The Problem with Internet Addiction
“Internet addiction” is not an actual medical diagnosis, but for some people, it’s real.
Not only does it cause physical symptoms, like dry eyes, “cyber shakes”, carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches, it can also result in grave consequences such as job loss, divorce, and indebtedness.
In one paper titled, How Internet Addiction Is Affecting Lives, the researchers outlined some of the negative impacts of internet addiction. Is is important to note that these are indirect effects of this kind of addiction.
- It harms personal relationships. Due to activities connected to online infidelity such as cybersex, internet addiction can even lead to divorce.
- Risk of sexually transmitted infections. The paper also indicated that people who seek sexual partners online have a higher risk of contracting STIs.
- Cybersexual addiction. Other studies revealed that 15% of internet users or approximately 9 million people visited one of the top adult websites in a one-month period.
- Need for psychological or medical treatment. As a consequence of the physical and psychological symptoms, some people need to skip school or work to seek medical help.
Due to these potential harms, many people are calling for “digital detox.”
Digital detox is a period when a person takes a break from using electronic devices. Aside from the possibility that digital detox can prevent the occurrence of the negative impacts of internet addiction, it also brings a lot of health benefits.
7 Health Benefits of a Digital Detox
It Encourages Mindfulness
Mary Gomes, a psychology professor at Sonoma State University, said that she assigned a four-day “media fast” in her classes.
During their media fasting, the students were encouraged to stop their habit of constantly checking their gadgets for text and email notifications.
Professor Gomes said she knew that it will be difficult. After all, a 2015 study revealed that the majority of Americans frequently have their phones with them and they rarely turn them off.
When the students shared their experience, they associated the fasting to things like mindfulness, present-moment awareness, and immersion. The students also added that these benefits kicked in just 2 days after starting the digital detox.