Internet addiction is a disorder that’s not an official DSM-5 disorder, nor is it easy for people to be diagnosed with.
One reason for this is because Internet addiction is subjective, and how we use the Internet is very different than it was 20 years ago.
Is someone who looks at their phone all the time an internet addict? Or is an Internet addict someone who is on their computer all day and who neglects their chores? Here’s what we know.
It Affects Your Ability to Live
One way that Internet addiction can hurt someone is by preventing them from living their lives the way they want to. We all procrastinate a little here and there, but an Internet addict will be online all the time to avoid life’s responsibilities.
Internet addiction makes it difficult for you to accomplish your goals and live a normal life. This is why many people find themselves online instead of being creative or getting their work done.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
There are different subtypes of addiction on the Internet. Someone may be addicted to online gaming, or have an addiction to pornography. A person may be addicted to social media all day for the fear of missing out. Someone may have an Internet addiction that includes all of the above.
You may be addicted to online multiplayer games, or you may be addicted to gaming on social media. Internet addiction is a complex disorder, which is one of the reasons it doesn’t have an official diagnosis yet.
Internet addicts may have different levels of functioning. Some people are high functioning. They may be able to keep a job and a life, but still feel controlled by their compulsive Internet usage.
Do I Have it?
One way for you to figure out if you have an Internet addiction is to ask yourself a few questions.
First, ask if you stay on the Internet for longer than you intend. Do you mean to be online for a few minutes, then spend hours online? Do you feel ashamed, or do you try to hide your behavior? How do you feel without the Internet? Do you feel withdrawn, angery, or moody? If so, you may have an addiction to the Internet.
If your finances have suffered because of this addiction, or if you’re losing friends because of it, you can learn more about internet addiction here: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/blog/internet-addiction.
The Internet is a Necessary Evil
People can live without drugs and alcohol. However, in the modern world, few people are able to live a life without being online. Many need the Internet to do their jobs, order household items, pay bills, stay in touch with loved ones, and do other essential tasks. Because of this, most people’s goal is not to stop using the Internet completely, but to manage their usage into a more reasonable amount. With willingness, it is possible to treat an Internet addiction.