Internet Addiction & Social Media | How to Recognize & Overcome It
Summary: An Internet addiction can be quite common in today's society since we are always connected to the Internet, even on our phones, and have any and all information accessible to us with just a few clicks. However, it's up to you to use it to help you instead of hindering your life. By recognizing and understanding the addiction and triggers, such as what fulfillment is not being met, and then finding a better outlet that has the same end result of satisfaction, one can overcome the challenge presented to them regarding Internet addiction.
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Hi everyone! This video is going to be about Internet addiction and how to recognize it and overcome it. I have a video about addiction that is a precursor to this, so I’ll have an annotation and a link in the description so you can check it out. [Addiction] The Internet has brought about new ways of discovering information, communicating, and so many other possibilities to stay connected to the people and things we love. However, this doesn’t come without a downside. What if one is constantly online, checking social media, even just checking text messages on their phone? They check these things so much that they become addicted and begin to neglect the people around them and themselves. While I’m sure many of us that are always connected to the Internet feel disconnected without it, we may feel lost that we cannot check messages from our friends, or view articles or videos online, there comes a point that addiction may set in and we could be spending too much time on the Internet and social media sites. The information in this video can help you recognize this and overcome it.
Internet addiction can take many forms. As was mentioned earlier, a big one is social media and connecting with others. Perhaps someone is on Facebook for hours on end, talking with friends, playing games, looking up articles and funny videos. This is all a form of distraction and escape from the world around them. They slip into a cyber world that they can perhaps make their own. Speaking of which, what about gamers that perhaps have a character in an online multi-player game? They create this character, perhaps as the person they truly want to be since they may be happy with themselves or like themselves, and live in this fantasy game world to escape the problems they face not only in the real world, but also within themselves. I’ve even read of someone who dissociated from who they really were and became this video game character they created online. They became this video game character even outside the video game.
Yes, dissociation and escapism is often a core problem with addiction. The person perhaps has an issue with themselves that they simply do not like. They go to the Internet to escape themselves, to dissociate from their problems and escape into a world that they want to have. But, this denial and inability to face and accept reality and oneself only causes more problems. Perhaps the person feels even worse when they have to leave the Internet or it becomes disconnected because it brings them back to the life they do not want. Instead of actually addressing their real problems, they push them away and think they will just simply go away by not thinking about them. And the truth is, this only makes the problems worse since each time they return to their reality, they feel their negative emotions stronger and stronger, which turns into an even stronger desire to stay connected to the Internet and escape.
While escapism certainly is one of the core problems with Internet addiction, it’s not the issue with everyone. Perhaps some people don’t use it to escape, but rather simply cannot disconnect when they need to, such times being to be with family and friends and taking care of oneself. Regardless of the cause, Internet addiction is very possible for anyone who routinely connects to the Internet, and let’s face it, in today’s society connecting to the Internet is extremely easy. We have wireless access all around us, not to mention mobile phones, tablets, laptops can connect to these wireless signals. And on top of that, if we lose Internet, perhaps our phones still have reception and can access the Internet. It’s like we are never without Internet. And we often feel lost without it. I know I sure have. When my Internet has been down and I cannot connect, I felt lost and disconnected. But, after a day it was an amazing feeling as I got back in touch with myself and wasn’t clouded by this social media and friends and all this other garbage that just wasn’t me. It allowed me to concentrate more and not get as distracted.
This is one of the major signs to recognize an Internet addiction. Perhaps you are in the middle of work and are like, “Let me log on Facebook real quick to see what’s going on.” Sure enough, that ‘real quick’ turns into hours and you have no idea where the time went. Then you come back to yourself and realize that you still have work to do. If you didn’t have Internet during this time, you would’ve never even considered going online to check social media. This was something that would happen to me. I would procrastinate by researching things, going on Facebook, and doing things that simply were not productive. I gave into that strong desire to check other things instead of focusing on my work and telling myself that it can wait. With that being said, I think it’s time to discuss some ways of overcoming an Internet addiction.
