The average American spends a full day (24 hours) out of every week online. It can be easy to get distracted and spend more time than you realize surfing the net but how do you know when it’s too much?
If you’re wondering “Am I addicted to the internet?”, then keep reading to find out more about internet addiction, what to look for and what you can do if you are.
Let’s get started!
1. Does the Internet Interfere with Day to Day Life?
One of the biggest symptoms of addiction is that it interferes with your day to day life in a way that other areas of your life are suffering because of your addiction and the behavior associated with it.
If you find that you are less productive during work hours because of internet use or perhaps have disengaged from family activities and social relationships so that you can spend more time online then you may want to scale back your internet use.
When the internet takes precedence over sleep, meals, exercise, or other aspects of self-care it could be an indication of addiction.
2. Am I Addicted to the Internet? What Are the Signs?
Internet addiction is much like any other addiction in that it can change a person’s entire personality, motivation, focus, physical and mental well being.
Some signs and symptoms of internet addiction include:
- Lying or manipulating for more internet time
- Lack of concentration
- Digestive issues
- Aches and pains from immobility
- Carpal tunnel Syndrome
- Headaches, eye strain, neck pain
- Changes in appetite and sleep habits
- Changes in hygiene
One of the main symptoms may be that your friends, family, and associates are complaining that you have changed, that your priorities have changed, or that you are constantly unavailable.
If you and the people closest to you are worried about the amount of time you’re spending on the internet and the impact it’s having on your life it is quite possible you have a problem and are headed towards an addiction if you aren’t already addicted.
3. Am I Suffering Internet Addiction Withdrawal?
If you are anxious and irritable whenever you are unplugged then you may want to try limiting your internet access gradually.
The signs for internet addiction withdrawal may appear similar to withdrawal from a narcotic or alcohol.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate,
- Lack of concentration,
Addiction withdrawal has even been known to cause a decreased ability to fight infection and actual changes in one’s brain structure.
4. Are Your Work, School, or Relationships Suffering?
One of the biggest signs that you may have an addiction to the internet is that other areas of your life are suffering. You may find you are spending time you should be working or at school making excuses and concentrating on the internet instead.
Relationships may be pushed aside and those close to you may be frustrated with the amount of time you spend staring at a computer or phone screen rather than engaging with them.
Help is Available for Those Who Ask “Am I Addicted to the Internet?”
If you are still worried and wondering “Am I addicted to the internet?” there are professionals who can help you figure it out and give you coping skills and treatment options available in your area.
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