The internet is a part of life that most people cannot live without, whether at work or in the home. The average amount of time spent online is around three hours per day, many spend more hours than that checking social media, blogging, etc. The neuroscience of addiction can tell us a lot about how wired people have become. Learn the three most common internet addictions and how to seek help.

Social Media Addiction

Compulsive checking of social media accounts at every spare moment and prioritizing social media over face-to-face interactions is a sign of addiction. Symptoms may be feelings of jealousy and anxiety over post or page ‘likes,’ or posting statuses hoping people will respond to create a loop of quick-fix validation and self-esteem. One physiological reason for constantly checking emails and social networks is the hope of finding something challenging or of interest that requires a response. This can become a stimulus overload. Some people even check phones, email, text, or make phone calls while driving. People who neglect relationships for social media and put themselves and others at risk while driving have a serious internet addiction.

Net Compulsion

Net compulsions are things like obsessive online gambling, gaming, shopping, auctions, stock trading, and more. The internet makes these activities available day or night without limitations and less risk of being caught. Accomplishments such as beating a high score, peer admiration or the purchase of sale items online can add fuel to the fire and lead to obsessive behavior.

Information Overload

The internet provides access to a plethora of information right at the fingertips, including news, friendship updates, and other ways of producing immediate gratification. People can easily become obsessed with staying up-to-date on the latest economic news, celebrity gossip, or technology. Sometimes people will stay up late into the night just to read online news and keep up to speed. This depletes quality thinking time, productivity, and can result in a breakdown of interpersonal communication over time.

People who use the internet for long periods of time are often in a bad mood, research has found, when time comes to “log off.” With the advent of smartphones, apps, and instantaneous access, there is little in the way of keeping someone ‘logged off’ completely. This makes it easy to turn to the internet immediately for a quick fix. To re-engage in a healthy relationship with social media, it can help to have some therapeutic support, a support group in the community, or other way of finding how to regain a sense of control of life again.

Cypress Lakes provides a place to explore what it means to have a healthy relationship with social media and technology. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, you are not alone. We have the tools and resources to support your journey to recovery. Call us to let us know how we can help you with internet addiction. 866-217-2636