The problem is not the Internet use, the problem is if the Internet use is controlling and not allowing you to perform your daily activities
According to Dr. Gregory, (and I concur) just because you use the Internet a lot – watch a lot of YouTube videos, shop online frequently, or like to check social media does not mean you experience Internet Addiction Disorder. The problem comes when these activities begin to interfere with your daily life. In general, Internet Addiction Disorder is split into varying groups. The most commonly identified group of Internet Addiction include gaming, social networking, email, blogging, online shopping, and inappropriate Internet pornography use. Other researchers suggest that it is not the amount of time spent on the Internet that is particularly troublesome – rather, it is how the Internet is being used.
That is, the riskiness of Internet use can be just as important as the amount of time spent. Do you have a teenager using teen dating sites that could have child molesters lurking on the site? This is risky – and one of the multidimensional aspects of Internet Addiction Disorder. Other identified multi-dimensional risk factors of Internet Addiction Disorder include physical impairments, social and functional impairments, emotional impairments, impulsive Internet use, and dependence on the Internet.
What Causes It?
Like most disorders, it’s not likely to identify an exact cause of Internet Addiction Disorder. This disorder is characteristic of having multiple contributing factors. Some evidence suggests that if you are suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder, your brain makeup is similar to those that suffer from a drug or alcohol disorder. Interestingly, some studies link Internet Addiction Disorder to physically changing the brain structure – specifically affecting the amount of gray and white matter in regions of the prefrontal brain. This area of the brain is connected with remembering details, attention, planning, and prioritizing tasks. It is suggested one of the causes of Internet Addiction Disorder is structural changes to the prefrontal region of the brain are detrimental to your capability to prioritize tasks in your life, rendering you unable to prioritize your life, i.e., the Internet takes precedence to necessary life tasks.
What can we do?
The first step in treatment is the acceptance that a problem exists. If you do not believe you have a problem, you are not likely to seek treatment. One of the principal problems with the Internet is that there is often no accountability and no limits. You are unseen behind a screen – and some things that you may say or do online are things you would never do in person…
What are your thoughts?