According to famous dictionary “Merriam-Webster, addiction means “compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful .In recent decades the rapid advance of the technology has made the communication between people much easier and faster. Although the Internet has brought many benefits to the field of communication, banking, entertainment, and E-market.Its wide use predictably has been associated with negative impacts on social interaction, health and behavior of human.These days especially youngsters spend a lot of time surfing the internet, watching videos, Netflix, Facebook etc. This eats up a lot of their time, resulting in them neglecting their families, friends, and acquaintances.Although the internet is beneficial in businesses, overuse of it or dependency on it, can actually result in isolation, depression, other physical ailments like a headache.
The internet has become an inseparable part of people’s work and personal lives. According to Marissa Hecht, founder of computer addiction services and a member of the Harvard Medical School, “Internet overuse can lead to unhealthy life, such as inactive lifestyles, weight gain and a drop in physical fitness. Other problems that people may develop are dry eyes, migraines, headaches back pain due to bad posture. Have you ever felt that at night around bed time, over indulgence with your mobile could potentially give you a headache, make you anxious and uncomfortable? You may not realize it but a continuous habit of using the internet during bed time, actually ends up making you lose sleep .This is a health hazard and a practice that should be discontinued for body’s proper recovery and hormonal balance.
Research also said that internet overuse could lead to sleep disturbances. Studies of Chinese and American children, published in the “Journal of Sleep” and the “Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics,” found that computer or smartphone usage during bed time leads to difficulty in waking up in morning, less restful sleep and an overall decrease in sleep.Nobody can deny the importance of the internet in our life. People of all ages and different walks of life use it for accessing and exploring information, entertainment, means to communicate and share, buy and sell products, pay bills, book tickets, almost about everything online.It’s a very useful facility, but wastefully spending time on the internet can affect people especially teenagers drastically. The adolescent/teenage period is typically categorized as an uncertain, unstable emotional state.
This is the transition phase from a young child into an adult.In addition, a lot of youngsters try to establish their roles in the society, to understand their feelings and attitudes. Research shows that approximately 90 percent of teenagers spend a large amount of time on the internet. Teenagers spend a huge magnitude of time in watching their favorite TV shows like Friends, Big Bang Theory, Flash, Once Upon a Time, Castle etc. They also waste their precious time by following bands, listening to singers with whom they can attune with and watch huge varieties and genres of films online. This reduces their time available for productive activities like devoting time to home-work and assignments, physical activities like sports and yoga, spending quality time with their friends and families.
According to Larry D. Rosen, Ph.D., professor of psychology at California State University “Young adults with a strong Facebook presence show signs of antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies. Further daily use of media and technology results in people becoming more prone to anxiety, depression and other psychological disorders. Easy access to porn on the internet has made the youth addicted to masturbation and sex and has bent them to be promiscuous and has made them pre-pubescent. This fact has led to another problem, statistically, there has been an increase in STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) amongst adolescents and students going through puberty.
Roundabout 60% of the teens in the US respond to messages from strangers, this kind of behavior is extremely dangerous, demeaning, and make them very vulnerable to victims of cybercrime and maybe even emotional and physical harm.Internet addiction can have a proportional impact on the addict’s family, even the family of the addict might experience rejection and isolation from society and reputation and prestige might be hurt. When an addict obsessively uses the internet, he/she becomes disconnected from real life and they are left out from family conversations, gatherings and activities ultimately affecting their relationship with everyone around them.
So now that we know that the internet creates serious problems, how do we tackle and solve it.Certain recommendations would be to limit the use of internet only for necessary things, reduce the time spent over the course of 24 hours on internet, make more time to do productive activities, learn a new hobby like chess, mountaineering, piano, indulging in outdoor activities like swimming, skating etc., reverting to the traditional methodology of research from books and devote more time to family and friends and take active participationin household affairs, gatherings and activities. Also, parents should be more watchful towards the usage of the internet both in terms of the content and the time spent by their children so that they can monitor their browsing.`Hecht Marisa et al. “Treatment of Computer Addicts with Complex Co-Morbid Psychiatric Disorders Cyber Psychology & Behavior. January 2009, 2(5): 465-473.