Internet Addiction Is a Real Problem

Whether it is to read the news, visit a social media site, or research a topic, many people go online for a legitimate reason and then wind up spending far more time online than they had originally planned. In fact, in the past 11 years Internet traffic has gone up 528 percent world wide. The online resource Counseling Directory conducted an online poll to learn about how people relate to the Internet and what they learned is interesting to say the least.

  • More than three-quarters (75 percent) of respondents said that they use the Web recreationally each day
  • 82 percent said that once online they stay on longer than expected
  • 65 percent said that they used the Internet to escape problems or problem emotions
  • 33 percent said that they found great satisfaction through Internet use
  • Nearly one half said that they become grumpy if they cannot get online

The Internet has become such an integral part of daily life and work that it is hard to avoid, but the pollsters suggest online users should watch out: they start failing to meet their personal responsibilities, if personal relationships (including work relationships) are damaged because of Internet use, if secrecy about time online develops. The experts at the site suggest that Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques could help break free from Internet addiction. A few CBT strategies include: scheduling regular breaks from the computer, placing the computer in a shared space like the family room, maintaining a log or journal of your online time. If self-imposed restraints fail, then joining a support group or seeking out counseling may be the best solution.

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