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Is Internet Addiction Real?

Traci Taylor

My friends make fun of me and say I’m addicted to the internet.  The truth is, I get paid to write and post things through my job so that’s why I’m always connected. I do try at least once a week to have an internet/phone call/text message/social media free day when I’m not at work to let myself decompress.

For others, they’re not able to back away from the internet even for one day. There’s a new inpatient treatment facility in Pennsylvania for internet addicts that’s had a lot of people questioning if internet addiction is a legitimate problem.

I think that it is. I’ve known people who’ve turned into nasty little creatures when they weren’t able to connect to the internet/social media in an instant because of a broken phone or lost internet connectivity.

The latest edition of Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders doesn’t recognize internet addiction as a medical condition but experts to believe that there are some people who can develop an unhealthy dependency on being “plugged in.”

If you experience any of these, little red flags should go off inside your head and you might want to think about giving yourself an internet break for at least an hour a day and then build it up from there.

  • Withdrawal symptoms when computer/tablet/phone is turned off.
  • Not being able to quit checking social networks and email.
  • Being plugged in all the time – people with an Internet addiction are “on” all the time, producing excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to stress-related illnesses.

Still not sure if you have an internet addiction?  You can take the digital distraction test right now to see if you’ve got a problem or are on your way to having a problem.

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