The Internet is a fascinating tool that can be used to learn more about our world and everything in it. It provides stories, movies, entertainment, news, and more. However, the Internet also has the power to rob individuals of their time, their families, and the quality of their lives. Commonly known as internet addiction, compulsive Internet surfing has a growing presence in American culture. A compulsion is a strong, seemingly uncontrollable urge to engage in a behavior.
Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Internet Surfing
The following questions can help you determine if you may have a problem with compulsive Internet surfing. If you answer ‘yes’ to three or more questions, you might want to find ways to limit your time spent online or seek counseling for your Internet use.
- Do you use the Internet or stay online longer than you originally planned once a week or more?
- Do you think about an online activity or your next online session even when you are not on the Internet?
- Have you tried to stop your Internet use before but were unable to discontinue using the computer?
- When you are forced to be away from the Internet, do you find yourself feeling irritable, depressed, or moody?
- Do you use the Internet much more now than you used to?
- Have you ever lost a relationship, had a fight with loved ones, or lost a job, career, or educational opportunity over Internet use?
- Have you ever lied about your Internet use in order to hide the amount of time you spend online?
- Do you ever use online time as a way to feel better, escape from problems, or just “tune out?”
- Have you ever had a relationship or friendship that was only based around the Internet, i.e. an online friendship or romantic relationship?