Healthy Ways to Manage Online and Internet Compulsions

Internet Addiction | Lakehouse Recovery Center

One classic way to describe an addiction is that a person has a compulsion to use drugs, drink, or gamble. There’s an inability to stop and a person feels compelled to keep going, even if he or she wants to. The compulsion feels greater than one’s ability to control it.

When a behavior or substance use gets to this point, then there’s an addiction. One common addiction that is becoming more and more prevalent is Internet addiction and the compulsion to stay online for long periods of time. This article will address ways to manage the compulsion to use the Internet as well as how to get help if you have an Internet addiction.

In 2002, there were approximately 665 million users of the Internet around the world. And today that number might be doubled. Because of the large number of people who use the Internet regularly, the possibility of developing Internet addiction is increasing for more and more people.

As more people use the Internet to communicate (such as through email and social media), that will require that additional people get online to communicate as well. The sheer number of people online today makes a large percentage of the population vulnerable to this type of addiction.

Typical Signs That Your Suffering From an Internet Addiction

  • difficulty completing daily tasks
  • work performance decreases
  • losing track of time
  • isolation from friends and family
  • experiencing euphoria with internet use

Here are  4 Tips for Managing Your Time Online and Preventing Internet Addictions

  1. Explore whether there may be any underlying problems. Sometimes, a person may be drawn to spending more time online if it helps them feel better. For instance, if you’re feeling lonely, anxious, depressed, or bored, then online time might be a way to escape those feelings, or escape life in general. If you can seek help for any underlying feelings that might be driving you to use the Internet might prevent feeling compelled to go online.
  2. Build your other coping skills. If do find out that you’re going to use the Internet because of some underlying feelings, then you might need to replace Internet use with a healthier coping tool. For instance, instead of going online when you’re feeling depressed, call a friend, spend time in nature, or visit the library. Do something else to lift your spirits.
  3. Strengthen your support network. Another reason why you might be spending too much time on the Internet is because you’re bored, or you may want to avoid other problems in your life. However, with a support network, you can rely upon the people around you and together face the issues you may be avoiding. Using the Internet to avoid your life can only make an Internet compulsion or addiction worse.
  4. Make changes to Internet use. If you notice that you’re spending too much time online, limit your online use. Give yourself no more than one hour per day. You might also want to limit the type of activities you do online. For instance, perhaps you use that hour to pay your bills, answer emails, and learn more about addiction.

Because Internet addiction is an illness that is becoming more prevalent, use these suggestions to prevent any online compulsions or addictions.



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