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Internet Addiction: 8 Signs of Dependence on Technology for Everything

Make no mistake, the internet is a great thing. But, everything in moderation. If you don't control your habits, those habits become unhealthy. And then eventually they start to run your life. Internet addictions are no different.

Internet addiction

Internet addiction is serious. You might not know it yet but you are hooked. Isn't everyone? Yes, but who cares? If you can't go without the internet for an extended period of time, you are addicted to the internet. Internet is one of the most dangerous addictions in modern society. Don't believe me? The future change in your perspective on daily texting and net surfing habits will be a positive change in your life.

young women in bed on laptop

Signs of dependence on technology

1. Losing track of time

2. Dependency for sleep

3. Internet over family and friends

4. Health problems

5. "Is there wi-fi there?"

6. Plan everything around internet time

7. Yoo many devices with internet

8. Separation anxiety

Moderation with Everything You Do, Including Internet, is the Best Way to Live. A Healthy, Balanced Lifestyle is Ideal.

A lifestyle with elements of both work and play. But feeding your internet addiction will slowly erode the rest of your life. Humans weren't meant to stare at computer screens all day.

1. You Lose Track of Time Online

woman with green eyes looking up at something

When you start forgetting commitments because you've lost track of your day reading too much into social media, you know you have issues.
Forgetting where all that time you had went is a biggie. Btw, what did you do today? If 1. You spent your day on my lapie 2. You don't remember what you ate for lunch — It may be time for an intervention if you haven't had one already... This is by far the most prominent sign of an internet addiction. With a busy enough schedule, you should never fall into the trap of losing track of time online. If you don't have a busy schedule, and you aren't good at prioritizing your time, then it can seem near impossible to set time limits on your internet usage. This leads to an addiction so deep that you no longer have the self-control to stop when you want you. You are constantly telling yourself, "just a few more minutes", or "just this last web page and I'm done".

You Forget to Eat

It's not such a bad idea to fast sometimes. But when it's due to your cyber addiction, you are replacing healthy habits with unhealthy ones. Sometimes when we have an internet binge, we forget to take care of our everyday routine maintenance. If this includes eating for you, it's time to set your priorities straight. Yeah you might be losing weight, but it's not a healthy way to lose weight. Surfing the net leaves you prone or sitting down. It's an unnatural state for a human to be in one place and not moving around.

2. You Can't Fall Asleep Without a Screen Nearby

We need sleep. Healthy sleep requires no aids, only the body's natural circadian rhythm. Eliminate all artificial light at bedtime, including your computer screen.
You are dependent on your screen to fall asleep. This one falls under not just an internet addiction but a technology addiction. Studies have not yet proven how detrimental this is for our health because computers and television are a relatively new invention. Just understand that if you are dependent on your laptop being nearby to get to sleep, that cannot be good for your health. Golden rule: turn off all electronics after 9 pm. No excuses.

Changes in Your Sleep Patterns

LED screens have a way of messing with the signals from our eyes to our brains. Humans have a natural circadian rhythm that responds to sunlight. When it's dark, that's a signal to our brains that it's time to sleep. We start getting sleepy. But the artificial light coming from our computer screens disrupts our circadian rhythm by signaling to the brain that's it is still daytime. Be careful with your nighttime internet usage. Falling into unhealthy sleep habits makes you less productive in all other aspects of your life.

3. You Pass on Opportunities for Social Interaction to Surf the Net

You have now made leisure your priority over what's important. What now? Understand you have a problem, and end this silly habit.
Neglecting friends and family to feed your computer addiction is a guaranteed path to nowhere. Take it from someone who's been there: making friends online is fun but cannot substitute for reality. A healthy social life is what keeps us motivated to live a healthy lifestyle. It has just as much of an impact as our diet and exercise on our well-being. If you don't believe me, just lock yourself in your room for a couple months without any outside contact. You will be disoriented, and just a little bit more mentally unstable by the time you come out of your hiatus. I've done it before.

A Side Note on Isolation

Everybody handles things differently in their lives. Isolation works better for some than for others. But even introverts need to get out sometimes. No social life stunts your growth as a person. Internet has a role in limiting your growth potential, if you let it. It wasn't until our generation that this was ever even an issue. The consequences of internet addiction disorder will be seen as ours and future generations grow into adults incapable of living healthy social lives thanks to their addiction to technology.

4. Physical Health Problems

When things get really serious, your internet addiction will cause you physical health problems that can become chronic if you aren't careful.
Along with the emotional life-threatening problems that a cyber addiction can cause, don't forget the physical health problems either. The way to prevent any of the following is through limiting your internet usage. Before you require internet addiction treatment, learn when to call it a day. Be careful when you sense your body reacting negatively and you start experiencing symptoms of any of the following:

Strained Vision

Strained vision and dry eyes can occur in situations where you've been staring at a computer screen nearly all day. Depending on the sensitivity of your eyes, staring at a computer screen for too long everyday may cause you to need eyeglasses later on in life. Computer pixels cause you to strain your eyes without sufficient rest. When you are sitting at your computer, make sure to stand up every 10 minutes, and take a 10 minute break every hour or so.

