Tips to Avoid Internet Addiction Take early measures to protect yourself from developing Internet addiction.
In this increasingly technology-driven world, the Internet is available to us across a broad assortment of platforms whenever we need it. However, with the constant exposure to the World Wide Web comes the prospect of developing Internet addiction. Internet addiction occurs when online activity becomes the center of one’s life, causing the person to neglect friends, family members, work and social obligations. In addition, Internet addicts may also prioritize online activity over such basic human functions as eating, sleeping and bathing. If you’re worried about falling victim to this affliction, make it a point to take preliminary steps to avoid it.
Keep a Log
If you’re unclear on whether or not you are in danger of developing Internet addiction, keep a log of your Web usage. In this log, record how many times you log-on to the Internet in a 24-hour period, as well as how many hours you spend online. According to Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, if you find that surfing the Web has come to dominate your time, you may be suffering from Internet addiction. By identifying the problem before it gets out of hand, you can begin working to treat it.
Time Your Internet Usage
In the fight to prevent Internet addiction, you will need to set realistic goals. To this end, make a point of setting self-imposed limits on how much time you’re allowed to spend online outside of the workplace. When trying to beat an addiction of any kind, strict adherence to recovery rules is key. If need be, set a timer or alarm clock, or have a friend or family member let you know when your Internet time is up.
Treat Underlying Causes
There are a bevy of underlying causes for Internet addiction, most notably anxiety, depression and extreme stress. If you suffer from any of these psychological afflictions, you can dramatically reduce your chances of falling victim to Internet addiction by getting them treated. Reach out to a close friend or family member or, barring that, consider finding a counselor or therapist who specializes in treating your particular problem. By the same token, you may also want to look into attending support groups for people with similar afflictions.
Build a Support Network
Having a solid personal support network in place can go a long way in preventing Internet addiction. In addition to providing you with an outlet for stress and anxiety, maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family members helps people lead active social lives. As social anxiety and Internet addiction go hand-in-hand, opening yourself up to real world interactions and relationships can help curb this addiction. This can be a difficult step, particularly for socially withdrawn individuals, but the rewarding payoffs are well worth the risk.