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The problem of internet addiction

Updated on February 21, 2011

Are you feeling upset and angry quite often? Experiencing moodiness when you are unable to access your computer? Do you feel incomplete unless you have the screen monitor in front of you? You are one among the many folks who are facing the problem of internet addiction. This is a very real and growing health concern. Here's what you need to watch out for.

Internet addiction is when you are so addicted to being online( that includes social networking, gaming, chat, adult content, work) that you cannot function normally as an individual without being on it.

People who are internet addicts will find it soothing to be online and chatting to their friends or virtual interactions but be uncomfortable in a real social situation. There is a sensation of being disconnected when they interact with people offline.

There is no track of time while using the internet, the individual may neglect food, self care, hygiene and other responsibilities in the home or around them.

The individual may also be addicted to certain kinds of content or online activity such as gambling. This is still more a serious problem and will need to be addressed at the root level which may in reality be an addiction to something else altogether.

If your child is withdrawn, angry, upset or not participating in activities except online, you may want to pay attention to his or her online activities and make them participate in other interests over a period of time.

If the time spent is inappropriate, or the child finds it difficult to switch off the system/ shut it down at night, there is a problem. Do check if it is a regular occurrence or just a one time incident for some download that he or she may be doing. Waking up at odd hours and chatting and staying online without sleep is all signs of  a problem.

Check if your child reacts very strongly if you cut off internet access. Do they appear disturbed, depressed or overly angry? You may need to seek outside help if such symptoms are seen.

Keep a tab on the hours of internet use and also keep track of your child's academic life. If they are falling behind or unable to perform due to any reason, then do check with the teacher about their behavior. Talk to your child, find time to discuss with your child and let them know it is okay to make mistakes but it is important to not let anything be the master of their time and life.


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