addiction.
Understanding Internet Addiction In Kids And How To Stop It
As you might already know, all addictions have a psychological aspect that makes a person unable to control their addictive impulses. They can damage someones relationship with their family members or friends and they can negatively impact their work or school commitments. When you compare the Internet and other addictions, they are not very different.
One of the main concerns about Internet addiction in children is that it can affect their brains which are still developing. It is important that all parents understand the effects and signs of Internet addiction and they will also need to learn how they can prevent their child or children from becoming an Internet addict.
Could You Be Addicted To The Internet
Many of us know that feeling: your eyes are glazed over, your back is hunched, youre staring at a screen and you just cant seem to stop. If you spend so much time online on a phone, computer, gaming platform, or other device that it negatively affects your health, job, finances, or relationships, could that be considered an addiction?
Experts debate whether you can be addicted to the internet in the same way you can be addicted to substances. The term itself internet addiction or internet addiction disorder is controversial and is not currently listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition , the guide that practitioners use in diagnosing mental health conditions. Still, although it can be difficult to draw a distinction between addiction and problematic use of the internet, the compulsion to be online is increasingly becoming a recognized concern.
International Classification of Diseases .
Whether internet addiction constitutes a mental health disorder, excessive internet use clearly encourages unhealthy behaviors often in the same way that recognized addictions do. If youre concerned that youre overdoing it, here are the signs to look for, and ways to help manage being online.
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Do You Sometimes Act And Feel Like Something Must Be Wrong
Is there any chance that you are addicted and downplay the consequences? Only because everyone around you is doing the same?
To help you get started, you can look at these common symptoms that seem to be correlated with surfing too much.
Even if there is no general consensus. There are a lot of warning signs to discover “If internet addiction is real for YOU”.
Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of internet addiction.
Do you experience a few of them?
The signs that you want to look for can occur both in the physical and emotional realm.
Here is a list of possible emotional and physical symptoms that were published on PSYCOM that are related to your internet addiction problem.
Remove The Phone From Your Bedside Table
The morning of day two and I awake from a dreamless sleep, my hand unconsciously scrambling for a phone which isnt there. I go to the kitchen and make coffee in silence. I sit on the sofa and feel estranged. Any other day I would already know major world headlines in alphabetical order.
I drink my coffee, shell-shocked.
My confusion is alleviated by Luca and Alice moving in pincer formation towards the kitchen. Theyre like fucking velociraptors. Stalking their way to the table. I tell them there is no point sneaking up on the enemy if you are screaming.
I used to make breakfast whilst checking for Nasdaq fluctuations. As the children threw their oats and water at each other, Id sit on the sofa and check my emails. Again. My first lesson from my two week digital detox is served in a cereal bowl: breakfast is hilarious.
It is sad to write, but I had never noticed. The children are at their best first thing: energised, excited, funny, curious. Questions and wonder at every turn as they dissect their dreams and their plans for the day. I put my coffee aside and drink it in. I have a lot of lost time to make up for.
“The top five online activities for internet addicts in China include social networking , school work , entertainment , online gaming , and online shopping . Brits spend 8 hours and 41 minutes per day staring at a goddamn screen.”
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Identify Addictive Apps And Raise Awareness
What apps and services are you using most often? When are you most likely to be sucked into the online world?
Which apps do you use?
Netflix? Facebook or Twitter or Youtube? Quora or Reddit? Probably you already know what’s your digital kryptonite. So you know what youre dealing with.
If not there are two way to find you where you waste most of your time.
Leo Babauta from zenhabits recommends to keep a little piece of paper and a pen/pencil with you and write down the things you check often, putting a mark next to those things each time you check them.
However, the biggest advantage of this technique is not that you’ll can an accurate picture of your addiction but that the task of writing it down manually raises your awareness. That’s the first step to beat your internet addiction.
The 2nd method I would recommend is to install a software called “Rescue Time”. This software will track every website and software that you use on your computer. If you upgrade to the premium version, you can connect your mobile phone as well.
New versions of Android and iOS provide these statistics as well, so you’ll get you a pretty accurate picture of your total internet usage on your mobile phone.