Overcome Internet Addiction
To overcome an Internet addiction, you have to recognize it and want to help yourself. A sign may be that you are using the Internet as a form of escapism from your problems, perhaps a gaming addiction, porn addiction, gambling. It takes many forms. But, an addiction comes into play when you are constantly doing it and not actually addressing your problems. Other signs include procrastinating, spending less time on the things you actually enjoy outside the Internet, spending less time with the people you are close to, and the worst of all, spending less time on yourself and neglecting yourself. If you’ve realized this, then you would then need to admit you have a problem and want to help yourself. You would want to help yourself so you can get back to do the things you like. When you can admit it and have a plan that is focused around bettering yourself, you can then proceed at tackling the addiction.
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A way of tackling it is to understand how it makes you feel. What need is being fulfilled by the Internet and why is it not being met in your daily life? How can you fulfill that need without resorting to the Internet to fill it for you? In other words, how can you address it within yourself? For instance, perhaps offline you are shy and have severe social anxiety and cannot talk with anyone, yet online you are confident and can talk with people freely without hesitation. You have that need to connect with others, as many of us do, yet are not getting it in your offline life, so you resort to the Internet to fulfill this need. How can you bring this confident you from online to your offline you? How can you integrate the two? In order to combat this, you have to learn how it makes you feel and dive into the negative emotions. You have to face them or no healing will take effect. It can be excruciatingly difficult to face reality and what you are truly struggling with, but denial is not helping anything. By understanding your emotions associated with this and facing them, you will have better control over them and be able to overcome them.
This bring me to the next point, find a better outlet that has the same end result. Perhaps you have an online gaming addiction which allows you to feel fulfilled. You become addicted to the rush of emotions and good feelings associated with the game you play. While gaming itself is not a chemical addiction, you can very easily become addicted to the chemicals your body produces when you are gaming. This then becomes the classic conditioned response where it becomes conditioned in your subconscious that gaming gives you this release that you crave. If you can find an alternative outlet to feel this way that can benefit you and your growth, then you will have turned this addiction into something beneficial that helps you. You are looking for something with the same end result feeling as the gaming addiction, something that gives you the same satisfaction. Your mind doesn’t know the difference, only you, consciously, know the difference. So, make the best out of what you feel satisfied with.
And lastly, you have to lessen the Internet use. It can wait. Make a schedule for yourself when you take time away from the Internet. Perhaps you do some exercise, relaxation, focus on your career, whatever can help you relax for a bit to lessen the addiction. But remember, what you substitute Internet use for should be something to benefit you. If you are partaking in other addictive behavior, then you are simply not helping yourself. Perhaps a way is to pretend you do not have Internet, disconnect and unplug. Perhaps you are triggered by something which results in this addictive behavior. Recognize this trigger and understand it. If you are aware of it before you are triggered, you will have better control over it. Let’s look at an example of someone addicted to Facebook. They are constantly looking on Facebook. Their trigger is that they receive many notifications and messages which causes them to log in and check it out. They truly want to stop, but every time they get a notification, it tempts them to log back in and check. Perhaps a solution would be to turn off notifications or uninstall the app from their phone so they cannot access the site on the go and only from a desktop computer. This can help them make time outside of Facebook and then dedicate time to it when needed. Perhaps they may even want to get away from it altogether. They may choose to deactivate their Facebook account until they can work on themselves and dedicate more time to the things they enjoy. Again, remember to be strict with yourself and think it through. Tell your friends and the people you talk with online that you need some time to yourself and to get away from the Internet. Tell them that you will get back to them after that time is up. A true friend will be understanding and will wait for you to return.
So in conclusion, an Internet addiction can be quite common in today’s society since we are always connected to the Internet, even on our phones, and have any and all information accessible to us with just a few clicks. However, it’s up to you to use it to help you instead of hindering your life. By recognizing and understanding the addiction and triggers, such as what fulfillment is not being met, and then finding a better outlet that has the same end result of satisfaction, one can overcome the challenge presented to them regarding Internet addiction. I hope this video was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!
Internet addiction can be quite common in today’s society due to always having access to the Internet. Yet, an addiction can occur with pretty much anything, so it’s up to the person to prioritize things in their life to prevent it form consuming them. I know from my experience that there have been times that I constantly am checking things online, mostly procrastinating, and not getting my work done. I can then shift my focus to one task and get it done efficiently and then have time for the other activity.