- Do you feel preoccupied with the internet? (Think about your online activity or anticipate your next online session.)
- Do you need increasing amounts of time on the net in order to achieve satisfaction?
- Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop internet use?
- Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop internet use?
- Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
- Have you jeopardised or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the internet?
- Have you lied to family members, a therapist or others to conceal the extent of your involvement with the internet?
- Do you use it to escape from problems (eg, feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?
If you answered yes to more than five of those then, according to some studies, you may be addicted to the internet. Why do I not find this surprising?
I remember years ago that my school was given loads of money to buy lots of computers and essentially give each child a computer with a free Internet connection. Even back then I thought this was a bad idea. How can sitting in front of a computer, having all this information thrown at you enhance anyones lives. Sure, the Internet has a lot of uses, but it’s kinda replacing socialising. Tools like Twitter do actually enhance some aspects of socialising but Facebook and the like are mind numbing!
I think generally there’s this fear that if you’re not connected then you’ll miss out on something important and/life changing. The downside of trying to stay up to date with everything is that you may actually be missing out on the most important thing in your life…. oh, and that thing is your life. Duh!
Isn’t it ironic that I’m complaining about Internet addiction whilst writing this at 2am? Well, I needed a break from doing my artwork!