How To Treat Internet Addiction
Behavioral addictions and substance use disorders often respond positively to the same psychosocial and pharmacological treatments.6 Common interventions that have been used to treat behavioral addictions like internet addiction include:6
- 12-step approaches
- Motivational enhancement
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
Although no medications have been approved to treat internet addiction, naltrexone, a medication used to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction, has shown promise for the treatment of pathological gambling.6
If the internet addiction is severe, formal treatment programs are available, with inpatient rehab being the most intensive and structured option. A stay at an inpatient treatment center can last from 30 days to several months. For more flexibility, individuals can receive internet addiction treatment on an outpatient basis, which involves living at home and attending treatment sessions during the day.
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment for internet addiction may include:7
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Different Types Of Addiction
The categories of Internet addiction include:
- Sex the person uses the Internet to look at, download or swap pornography or to engage in casual cybersex with other users. This results in neglect of their real-world sex life with their partner or spouse.
- Relationships the person uses chat rooms to form online relationships at the expense of spending time with real-life family and friends. This could include having online affairs .
- Games this can include spending excessive amounts of time playing games, gambling, shopping or trading. This can lead to severe financial troubles.
- Information the user obsessively searches for and collects information.
Social networking addiction includes the desire to constantly monitor social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This includes constantly updating profile posts and checking messages to inform friends of what you are doing at the present moment.
Remember And Follow Up
Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.
For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wifes promotion? At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that youre interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!
According to new research, people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.
Its so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.
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Day 1 And The Disconnect From Social Media
Im packing for a long voyage, a modern day Scott setting out to the digital Antarctic. He died, I very much intend to stay alive Mr Oats! I leave a forwarding address and my wifes phone number with relatives. The instructions are clear: call only in an emergency.
After a nostalgic scroll through the NYT, FT, CNN, ABC, Time, BBC, RTV and Reuters, I send goodbye messages on WhatsApp and, weirdly, LinkedIn. I schedule enough and Instagram posts that people wont think I have died.
Finally, as an act of complete recklessness, I give my phone to Alice and ask her to hide it.
She looks at me, a tractor in one hand, a toy microphone in the other, and says, Daddy, are you alright?
I will be, I said. In two weeks.
Is it my birthday in two weeks?
“34% of internet addicts access their favourite websites and check for status updates before getting out of bed.”
Yes, That Is You
You Are Doing Five Other Things While Youre Listening
It is impossible to listen to someone while youre texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the timeI know I have.
Ive actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didnt work. I had to keep asking, what did you say? I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, Ive succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but its certainly worth it.
If youre truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time. If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. Its simple as that!
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Breaking The Internet Addiction Takes A Mix Of Trigger Control And Discipline
Nir, through his Hooked framework, helped me understand what made me behave in the way that I do. While I found the framework powerful as a person who builds products, I also found the framework useful from the other side of the table in breaking the bad habits that technology companies are encouraging me to develop.
This defense is manifests in trying to eliminate or rewire the triggers for these five bad habits that I shared, and so far, it has helped me lead a much more productive and deliberate life.
Acknowledge the bad habit. Identify the triggers. Either kill the triggers or rewiring the triggers to get you to do whatever you would rather do instead. Rinse, and repeat to break bad habits.
This has worked for me. What triggers are responsible for your bad habits, and how do you plan on eliminating the triggers or rewiring what those triggers mean?
Note: This guest essay was written by Jason Shah.
Be Self Aware: Admit Your Weaknesses
I become an asshole on day seven. I want to tell the world of my superiority. Look at my new found resilience and willpower, I want to shout from the roof. Im the best dad in the world. Can I put a photo on which shows the world how not on Instagram I am? I shake the thoughts away take stock of my situation. Half-way through my detox. I have scaled the summit and now all I have to do is get back to smartphone base-camp, a better man, a better father.
Dont forget, Apocalypse Mommy reminds as we sit watching The Queens Gambit. And only the Queens Gambit. More people die coming down than going up the mountain.
Pawn takes Q6.
