Internet addiction is just like any other addiction — it can be difficult to admit and it can make you act in ways that you normally wouldn’t. But where is the line between leisurely web surfing and an online addiction? And how can you stop it for your own health and for the sake of your family? Here’s what you need to know.
Signs of internet addiction include a loss of self-control when it comes to staying away from the computer as well as a loss of interest in other activities. This might lead an addicted internet user to hide the truth about how long she stays online each day or even forgo sleeping and eating just to log more time online. One of the most alarming signs of addiction is neglect of family and friends. For mums, this indicator of internet addiction is even more serious, as it can prevent them from looking after young children.
These signs of addiction are closely related to some of the most detrimental effects of an internet addiction. A person who finds it difficult to step away from the computer might, for example, have a hard time communicating with people face to face, including her own children. And interestingly enough, new mums in particular may be more at risk of developing this type of addiction as they search for ways to cope with the anxiety that comes with becoming a parent and adjusting to physical changes after giving birth.
Kicking the habit
To help yourself kick bad Internet habits, you’ll first need to sort out how intense your addition is. For mums with a mild habit, it could be helpful to simply try to manage time more effectively. Limiting yourself to just 30 minutes of internet access a day can help you weed out bad behaviours by forcing you to get online only to check email and take care of important tasks. If you need internet to complete necessary tasks, such as work or school activities, it could be beneficial to print out all the information you need and then get offline.
For users with a more intense Internet habit, the best thing to do is to cut Internet access altogether. For example, you could block the sites that you spend the most time on, or you could research some sell my netbook services to see if you could actually pocket some cash — another incentive to break your online surfing habits.
As our lives become more and more intertwined with our Internet activities, kicking an online addiction will become increasingly difficult. However, you don’t have to necessarily take an all-or-nothing approach. Using your kids and your family as motivation to help you bring your internet usage under control — by spending more time with them — could be the most effective strategy of all.