The internet has become an integral part of modern life. Between emailing, posting on social media, streaming TV and movies, playing games online, and general browsing, time can seem to get away from us. It’s not surprising that the amount of time people spend online has doubled between 2005 and 2015.
For some people this preoccupation with the internet can lead into an addiction which will have detrimental effects. Here are 10 warning signs of internet addiction you may need to look out for in yourself or your loved ones.
Having an inability to get things done during the day due to a preoccupation with either being on the internet or thinking about the internet.
Gradually increasing the amount of time which is spent online. Also, spending more time online in one sitting than what was originally intended.
Turning to the internet as a coping mechanism when experiencing uncomfortable situations or difficult emotions such as guilt, sadness, or anger.
Becoming isolated from friends and family by spending less time with them and more time online. Also, choosing online friends over in-person relationships.
Experiencing feelings of irritability or depression while not on the internet or when trying to cut back on time spent online.
Spending time online at the expense of other areas of life, e.g., not engaging in personal relationships, missing deadlines at work, showing up late to school
Having a fear of missing out (FOMO) on what is happening online, especially with social media, resulting in a compulsive desire to check your phone.
Lying to others about the amount of time which is spent on the internet. Also, going into another room to go online in order to hide it.
Experiencing feelings of anxiety or dread when your phone has been left at home or the battery dies.
Having problems falling asleep. Also, spending time online while staying up excessively late into the night.
If you think you may be struggling with an internet addiction or any other life or mental health concern, the counsellors at OCCS can help. OCCS provides comprehensive counselling services as well as a wide variety of specialty programs, subsidies, and workshops to best help our patients. Our counsellors specialize in concerns such as depression, anxiety, addictions, relationships, and more. Please contact us today to learn more about our services, weekend/evening appointments, and sliding fee scale. Okanagan Clinical Counselling Services has three locations throughout the Okanagan in Penticton, Kelowna, and West Kelowna for your convenience.
This blog post was written by OCCS’s Clinical Counsellor: