Internet Addictions

Internet Addictions – What are they?
Is the Internet interfering with your daily life? Do you find yourself compelled to play internet games, check your social network, peruse the latest pins, even if it conflicts with your real life? Internet addictions are not official disorders, but compulsive internet use is an increasing problem around the world.

Internet addiction can take many forms, including compulsive gaming, obsessive surfing, online gambling, frequent stock trading, addiction to social networking (where online relationships are stronger than real-life relationships), or a compulsive use of internet porn.

"The Internet is unlike anything we've seen before," says David Greenfield, PhD, founder of the Center for Internet Studies.1 "It's a socially connecting device that's socially isolating at the same time."

Internet Addictions – Are you Impacted?
Are you wondering if you have an internet addiction? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you neglect your responsibilities because you are spending time online?
  • Do you often stay online longer than you intended?
  • Does your family or friends think you spend too much time online, instead of with them?
  • Has your job, education, or sleep suffered because of the time you spend online?
  • Do you look forward to or fantasize about getting online again?
  • Have you tried to cut back on your internet usage, but been unsuccessful?
  • Do you look to the internet to cheer you up? Do you often use the internet to relieve stress or anxiety?
  • Do you lie to your friends or family about how much time you spend online?
If your use of the internet is impacting your life in a negative way, you need to take a step back and find a new balance.

Internet Addictions – I’m addicted, what should I do?
If you are drawn to the internet to deal with stress or anxiety, find healthy alternatives to dealing with stressful emotions. Spend that time exercising, getting a massage, talking to a counselor, reading, etc.

Focus on your “real-life” relationships. Set aside time each day to enhance those relationships, rather than concentrating your time online. If you don’t have many friends, be intentional about looking for some. Join groups where you can find people who have common interests –reading, sports, crafts, cars, etc.

Log the time you spend online and what you are doing during those times. Adjust this schedule to keep online activity to a minimum. When it is not your appointed time, keep yourself busy with healthy activities.

Unplug for a set period of time. Turn of the computer. The reason is simple…you want to train your body and mind that you can survive without the internet.

Find other interests, preferably an interest that has no connection to the internet.

Find support. Talk to your family or a close friend. Have them keep you accountable on your new internet guidelines. We also encourage you to utilize professional help and counseling.

Donna says, “God is into restoration and no one can restore like God. The Creator of all things can restore. He will fill the heart with what is right and good because He is the standard. He is greater than all our problems, doubts, and fears. He is love, He doesn’t have love, He is love, and He doesn’t love us a little or a lot. He loves with all His being. 1 John 4:8 says, ‘…God is love.’

Proverbs 4:20-23 encourages us, “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

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Footnotes:
1 www.virtual-addiction.com


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