Do you ever feel like your
online life is more real than your offline life? If your answer is YES, you might be addicted to Internet.

Some SNS sites emphasize that connection with others is very important. For example, Facebook’s social mission is “to make the world more open and connected.”  Twitter “connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting.”

What is Internet Addiction?

 Internet Addiction disorder refers to the problematic use of the Internet, including the various aspects of its technology, such as electronic mail (e-mail) and the World Wide Web. There are alot of types of Internet Addiction.

1)Cybersex Addiction– compulsive use of Internet pornography, adult chat rooms, or adult fantasy role-play sites impacting negatively on real-life intimate relationships.

2)Cyber-Relationship Addiction– addiction to social networking, chat rooms, and messaging to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships with family and friends.

3)Net Compulsions– such as compulsive online gaming, gambling, stock trading, or compulsive use of online auction sites such as eBay, often resulting in financial and job-related problems. 

4)Information Overload– compulsive web surfing or database searching, leading to lower work productivity and less social interaction with family and friends.

5)Computer Addiction – obsessive playing of off-line computer games, such as Solitaire or Minesweeper, or obsessive computer programming.

What makes the Internet Addictive?

Why do people try to connect to others online?  The reason is obvious. Because it makes us feel important,unique,special and recognized. Also, it makes us feel comfortable.On the Internet, we can conceal our real name, age, occupation, appearance, and our physical responses to anyone or anything we encounter on-line. Internet users, especially those who are lonely and insecure in real-life situations, take that freedom and quickly pour out their strongest feelings, darkest secrets, and deepest desires. This leads to the illusion of intimacy, but when reality underscores the severe limitations of relying on a faceless community for the love and caring that can only come from actual people, Internet addicts experience very real disappointment and pain.

Why you should disconnect?

It is true that we can get alot of information from emails, RSS feeds, blogs, social networking sites, YouTube, televisions, magazines, newspapers, memos, DVDs, radio, fax machines, BlackBerrries and satellite radio. Knowledge may be power; however, information overload is anything but. It is just noisy. Also, running away from reality does not help you. It is crucial to spend a quality time alone. If you focus on you, you’ll come to understand what’s going on inside your head and be a little more present. Life might be harsh for you sometimes; however,if you’re not scared some of the time, you’re not living. No pain, no gain. It is important to embrace the chaos.

If people who are addicted to Internet succeed in disconnecting, they might be more successful and happier.

Image: ninot making fun of Internet addiction. Ninot exposition. by Marc Shadon – cclicensed via Flickr

Article: Internet Addiction: why you need to disconnect