People would wonder how the world without an internet connection would be amongst current generation especially the millennial. The Internet is both a wonderful and disastrous network that has greatly changed the world. The changes in lifestyles, learning activities and workplace activities today are attributed to internet existence. People use the internet as a source of information, to interlink and share information. However, if an individual cannot equilibrate between the times spent online to those spent offline, they can be affected mentally and socially. Internet addiction, therefore, is an impulse controlled disorder or compulsive internet use. The person excessively uses the platform for video gaming, Facebook, shopping and other online uses. Such condition causes mental disorder where one cannot do without internet. One of the causes is the change in the structure of the forefront brain that negatively affects one’s ability to prioritize chores in his or her life (Yao, Mike, and Zhi-Jin, p168).
Social anxiety is also another cause of internet addiction where individuals especially teenagers’ use the internet to achieve the social scores they are missing in life. The issue of online rationale and friendship are among the leading factors that drive youths to use the internet. Stavropoulos et al. (p244)) in their analysis opine that teenagers who find it hard to contain depression are prone to get addicted. The reason is that the person will apply this as a way of distracting herself from that condition. As a result of using the internet as a way of relieving the stress, one can get used to the network and embrace it as a habit.
Limited exposure to social life and a feeling of unwanted can also lead one to end up being addicted to the internet. They relent to social platforms as a way of expressing themselves and interacting which poses them to use internet frequent to feel wanted and cared for. The addiction symptoms include poor school or work performance, dedicating less time to family or friendship matters, negative emotions, and feelings of depression and anxiety (Stavropoulos et al. p244).
One of the leading effects of Internet addiction is on the mental health of the person. Studies show that persons addicted to the internet have problems in accomplishing their individual and professional duties. Excessive use of the Internet contributes to a strained relationship with friends and relatives. The addicted members are prone to negative emotions, loneliness, and boredom when the use is limited because of the interference with the pleasure center of the brain. The addiction generates pleasure responses that drive people to want more and more of its use if they find such behaviors pleasing. It is the reason behind a person wanting to play more and more games or shop online so as to bring about the same happiness (Pontes et al. p16).
In addition, the variable reinforcement effect causes people to be addicted to the internet. Pontes et al. (p16) assert that the reason to addiction to gambling, pornography or video games is as a result of the multiple satisfactions people receive. Perhaps the reason one is addicted to gaming is that of the unpredictable happiness it brings anytime the person plays the game. Occasionally when one logs into account to play his or her favorite game one find a new interesting game which makes the person visit the gaming site every time to get a new game. Additionally, one may log into his or her Facebook and receive good news which keeps him or her entertained and longing for more.
Moreover, the addiction has impacted on the social lives of many people, especially on their relationships. Lee et al. (p592) argue that addiction to the internet is the leading cause of abandoned relationships. Spending much of your time online makes you susceptible to the internet addiction where one develops new ways of life. Attempting to embrace new ways may not go well with your loved ones. In addition, dedicating more time causes the creation of less time for close friends and relatives thus creating a feeling of not cared for, and as a result, may lead to breakups. Online dating, pornographic materials, and gambling are the major perils to the successes of every marriage (Todd et al. p401). Overdependence on the online platform also poses a threat of a person losing his or her self-identity. The addiction has further jeopardized face-to-face communication since the addicted individuals largely depend on texts, Instagrams, twitter and emails to communicate. Such have promoted deceptions and cheatings which are threats to peaceful coexistence and good relationships.
In conclusion, internet use should be treated with care to prevent the risk of addiction. People should properly allocate the time they spend online to those they spend offline. This will enhance the creation of time to be spent with loved ones. For one to avoid the causes of internet addictions she or he should allocate time equitably to all tasks, create an interactive environment and enjoy other physical social life. Irrespective of the internet since its advent improving the people’s lives, its excessive use posits adverse effects to the individual’s well-being. Low esteem, poor relationships, and mental disorders are amongst the leading effects of internet addiction (Kardefelt-Winther, p352).
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Lee, Yuan-Hsuan, Chih-Hung Ko, and Chien Chou. “Re-visiting Internet addiction among Taiwanese students: A cross-sectional comparison of students’ expectations, online gaming, and online social interaction.” Journal of abnormal child psychology 43.3 (2015): 589-599.Love, Todd, et al. “Neuroscience of internet pornography addiction: a review and update.” Behavioral sciences 5.3 (2015): 388-433.
Pontes, Halley M., Daria J. Kuss, and Mark D. Griffiths. “Clinical psychology of Internet addiction: a review of its conceptualization, prevalence, neuronal processes, and implications for treatment.” Neuroscience & Neuroeconomics 4 (2015): 11-23.
Stavropoulos, Vasileios, et al. “The longitudinal association between anxiety and Internet addiction in adolescence: The moderating effect of classroom extraversion.” Journal of behavioral addictions 6.2 (2017): 237-247.
Yao, Mike Z., and Zhi-Jin Zhong. “Loneliness, social contacts and Internet addiction: A cross-lagged panel study.” Computers in Human Behavior 30 (2014): 164-170.