Addiction Week: Is Internet Addiction Real?
What do you think? Is Internet addiction real?
Behavioral scientists don’t seem so sure, yet. They’re kind of saying, “Maybe, Probably, Ummm.”
That’s not a surprise. The Internet, in the scheme of things, is still brand new. Hard to track an addiction to new technology that is constantly changing. Scientists don’t have the same history and data as they do with, say, alcoholism.
What we know: Our minds and bodies are struggling to keep up with our new Internet-based reality. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is making us compulsive at best. We’re trying to keep up with this new life of always on entertainment, instant gratification, and data overload. But, we’re not adjusting as quickly as we want to, and this revolution isn’t casualty free.
This very interesting NPR story does a very good job dissecting the conundrum.
My opinion: I don’t think the definition matters that much. Let’s not get wrapped up in wording. Instead, let’s do a better job of taking personal inventory.
If, for example:
- You can’t put down the phone or laptop for any significant period of time because of FOMO
- You find yourself blowing off important meetings, appointments, work, etc in order to spend more time online
- You have neglected your family to play online games or spend time on social media sites
- You have had a close traffic calle because you were texting or checking a site
- Your body (thumbs, neck, back, eyes) aches because you’re not moving enough
- etc, etc, etc
You might have a problem. And, your problem might be affecting your work, your health, your family.
If you look at your life and find you need help, please contact me (use the form on this website). I’ll gladly refer you to some good addiction groups.
Stay safe (and relatively addiction free) out there!