In recent years, the media and psychologists have talked a lot about Internet addiction. Everyone is affected by it - serious adults, students, and schoolchildren. Some people really spend so much time online that it affects all aspects of life. How serious is Internet addiction and what to do to not get confused on the World Wide Web? Let's talk about it.
What is the extent of internet addiction?
According to surveys, Internet addiction has already become epidemic-wide, especially among young people. Often, along with Internet addiction, psychologists also talk about other unhealthy addictions - excessive enthusiasm for games and the computer. In some countries, such as China, the situation is so serious that the government approved a set of rules aimed at restricting the use of Internet technologies among young people.
How does internet addiction manifest itself?
The Internet helps to solve a wide variety of tasks. Every day we turn to him for household advice, help in school and work. Some specialists (SMMs, programmers, bloggers) simply cannot do without it, since the Internet for them is a source of income. What's so bad about that? Problems begin when the virtual world becomes more important for a person than the real one. There are many signs of an unhealthy Internet craze. Here are the main ones:
- a person plays network games until late and as a result does not get enough sleep;
- progress in school or career is declining, as online activity makes it difficult to focus on other things;
- rich virtual life leaves no time for communication with family and friends in reality.
Excessive Internet activity interferes with the achievement of life goals. Even those people whose addiction has not yet reached a serious stage can feel its negative influence. Each of us from time to time has a choice: spend an evening at home behind a TV series or sit with colleagues in a bar, go to bed or look through a Instagram feed.
Internet is always there. Eyes themselves are drawn to the screen, even when we know that at this moment we need to do business. It may not make much difference to finish the job right now or a little later, but in the long run this behavior takes a dangerous turn.
Is overuse of the Internet addiction right?
Not all experts agree that the habit of frequently accessing the World Wide Web is an addiction.
In any case, addiction to the Internet is difficult to equate to other, clearly destructive phenomena, for example, drug addiction and alcoholism, which form a person’s physical and psychological need. It is not yet clear whether the Internet and the computer can be addictive like a drug.
If a person spends too much time at the computer, this may not be the main problem, but a consequence of something else - difficulties at work or in the family, anxiety disorder, depression, etc. Thus, a person finds salvation in virtuality: when he plunges there, he feels safe and regains the feeling that he can at least control something around.
Those who do not manage to make relationships in real life, go online for online dating. Inability to motivate yourself to study or work often becomes a cause of grief and attempts to restore peace of mind through online entertainment.
Whether this behavior can be considered a true addiction or not, we will not argue. Let us leave this question to psychologists and other competent specialists. But something can be said for sure: to communicate with technology does not turn into a problem, you need to work on yourself.
How to get rid of internet addiction?
If it seems to you that your time on the Internet exceeds all possible limits, or someone from your loved ones suffers from such a problem - this is a signal to action. Here are a few tricks to help bring your lost balance back to life.
1. Set clear goals
First of all, you need to decide what exactly you want to achieve by limiting your access to the Internet - to finish your academic work, spend time with your family, and devote time to physical activity.
Write goals on paper. Explain to yourself why their implementation is so important, how much better your life will be if you achieve them. The point is to replace negative thoughts (“Again this homework ...”) with positive ones (“If I do my homework, I will feel more confident in the classroom”).
Specify goals. For example, “I will write a term paper for 20 minutes every day” or “I will go to the gym three times a week.”
2. Make an action plan
Whatever the goal, a plan is needed to achieve it. Pupils and students useful to hang in a prominent place schedule and curriculum. For working adults - reminders of work projects. Athletes - load plan.
Write down how much time you need to spend on completing the task every week, and what you expect to achieve during this time. Mark the time periods when you will be engaged in important tasks, and not surfing the Internet.
Most goals cannot be achieved right away, so start small: break a large task into several small ones. Have time and patience.
Get involved in the work gradually. Set yourself easy-to-do tasks so that you can cope with them, even if the day turned out to be difficult. Start working on a project for five to ten minutes every day. Start your workout with one session per week.
3. Reward yourself for successfully achieving your goal
After you have achieved your daily goal, do not forget to reward yourself with what you love the most - a pleasant pastime on the Internet. Alternatively, you can try the Pomodoro technique: devote 25 minutes to important work, and then take a 5-minute rest break.
By the way, planning breaks is also an important aspect. Getting started, the temptation to say: "I will work every day for 4 hours without interruptions, I will have time to do a lot." This is not real. It may be possible to spend a couple of days in such a rhythm, but then the fuse and motivation will run out.
Be honest with yourself, because no one except you knows how long it takes to restore energy. Perhaps for starters one hour of active work will be enough, after which the rest of the evening can be spent watching TV shows or on Instagram. Enjoy this time, knowing that you honestly earned it because you have reached your daily goal.
4. Make your addiction work for the good
Think about why the internet is so attractive to you? Do you like online chat? Do you like acting in a team and defeating virtual rivals together? Or do you always follow Twitter because you want to keep abreast of the latest developments?
Find a way to combine what you enjoy doing on the Internet with the rest of your life.
Find out what's stopping you from changing your behavior. Boring to study alone? Engage with your comrades. Sign up for group courses to get your desired skill. Those who want, but still can’t start playing sports, often admit that they don’t know what to do in the gym and feel embarrassed about it. Hire a personal trainer, he will show you how to use the simulators and help you plan your workloads.
5. Enlist the support of others
An important factor in successful work on yourself is the support of loved ones. If one of your friends is also struggling with Internet addiction, support the person mentally and congratulate you when progress appears.
Scolding and blaming someone for wrong behavior is not the most effective way to motivate (and self-motivation too).
Your habits are in your hands, you can change them!
The older the habit, the more difficult it is to break it. And yet, nothing is impossible. It may seem to you that breaking out of the World Wide Web will be awesome, but focusing on goals and an action plan will help you make life more productive step by step. The main thing is to start!
Anything can become a bad habit - even a smartphone. We have material that will teach you to be less distracted by the phone. We advise you to read it.