We’ve all been there– one minute, you’re scrolling through Tik Tok; the next, you look up and discover it’s 4:00 am! We’ve all lost countless hours of our lives to the internet so it’s easy to make jokes about being addicted to our phones or to social media. But you might be surprised to know that internet addiction is more than a casual punchline. In fact, it’s a very real addiction recognized by the psychiatric community, and lots of people have it! In this article, we’ll learn more about internet addictions and how to know if you have one.
What is an Internet Addiction?
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These days, everybody appears to be glued to their iPhones 24/7! Whether we like it or not, our phones have become a crucial part of our lives; even if we want to be without them, we can’t, because our schedules, emails, and vital reminders all live inside the little digital bricks we carry with us everyday. So, in an age when everybody depends on their phones, how can you distinguish an internet addiction from everyday tech- obsessed behavior? Telling the difference might sound tricky, but studies show that there are a few key symptoms which signify an internet addiction. These include:
- Feeling anxious or uneasy whenever you’re away from your phone
- Inability to regulate the amount of time you spend online
- You only feel happy when you’re on your phone/on the internet
- You prefer browsing social media to engaging with people in real life
- You neglect your personal or professional responsibilities because you are unwilling to disconnect from the internet
Everybody has gotten lost in a social media rabbit hole. Everybody has wasted more time than they should by watching too many YouTube videos, scrolling through Instagram, or going on a digital shopping spree. But as you can see from this list of symptoms, we’re not talking about the routine time-wasting activities that everybody engages in. By contrast, an internet addiction is a serious problem that you may need help to overcome.
How Can I Get Help For an Internet Addiction?
When we hear the word “addiction,” we typically envision a reliance on harmful substances such as drugs or alcohol. We can easily imagine how these addictions ruin lives because we know that drugs and alcohol can be toxic. But as innocuous as a phone might seem, internet addictions can be every bit as toxic and every bit as deadly. And just as an alcoholic might need the help of a treatment program, the same is true for people who have internet addictions.
So, how can you get help for an internet addiction? Well, just like any other addiction, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. You can’t get help until you acknowledge that something is wrong, so admitting that you have a problem is a great place to start. You can start this process by taking a free Internet Addiction test. This simple, user-friendly test from Mind Diagnostics can help you conduct a self-assessment of your symptoms. As you work through the test, you’ll be asked to complete a series of 20 clear and concise questions that evaluate your symptoms and their impact on your life.
When you finish answering these questions, you’ll be redirected to a screen with more information about your results. You’ll be provided with a breakdown of your results and what they mean, along with some resources about your next steps. This will include the contact information of a therapist who is qualified to treat internet addiction and how you can connect with them. Internet addiction can overpower you and absorb all your energy and time. But you don’t have to let it control you! By reaching out for help, you can take your power back and enjoy your real life, free from digital distractions.