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How Internet addiction can harm relationships?

Technology can be a boon or a bane. It is like a seductress enticing you, and you cannot help but be drawn to her. It draws you with its unpredictability, surprising you at every point with rewards, and keeping you hooked on it. Until recently, no one thought technology, especially the internet, could become a problem, a health scare, or an addiction. But doctors, mental health experts, and researchers alike are becoming more and more aware of the ill effects that the internet is having on people. It is affecting people’s psychological health, social relationships, education, and work. It is having a negative impact on people’s lives.

What is this addiction and what can it do to you?
Internet addiction is when a person cannot stay off the internet and needs to constantly be online to feel good. It is an addiction when it becomes a pathological problem and a psychological dependence and when it starts interfering with everyday life.

Addiction to the internet can affect multiple areas of your life. It can affect your health, both physical and psychological. When a person is addicted, he/she gets a high when using the internet. There is a rush of dopamine in the brain which gives a feeling of pleasure. When a person is deprived of this sensation, he/she seeks other ways to fulfill it. This is one reason why many internet addicts are also addicted to substances, like drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. Real relationships begin to suffer due to excessive time spent on the internet. Addicts start neglecting family and friends, stop socializing, and are always in their own online world. People with social anxiety start using the internet as a refuge, and this becomes a problem as they do not try to get over their anxiety.

Self check
Below are some questions you can ask yourself to figure out if you are an addict:

  • Do you spend a large portion of your day on the internet?
  • Are you on a high when you are using the computer or internet?
  • Do your online activities affect other areas of your life, like school or work?
  • Do you spend less time with family and friends than before, preferring the internet instead?
  • Would you rather catch up with friends online than meet people personally?
  • Do you become defensive when someone complains or even mentions the time you spend online?
  • Do you experience mood swings when you do not access the internet?
  • Do you spend more time than you initially intended to online surfing, watching pornographic material, and playing games?


Get over your addiction

If you are an addict, the following tips can help you get over your addiction.

  • Make a conscious effort to stay off of the internet for at least a few hours everyday.
  • Make up your mind about the time you are going to spend on the internet and stick to it.
  • Seek counseling and help if self-therapy does not seem to be very effective in dealing with your addiction.

The U.S. recently opened its first center for the rehabilitation of internet addicts in Washington in July, 2009.Technology is good as long as it is used in moderation. It should better your quality of life. It should be a useful tool, not a harmful weapon, hurting relationships and ruining people’s lives.

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