As the TV ad says, “You are all surfing, googling, tweeting, and gaming,” but this can cross the line and become an Internet “addiction” or compulsion.
Here are some signs of web addiction/compulsion:
- Am I spending more time online than with friends and family?
- Do I feel depressed when not net connected?
- Is my avatar more important to me than my own self identity?
- Do I feel anxious if I haven’t checked my e-mail recently?
- Do I put off doing school work or other regular tasks to surf the web?
- Do I try to hide how much time I spend on-line or lie about it?
- Is talking to on-line “friends” more important than talking with my family or real friends?
- Do I stay up late, getting less than 7 hours of sleep in order to surf?
- Does my being on-line make me late to scheduled events?
- Do I prefer on-line-sex to dating or going out with friends?
- Do I drive while ‘intexicated’? Funny, but serious.
- Is my romantic partner only on-line and never in person?
- Do I feel the best when I’m surfing the net?
- Do I feel anxious until I read a text?
If you have answered yes to four or more of these questions you may be developing an unhealthy behavior pattern and can use some professional help. To schedule an initial appointment with one of our doctors please call Cathy at 512-346-2332.
Psychologist Kimberly Young’s book The Eighth Wonder is a good resource to better understand how this growing behavior is effecting many people, from adolescents to older adults. Local Psychologists who work with obsessive and compulsive behavior can help too. If this is a challenge for you, help is available. For a thorough discussion of different points of view about this behavior check out the following article on PsychiatryOnline.org: Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction.