Overcoming Internet Addiction

I recently took a four-day vacation that didn't include any Internet access at all. It was the first offline vacation I had taken since ... well, since I bought my first laptop computer too many years ago. While I was preparing for this trip, I had a moment of panic. I wondered if I was actually going to be able to know what to do with myself if I didn't have my computer. After all, being online is how I "be" most of the time. And this made me wonder: do I have an Internet addiction?

Internet addiction is an interesting thing. If you think it's not real, you might want to talk to the people over at The Center for Internet Addiction Recovery. This very real place (that most people find by searching online) deals daily with people who have developed an addiction to the Internet. In doing some research, I discovered that I didn't have an Internet addiction. For one thing, I passed their online test about the problem. More importantly, I learned what an Internet addiction really is.

Just like with any other addiction, it's not something that's a problem until it is. Using the Internet, even excessively, doesn't mean that you're addicted. However, if you're unable to stop using the Internet, you have a problem. When this begins affecting other areas of your life, including your ability to make friends with people and your relationships with family, you have an addiction. If you don't get it under control, you might being to feel that you need help with it.

So how do you overcome and Internet addiction once you've determined that you have one? Here are some tips and steps that you can take to get out in the real world again:

o Turn off the computer. It sounds obvious but if you have a real addiction, it's not going to be easy. This is basically the equivalent of quitting a drug cold turkey. And the thing is, that works for some people. Some drug addicts can decide one day that enough is enough and stop their use on their own. You might find that you can do the same with your Internet addiction.

o Set some computer use guidelines. You might not actually need to kick the habit completely. Instead, you might need to set some guidelines. Think about what areas of your life are being affected by your Internet addiction and make rules around your use that will improve those areas of life. For example, if you don't have family time anymore because you're always online, make dinnertime and the hour after an offline-only time period. Make sure that you actually eliminate this online time rather than replacing it with additional use later in the night.

o Join a group. No, not the kind of group that you go to Yahoo or Google to find. Join an actual group out there in the real world. Often what happens with Internet addiction is that you start to get isolated from real life. The more time you're online, the less you're involved with people and the more you want to be online. The cycle perpetuates itself. Join a weekly group in your city revolving around something you enjoy; it's a safe way to meet new people and break the cycle.

o Assess and understand the source of your addiction. You might actually find that the addiction you have isn't to the Internet at all. For example, perhaps you're online all time because you're on gambling sites. Maybe you're seeking out online satisfaction for your sexual cravings. Although the Internet may be a part of the problem, you might learn that you have something else going on that should be dealt with as well. Getting to the root of the problem is the real key to resolving it.

o Get professional help. If you have an Internet addiction that you can't resolve on your own, you might want to seek out professional assistance.

As for me, I discovered that I didn't have an Internet addiction at all. I went on my laptop-free vacation and didn't think about my online activities once. Okay, okay, maybe once. But the thought quickly went away and I was content to be living my real life. In fact, I decided I'm taking some offline days on a regular basis from now on.

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Comments 26 comments

Ownereaeroppy 3 years ago

My spouse and i used to receive at the top of lifestyle nevertheless as of late We have established a resistance.


Stellar Phoenix 3 years ago

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Lifeonabudget 4 years ago

Excellent article, it is so easy to get suckered into the Internet without even realising , especially since you can be on it anywhere now even department stores have wifi , in some ways it can be very useful in other ways it can have a big detrimental effect on your life especially as you can buy most things with one click on sites like amazon and iTunes and justify it because it doesn't feel like real money . People can be social now without having to leave the house or even getting dressed which means face to face communication is taking a back seat to Facebook amd twitter.


Gen-Rev 5 years ago

Very good article Kathryn. I don't use social networking sites (except Hubpages, if you'd call it that, and e-mail). Still, there are many things I like to do on the internet - all kinds of news, research for classes, use it for encyclopedia and dictionary needs, travel information and tickets, mail order products, etc. It's amazing and a bit frightening how the time can fly while you're on it. I also like being with people though, and spending quiet time as well. We all need time to think, pray, etc.

Thanks for writing.


arunii profile image

arunii 5 years ago from Delhi

I am aslo addicted to my computer and work. Hope your above mentioned tips will help me a lot !


kbeus21 profile image

kbeus21 5 years ago from Wyoming

I make a living online as well, but how I have been explained internet addiction is when you refuse to deal with reality and prefer to be online. Everything suffers you have no friends or social life and suffer the physical problems such as lack of sunlight and sitting or laying in one place for way to long.

