Internet addiction is a serious problem. While it is nice that technology allows us to explore opportunities like never before, many of us have slipped and gotten too far. Excess to anything is bad and that also includes using the internet.
According to a Pew Research study, eight in ten Americans go online every day, with 48% of them saying that they use the internet multiple times a day. Clearly, this is due to internet addiction that forces internet users to stay online all the time.
There is a reason why you will find that some internet plans, like AT&T Internet deals, have limited data. This limitation on internet data should discourage you from using too much internet since you are the one paying the bills. Or, if you are a parent, you might be forced to limit your children’s screen time.
But spending a lot of time on the internet is still an addiction that many of us struggle with. However, dealing with internet addiction starts with yourself. Read on to find out how you can deal with it.
Identifying the Symptoms
The first step to dealing with your internet addiction is knowing and acknowledging that you have a problem. It is definitely not easy as it seems and can be hard, to be honest with yourself.
Here are some of the symptoms of internet addiction:
Spending More Time Online than with People
The most important symptom of internet addiction is that you are spending more time being on your smartphone or laptop, than being around people. If you are losing touch with everyone around you because you’d rather be online than talk to people, then you, my friend, really need to turn off your device and seek help.
The fear of missing out is real (FOMO). It means that you are afraid of missing out on what is going on around your friends, families, or the world. If you keep away from your smartphone for a few hours, you have this urge to get back online again so that you aren’t missing out on anything. It turns into fear.
At some point, you might have told yourself that you were just going to spend an hour playing this game but you ended up playing for hours anyway. This clearly shows that you cannot stick to the boundaries that you have set up for yourself.
When it comes to internet addiction, most people fail in this. The self-deception they create for themselves is a clear sign that they need to cut down on the hours they spend using the internet.
Lying About Hours Spent on the Internet
Let’s admit it, none of us have ever been completely honest about the number of hours we spend online. Even if we made deals with our families about lessening the number of hours, that still didn’t work. And that is a real problem. Lying about spending just a few hours online only to spend longer time on the internet is clearly a warning sign that you are addicted to the internet.
Can’t Live without the Internet
Have you ever tried putting the phone down, meaning to make that happen for a few hours, only to find that you were unable to carry it throughout? Does being away from your smartphone or laptop make you feel anxious and frustrated? Can’t imagine being away from the internet for a week? That isn’t normal human behavior and is something that you need to be dealing with.
How to Deal With the Internet Addiction?
As long as you are willing to accept that you have a problem, it will help you move to where you can deal with the problem. If you are unsure about how to seek help, the following tips might prove to be useful to you;
It is okay to ask for help from those around you. And it is completely okay to admit to them that you are lacking in something and you need help. Ask them to monitor your internet usage. Ask them to help set your boundaries for online activities for 30 minutes, twice a day. Hence, with limited use of the internet, it also allows you to adjust your schedule and add new activities into your life that don’t include using the internet.
Keep your devices away
Avoid using your devices during scheduled times. If these devices aren’t around, you won’t be tempted to scroll through your Instagram. However, you will still be having withdrawal symptoms where you will want to reach out to your smartphone to get online again. But with a little bit of self-disciplining and effort, you can still restrain yourself from spending too much on the internet.
Find hobbies that will keep you busy and distracted. Your mind might wander off to your smartphone and the Instagram posts you are missing out on, but if you keep yourself busy, you won’t have time to think about it too much. And the activities that you adopt, should be the ones where you don’t need your smartphones or the internet.
Your addiction to the internet is pretty serious than you might think. Hundreds of people are online the internet every day, and this definitely has a negative impact such as anxiety, being anti-social, procrastination, etc. Seek help and find ways to reduce your online activities.