Do you spend an average of more than 10 hours each day using your favorite application or browsing the Internet? Do you feel restless or angry when you cannot access the internet? If so, you may be suffering from internet addiction. It is well known in developed countries that the web is as essential as the air. We are unable to work, spend our time, communicate, relieve stress, etc., without it. Even my seventy-year-old mother can’t live without it, even if she has spent most of her life without computers and the web.
Some websites and applications on the web are exceptionally addictive, and this is because they are created so that they can manipulate our brains so that we feel joy, surprise, curiosity, happiness, success, satisfaction, etc. These applications are designed to trigger all kinds of positive emotions in the human brain, which is why they do their best to achieve this.
What are the signs that an internet application is addictive?
To determine whether an internet application is addictive, you should look for these signs. If you use it more than you intended or cannot stop using it, it will likely be an addictive internet application. Additionally, you may feel anxious and stressed if you cannot access it and feel that it must be used for a long time for you to feel satisfied.
You may also become addicted to the application if you use it to escape reality or avoid negative feelings. When you feel unhappy, stressed, or depressed, you turn to your favorite app that provides temporary relief instead of talking to others about your problems.
The best thing to do is talk to a trusted friend or family member about your problem. Perhaps they can help you identify any worrying behavior patterns and suggest ways to deal with them. As an outsider, they can see better how the internet has changed your behavior.
Last but not least, many resources are available to help you overcome addiction, and you can succeed with the right support and treatment.
Addiction to internet applications and its dangers
The internet has significantly changed people’s lives. It has facilitated communication and collaboration in both the personal and professional spheres. We can obtain almost all the information we need, which has proven to be a great source of happiness for us.
However, there is a dark side to the internet. These are applications and websites that we regularly use that have taken over our lives to the point where we can’t imagine living without them.
Many people find it impossible to resist checking emails, browsing social media, and watching videos constantly. Internet addiction can negatively impact individuals’ physical and mental health, relationships, work productivity, and overall well-being. For example, overuse of social media can make you feel lonely and isolated, and compulsive video-watching can make you sleep-deprived.
We all know that they can hinder us from doing our work or studying as one of their most obvious dangers. We’ve all been there: sitting at our computers, trying to get some work done, but sucked into Facebook or Twitter vortex and spending hours on them. This results in decreased productivity and lower grades.
In addition to the individual risks associated with addiction to specific applications, there are also general dangers that come with being online too much. These include cyberbullying, identity theft, and exposure to harmful content.
Typical apps and websites that are addictive
Social media is a part of our daily lives, and we can’t imagine a world without it. Statista says there are 4.6 billion active social media users worldwide as of June 2022. Wow, that’s a lot of people! As a result of social media’s ubiquity, it is impossible to imagine living without it. There is a considerable amount of time spent on it, it is addictive and it is distracting. In my opinion, it is not likely to disappear anytime soon.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram are designed to be addictive. They manipulate the brain by providing a sense of reward each time someone likes or shares your post. The constant notifications and the need to check in trigger a dopamine rush. It can interfere with real-life relationships and work productivity if people constantly check their accounts.
It’s not just the design of social media that makes it addictive. It also reflects our society in many ways. We use social media to compare ourselves to others, seek validation, and discover what’s happening worldwide.
The addiction to online games can be attributed to a variety of factors.
As one of their primary characteristics, games manipulate the brain in a way that makes them enjoyable and rewarding to play. Gamers’ self-esteem is boosted when they achieve a new level or rank among the top players.
They can also provide a soothing or exciting escape from reality. The brain cannot distinguish between the real and virtual worlds during play. Gamers feel as if they are in another world where their potential is limitless.
Some people become addicted to online games because they enjoy playing with others. A strong sense of community can develop among gamers, and people can become close to one another.
It can also be hard for some people to give up playing online games because they fear they will miss out on something.
The developers of the games know very well what sorts of things should be included to make their game addictive. Gaming addiction is especially dangerous for young people who can’t differentiate between the virtual and real worlds.
Due to its convenience and ease, shopping online can be addictive. With the help of the internet, you can buy anything almost anywhere you want. And, you can shop anytime, day or night.
The reasons for people’s compulsion to spend money or shop are diverse. Some individuals may feel that they need to purchase things to feel fulfilled or happy. Others may use shopping or spending to cope with stress or anxiety.
Compulsive buying and spending is a real addiction. It’s when you can’t stop buying things, even though you don’t need them. It may seem that buying things is the only activity that makes you feel satisfied or happy.
Online shops apply various methods to manipulate their customers into buying more. Countdown timers, showing how many items are left in stock, or using social media influencers are some common methods. Also, they use persuasive language to make people want to buy.
Shopping addiction usually leads to financial instability since addicts spend irresponsibly and compulsively. It can lead to crippling debt, missed payments, and even bankruptcy. Social isolation and relationship problems can also result since addicts neglect their families and friends.
Users can access a wide selection of movies, television shows, and documentaries through streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
Moreover, streaming services constantly add new content to their libraries, so there is always something new for you to watch. However, what makes these services so addictive is their convenience. They can be viewed on a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet whenever you like. It is extremely tempting to watch something when we are bored or stressed. You can easily spend hours watching your favorite show, and before you know it, the day has passed.
Streaming can be extremely distracting. If you’re trying to work on a project or study for a test, it isn’t easy to focus when you have a TV show or movie playing in the background.
Movies and series are often discussed a lot these days. When you don’t know anything about them, you are regarded as an old-school guy who doesn’t follow the latest trends. The services keep coming out with new content to keep subscribers glued to their screens. And, you should know about them to be trendy.
How to break the habit of an internet application addiction
- It’s best to remove apps from your phone. Since you won’t be able to access them easily, you’re less likely to use them.
- Unsubscribe from notifications. You won’t be forced to check your account whenever a ding or notification sounds.
- Delete your accounts. If you cannot break your addiction, you may have to take this drastic measure.
- Limit how long you can use the app or website per day. You could, for example, only use Twitter for 30 minutes a day or only check Facebook once a day.
- List the reasons why you want to break the habit. Writing down your reasons for quitting can help you stay motivated. You may want to stop for health reasons, negative feelings about your addiction, or to set a positive example for your children.
- Find a new hobby. Your days and weeks can be more structured if you take up a new hobby. You can replace your addictive behavior with this improved routine. Having a new hobby can help you forget about your addiction. Keeping your mind distracted can prevent relapse.
To sum up
It is hard for you to function without your phone or the internet. Social media, email, news…you consume it all day long. You may be scrolling through Facebook while you should be working. Or you may be unable to focus on a conversation because you are texting someone else. Perhaps you feel depressed or anxious when you are not online.
As you now realize, if you are addicted to one or more applications, you must limit yourself or, even better, stop this useless habit once and for all. It used to be that way for me too, but I’ve already severely limited myself. As for my social media time, I only spend half an hour on it, and I check my email once a day. Does this make me a better person? Certainly! Now I can spend more time with my family or exercise. Do yourself a favor and spend your time on more important things rather than an app that offers almost no value.