Now for me the real question is do i have an internet addiction or addiction to making money.


miniklop 5 years ago

i work in internet, i communicate in internet, i play in internet... new technology change our life and we can't stop this


kiash 5 years ago

I spend 8 to 10 hours a day on net. Now I'm feeling it is making me lazy and unhealthy. :(

I hope I will overcame from this addiction.


shweta25 profile image

shweta25 5 years ago

After reading this,i definitely am not an internet maniac..a very intellectual piece of work.!!


greencap profile image

greencap 5 years ago from Pakistan

If you use social networking sites and have a big social circle, then it may be very difficult for you to remain offline for a longer period of time.

And if you maintain a web site, then doing so will show you some nightmares when you get back online.


Powerpoe1 5 years ago

The Internet is filled with so many possibilities. It's great for entertainment and learning new things. I find myself exploring endless possibilities which makes me lose track of time. The world wide web has consumed me and I must admit....I'm an addict! I sleep with my cell phone close to me, when it's out of my sight; I start to panic. I have a back-up charger for the car, DSL in the home, unlimited access on my cell phone. I will check my messages at least 10 times per day. The positive side~ I'm focused on my short-term and long- term goals. I handle my business & get the job done! ( I guess that makes it okay : D )


RichPt profile image

RichPt 5 years ago

I'd never really thought about 'internet addiction' but I'd hate to add up the amount of my waking hours I spend online!


zahara botal 75 http://www.forexindubai.info/  5 years ago

http://www.forexindubai.info/ I wrote a book called Rescued from the NET about this very thing! Internet Addiction is real. So glad you started this HUB. If anyone is interested in a story of computer and cybersex addiction, check out www.outskirtspress.com/rescuedfromthenet The resources alone are worth the read if you or someone you know might have a problem.

Again thanks for starting this HUB! The pic is awesome.

PS. Real Solutions for Overcoming Internet Addiction is the book that started my recovery.


denise mohan profile image

denise mohan 6 years ago from California

Just like a NEWS FAST; it is important. Very often, less really is more. If when you are not on the computer, you are thinking about NOT being on it then you are still thinking about it. Just like drugs it would be as controlling. I love it but in spurts. I am a part time addict. Get out the white coats!


TopUniverse 6 years ago

Currently most of them addicted internet but this addiction better than smoke addiction.


Gaurav 6 years ago

surely i am an internet addict


faithrichards profile image

faithrichards 6 years ago

I wrote a book called Rescued from the NET about this very thing! Internet Addiction is real. So glad you started this HUB. If anyone is interested in a story of computer and cybersex addiction, check out www.outskirtspress.com/rescuedfromthenet The resources alone are worth the read if you or someone you know might have a problem.

Again thanks for starting this HUB! The pic is awesome.

PS. Real Solutions for Overcoming Internet Addiction is the book that started my recovery.


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Great info!


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Very good piece of writing.


ciidoctor profile image

ciidoctor 7 years ago

hey iam an addicted too.................


scheng1 7 years ago

it is very difficult if you need to use Internet for work. The urge to surf when using Internet at work is very strong


snarlmkiv profile image

snarlmkiv 8 years ago

unless your means of income or livelihood needs you to use the internet, then you really cant help but be addicted to it. as athlyn said, its an extension of ourselves. i work as an seo specialist and i cant even survive just watching tv or doing non-internet related stuff.

http://www.siakoi.com/health/sexual-health/interne...


Athlyn Green 8 years ago

For those of us who work at home, our computer becomes an extension of ourselves. I know I'm seriously addicted! I rarely watch tv, finding the Internet far more stimulating. I agree with Compu-smart: I would forego many other things ahead of my computer . . . and E-bay . . . oh my g - - !


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

You are so right.

Cold Turkey all the way.Thank you


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 8 years ago from London UK

If i booked into a hotel i would not want a jacuzzi on-suite bathroom , fully stocked fridge etc.. I would need to have Internet connection for the reasons Terri mentioned:)!!


Terri Paajanen profile image

Terri Paajanen 8 years ago from someplace in Canada

of course, when you make your living online, it can be really hard to figure out where the line is between healthy usage and excessive. I may very well be an addict, but I can't let it go because it's my livelihood.

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