- Addiction is a compulsion to repeat a behaviour regardless of its consequences.
- Internet Addiction refers to any online-related compulsive behaviour that interferes with a normal living and causes severe stress on the afflicted individual and those who are close to the person.
- It is described as an impulse-control behaviour/disorder which is similar to pathological gambling and sexual addiction.
- Addicts do not regard the internet merely as an information or communication tool, nor do they utilise it solely for enjoyment. Instead use the internet as a means to escape from their problems while they spend time online.
Symptoms of Internet Addiction include
- Preoccupation with the Internet
- Frequent thoughts about previous online activity
- Anticipation of the next online session
- Observable increase in the amount of time spent on the Internet in order to achieve satisfaction
Withdrawal symptoms include
- feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression or irritability when attempt to reduce internet time
Internet Addiction Test (from netaddiction.com)
Some strategies to prevent or counter Internet Addiction
- Keep the computer in a place accessible by all, where monitoring internet usage is easy
- Agree to time limit for internet use outside school hours
- Be involved and interested in the youth's surfing
- Parents could spend more quality time with the youth away from the internet, pursue common interests/hobbies/sports
- Schools track students' internet usage, keep a record of all the sites visited and install filters
Source: The Offline Guide for the Online Generation