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Internet addiction is for real. It’s a compulsive behavior that causes people to isolate themselves from others, put off their obligations, and engage in potentially self-destructive or illegal behaviors.
Signs of Internet Addiction
- Are you spending 3 or more hours a day online?
- Are you online when you would normally sleep?
- Do you skip or delay eating so you can be online?
- Are you choosing to go online rather than spend time with friends face to face?
- Are you skipping class to go online?
- Do you ever spend more time online than you first intended to?
- Do you ever tell yourself "I'll just check my email," and then stay online?
- Are your grades slipping?
- Have you tried to stop and find you can't?
Self-Help for Internet Addiction
Here’s how you can have a healthy relationship with the internet.
- Limit your time on the internet to 1–2 hours a day.
- Set a cut-off time to your internet use so you do not stay up too late.
- Say yes to face-to-face activities rather than going online.
- Avoid pornographic and gambling websites.
- Ask yourself, "How embarrassed would I be if my mother knew I was looking at this?"
- Consider installing web-blocking programs on your personal computer.
- Talk about what you do online. If you're embarrassed to do this, then it has power over you.
- If anyone tells you they think you have a problem, try to consider this seriously. Denial is a powerful initial response for most of us. Remember that most friends have to cross a lot of psychological barriers before they confront us. The fact that they cared enough to say something to you may be a powerful red flag you should pay attention to.
If you have trouble cutting back or stopping self-destructive internet use, schedule an appointment with a CAPS counselor by calling (812) 855-5711. If you’ve paid your IU Health Fee this semester, your first two visits are free.