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Block Everything That Makes You Addicted To The Internet
1. Delete every app that is potentially addictive from your phone.
2.Download the app Appdetoxand add times for apps that you have to use less often but cannot delete completely.
3. Download the app Applock for android to block the play store and your internet browser
If you need to use these apps for professional reasons, use your desktop computer or laptop instead.
If you rated them 7 or higher it’s worth to endure even significant drawbacks.
This is about YOUR life. You want to get rid of your internet addiction.
Here is a list of of addictive apps that I deleted or blocked on my phone 24/7 using Applock.
- All browsers
- Play Store for new apps
What I like about Applock is that you can set a complicated password that you cannot remember to unlock the blocked apps and/or settings.
The only addictive app that is still on my mobile phone is Whatsapp because I found it to hard to quit yet because everyone uses it to organise offline activities.
To limit access to WhatsApp I use a 2nd app blocker called “AppDetox” and allow it only for one hour each day.
Then I block access to appdetox with applock.
This is like a 2nd line of defense. When I unlock AppDetox with my password, I’m not tempted to unlock Youtube or my browser in the settings of Applock.
Here are some apps that I still use on my phone:
- Google Maps
2. Create a New Profile in Findfocus and Set up the Delay Discounting
Next, you want to create a white list profile in FindFocus.
Limit Your Computer And Smartphone Use
Next, you need to alter your behaviors. The best way to do this is to take control of your Internet use. To demonstrate, use a kitchen timer and set it for 30 minutes to limit your network session. Once that timer sounds, get up and move away from your computer smartphone or video game.
Setting a timer will help limit your use and free you up for more important endeavors. You can also limit your computer use by setting network session preferences or using parental control software. Though this software is essentially for kids, you can also use the software – especially with the help of a family or friend – to limit your computer usage.
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Morning And Evening Routines
Every person should have a wake up and bedtime routine. It should be something that powerfully rouses you from the depths of sleep and something that puts the day into context and winds it down.
Many people pick up their phones first thing in the morning and then BOOM. Off to the races. Even worse off, they finish off their day with a phone in hand or looking at some sort of screen. Never before has someone been surrounded by so much stuff, unable to put attention on the goose that lays the golden eggs themselves.
In a routine to begin or start the day, you focus on yourself and aligning yourself or recharging yourself. You can do this through a yoga session, meditation, working out, reading a physical book, goal-setting, or journaling. Ive written all about morning and evening routines before, so give it a look if youre interested.
Boredom is one of the most painful things any human being can experience.
Because its hard to be alone with yourself or your thoughts.
When untrained, the mind is like a wild dog that wont stop barking. At its worst, it is like a merciless judge who only seeks to condemn.
In order to hopscotch past the rigorous process of disciplining the mind, many people turn to distraction. Today, this distraction is in the form of mindless Internet addiction.
How To Break 5 Soul
Nirs Note: In this last in a series of guest posts on the topic of technology habits, Jason Shah shares practical tips he used to regain control over his devices and break bad habits. Jason is a Product Manager at Yammer and blogs about user experience and technology at blog.jasonshah.org. You can follow him on Twitter .
Not long ago, in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Texas, a 17-year-old boy was weathering withdrawal at its worst. His body shuddered with convulsions. He hurled tables and chairs around the hospital.
Had he been hooked on heroin? Cocaine? Jim Beam? Joe Camel?
No, his psychologist said. The teenager had withdrawn cold turkey from the Internet.
This account of a young mans struggle with Internet withdrawal is from a 1996 New York Times article. Since then, the Internet has become even more pervasive and habit-forming.
The Internet has much in common with gambling: its compulsive its compelling its distracting. Many people find it hard to resist the Webs grip. Affluent adults in the US spend more than 30 hours a week on the Internet its almost a full-time job!
Indeed, much of the webs appeal is hardwired in our DNA. Technology companies carefully hone their services to cater to our survival instincts. Over time, we have become conditioned to know where to look on the Internet for rewards, and in the spirit of survival, we return repeatedly to get as much as possible out of a reliable source of pleasure.
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