Posture Issues

Neck aches and back aches are common among computer nerds. While on our laptops some of us have crazy habits of lying and sitting in uncomfortable ways. When we stare at a computer screen for so long, our addiction is causing us to lose track of reality and we lose awareness of ourselves sometimes. This is slowly doing damage to our spine and causing us future posture issues which are hard to correct.

Carpal Tunnel

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a common wrist issue that is seen from people who spend too long typing on keyboards. There are pads to help correct our wrist posture when using a computer or a mouse, but even then it's still common for people to develop carpal tunnel while on a computer. The only way to fully prevent chronic damage to your wrists is to limit your internet usage to reasonable time intervals.

5. You Can't Go Anywhere Without Your Laptop

The number one question of those who are plugged into their computers and cannot distance themselves from it. Wi-Fi is a privilege, not a right.
You and your laptop are inseparable, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, right? I call this the "Wi-Fi Syndrome'. Everywhere someone brings you or invites you too, you always have to ask them if there is Wi-Fi at the place you are going to. You need your laptop at all times, just in case. Living according to signal strength means being overly-attached to something that is not essential for you. Schedule your computer around your life, don't schedule your life around your computer. An unhealthy obsession with the internet stems from the fact that you are living in a fantasy land. Whatever creative desire you have, it can be provided with the internet. But none of it is real. Just surfing the net all day will leave someone feeling euphoric if they are addicted online. Internet has many rewards with little effort required. It's not a healthy or sustainable lifestyle.

Enough Wi-Fi searching

There are better places for laptops than your lap; like your bag, or away in storage for example. Computers aren't meant for nearly the amount of use we give to them today. If you and your laptop are inseparable, think of all the good you would be doing by giving it a rest and going outside once in a while. It's not good for your physical or mental health to be staring at a computer screen for hours at a time; that's how you become a computer addict. Your laptops would also have a better chance at surviving longer. If your laptop batteries never last for more than one year, that's a sign that you need to stop internet addiction. Enough with searching for Wi-Fi, and instead start searching for your passions.

6. You Plan Things Around Your Internet Time

Make your relaxation time work around your schedule, instead of the other way around. If you can't decide what's important to you anymore, you have an internet addiction.
Face it, we are not all business-men and business-women. Most of the things we use internet for aren't necessary for our lives. We shouldn't even need a laptop if it isn't used for work. Internet time should be your downtime. Just like unhealthy foods at the top of the food pyramid, your time for fun should be indulged in sparingly. A healthy amount of computer usage can range between one to three hours per day, with adequate breaks between usage.

Dangerous modern addictions

Technology rule number one: Plan your internet time around your life, not the other way around. Many things we do on the internet are a part of our daily routine. Some of it is work-related, and some of it is required, but most of it is just leisure time. That is the danger about using internet all day: our important tasks are mixed with leisure time and making it so we can't separate the important things anymore. Just as it's important to separate work from personal life, it's also important to set aside your internet time accordingly to what's important. People are starting to lose track of the priorities in life and the important things are getting lost in the shadows. Internet should be put in the spotlight as one of the most dangerous modern addictions.

7. You Have Internet on Many Devices

Computers, handhelds, phones, tablets, etc. Everything has internet these days. Soon we will have internet in our eyeballs. Is it necessary? Probably not, and it's degrading our social lives.
Having one too many ways to connect to the internet may indicate internet addiction. This ties into #6, planning things around internet time. Compartmentalize your internet usage or it will run your life. This can be seen from many in the younger generation on their computer at home, surfing the net on their friends while in public, and on their tablets while at coffee shops and the airport. We've become a patient nation to a very impatient nation that can't go one minute without some form of entertainment to look at. The value of books are extremely understated.

Spoiled generation

If you have internet on more than one piece of technology, it's excessive. If you have internet on more than three pieces of technology, then you have a problem. We have internet on our computers, tablets, phones, even our portable media devices nowadays. It is really making us spoiled and too dependent on the internet. We can now access the internet from anywhere, leading us to always be looking at a screen instead of into someone else's face or a book. We have no more room for imagination, but only rather news stories and the latest useless gossip. Internet should start being made a privilege, and not a requirement for the growing minds of today. Limit your internet use for one device. Keep your technology reserved for specific purposes and limit your exposure to each device.

8. Separation from Your Computer Causes Anxiety

If you get anxiety while apart from your computer, I've got news for you. If you take a laptop wherever you go, I've got even worse news for you.
Separation anxiety between people and their technology can only form when there is an unhealthy dependence on it. One who constantly spends money updating their computer and making sure it runs as fast as possible is making an investment that will cause anxiety at the first sign of failure. If for some reason, you cannot surf the web at any time it shouldn't feel like the end of the world. You should never be so invested in a piece of equipment so much that it causes anxiety when it doesn't work.

Internet addiction and the downside of technology

Despite of all the good things that recent technology brings, there are also downsides. One of which is a kind of dependence that is sweeping up the millennial generation by storm. Social media, blogging, text messaging, it is all keeping our faces glued to screens instead to of what's going on around us. When do you know when it has gone too far? Since you are here and we are having this conversation, perhaps it already has. The good news is that an internet addiction treatment is possible.

By Kacia Nall

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