Entwined in the Internet

Photo: flickr.com/photos/jacobfg/

An inability to control behavior, dishonesty, changes in sleeping patterns, and withdrawing from pleasurable activities. These may seem like symptoms of depression, but they’re actually also characteristics of Internet addiction. Once not believed to be a real addiction, Internet addiction has by now affected so many people one Pennsylvania based hospital is opening a treatment program just to help those afflicted with this digital disease. While it is believed that only between 0.3%-0.7% of the US population is actually addicted to the Internet, everyone can benefit from the list of tips below on how you can unplug from our electric life.

First referenced in the mid-90s, Internet addiction isn’t characterized by how much time you spend online, but by the repercussions felt by excessive Internet use. Experts long debatedwhether it is a real addiction or if the Internet is merely a tool where more basic pathologies, such as poor impulse control or social phobias show. By now, it’s becoming more recognized. Internet addicts are usually young, intelligent males who have difficulty interacting socially, and suffer from low self-esteem. Characteristics that follow an addiction to the Internet include a euphoric feeling only experienced while online, neglecting friends and family, a sense of yearning for the internet when you are offline, and a feeling of guilt or shame when you are logged on.

The Pennsylvania hospital’s Internet addiction program happens in 2-phases. The first phase is what is called a ‘Digital Detox’ where Internet addicts are required to go 72 hours without using a phone, tablet, or the Internet. The second phase is a series of workshops and therapy sessions that are aimed to help individuals control their digitally compulsive behavior. The program costs $14,000 and must be paid for by patients because Internet addiction isn’t currently covered by any insurance company.

Turning off your computer is a start, but completely removing yourself from the overtly digital world we live in can be more of a challenge than it sounds. Here are 5 tips you can use to unplug both physically, and mentally.

1.    Shut down before bed

Digital devices encourage brain activity. Looking at you smartphone or computer before you go to bed can inhibit your ability to fall asleep. Shutting down at least 30 minutes before bed will help you get into your REM cycle faster.

2.    Get out, get away

Leaving the office or turning off your computer helps remove yourself from the Internet, but it’s only a matter of time before you log back on. Next trip you take go camping, or to a cabin way out in nature, far from the international reach of the World Wide Web.

3.    Start a hobby

Get involved in activities that don’t involve computers, or switch out digital hobbies with their analog counterpart. Replace your love for Instagram and digital photography with classic film photography. Play a game of Scrabble with your family instead of Words With Friends.

4.    Use a real clock

Many of us use smartphones as our timekeeping device or alarm clock, which tempts us to go online as soon as we wake up, or whenever we want to check the time. Using a traditional alarm clock or wristwatch will inhibit these temptations.

5.    Separate everyday activities from digital ones

Many of us eat in front of the computer, text while talking, or post every aspect of your social life to social media. The line between our digital lives and physical lives has been blurred; separating the two can help you get some physical peace from the digital noise.

Solution News Source

Entwined in the Internet

Photo: flickr.com/photos/jacobfg/

An inability to control behavior, dishonesty, changes in sleeping patterns, and withdrawing from pleasurable activities. These may seem like symptoms of depression, but they’re actually also characteristics of Internet addiction. Once not believed to be a real addiction, Internet addiction has by now affected so many people one Pennsylvania based hospital is opening a treatment program just to help those afflicted with this digital disease. While it is believed that only between 0.3%-0.7% of the US population is actually addicted to the Internet, everyone can benefit from the list of tips below on how you can unplug from our electric life.

First referenced in the mid-90s, Internet addiction isn’t characterized by how much time you spend online, but by the repercussions felt by excessive Internet use. Experts long debatedwhether it is a real addiction or if the Internet is merely a tool where more basic pathologies, such as poor impulse control or social phobias show. By now, it’s becoming more recognized. Internet addicts are usually young, intelligent males who have difficulty interacting socially, and suffer from low self-esteem. Characteristics that follow an addiction to the Internet include a euphoric feeling only experienced while online, neglecting friends and family, a sense of yearning for the internet when you are offline, and a feeling of guilt or shame when you are logged on.

The Pennsylvania hospital’s Internet addiction program happens in 2-phases. The first phase is what is called a ‘Digital Detox’ where Internet addicts are required to go 72 hours without using a phone, tablet, or the Internet. The second phase is a series of workshops and therapy sessions that are aimed to help individuals control their digitally compulsive behavior. The program costs $14,000 and must be paid for by patients because Internet addiction isn’t currently covered by any insurance company.

Turning off your computer is a start, but completely removing yourself from the overtly digital world we live in can be more of a challenge than it sounds. Here are 5 tips you can use to unplug both physically, and mentally.

1.    Shut down before bed

Digital devices encourage brain activity. Looking at you smartphone or computer before you go to bed can inhibit your ability to fall asleep. Shutting down at least 30 minutes before bed will help you get into your REM cycle faster.

2.    Get out, get away

Leaving the office or turning off your computer helps remove yourself from the Internet, but it’s only a matter of time before you log back on. Next trip you take go camping, or to a cabin way out in nature, far from the international reach of the World Wide Web.

3.    Start a hobby

Get involved in activities that don’t involve computers, or switch out digital hobbies with their analog counterpart. Replace your love for Instagram and digital photography with classic film photography. Play a game of Scrabble with your family instead of Words With Friends.

4.    Use a real clock

Many of us use smartphones as our timekeeping device or alarm clock, which tempts us to go online as soon as we wake up, or whenever we want to check the time. Using a traditional alarm clock or wristwatch will inhibit these temptations.

5.    Separate everyday activities from digital ones

Many of us eat in front of the computer, text while talking, or post every aspect of your social life to social media. The line between our digital lives and physical lives has been blurred; separating the two can help you get some physical peace from the digital noise.

Solution News Source

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