If you find in it inevitable to look at your phone again and again, checking your social media accounts, and signing in frequently, you might be suffering from internet addiction. Internet addiction happens when you get dependant on the use of internet whether it is texting, constantly peeking, or using social media. Professionals have compared this addiction to drug addiction because it impacts your health, work performance, daily life, engagement with others, and mental process the same way drugs do.
Throughout 2014, around 420 million people were addicted to the internet. The American Psychiatric Association has also stated that kids of age 13-17 are almost online constantly. Such statistics show that internet addiction is getting more common and real day by day. If you find yourself or your loved one suffering with this, there are a few things that can be done to overcome it. Such as:
1. Admit it
The first step to solve any sort of problem is to step out of the denial phase and accept that you have a problem. This is you first victory towards becoming better. By verbalising that you have a problem, you become honest with yourself and it brings clarity to the whole situation. Also, it makes you realise how unhealthy the use of internet is for you.
2. Seek Therapy
Now that you have admitted that you have a problem, why not do something about it? You can ask a reliable friend to help you with this or you can seek professional therapy. You will be able to communicate about the emotions that trigger you to go online again and again. When you share these things with someone else, it helps in opening up and then you can also set some goals with them about the behaviour which will keep you in cheque.
3. Limit the Smartphone use
Digital Detox is something you can do on your own if you have the determination and strength to do it. Once you realise that internet addiction is bad for you and it taking control over your life, you can start keeping the distance. You can limit your online session to 30 minutes. You can make some rules about not using the internet after a certain time every day. This will keep you all managed and self-controlled.
Get over the internet and share some real life experiences. Invite over your friends and have some fun activities with them. Go out more frequently and make your loved ones your priority. Spend time with them, do what you love, and try to maintain your real life relationships more than your internet relationships.
5. Change Communication Patterns
When you are texting your friend all day through your phone, change the pattern, and meet them to talk to them directly face-to-face. Same way, if you are addicted to online games, you can replace them with outdoor games. Or, you can go to video games stores and play there with your friends to keep your hands off your computer and consoles.
6. Follow a Routine
A routine makes you more organised and managed. If you have been living the life abruptly without any routine, you need to change that. Time management is the key to resolve internet addiction issues. You need to make a timetable and make time for several other things along with using internet. This way the urge to cheque on your phone after every short interval will be removed. You can select a time for internet usage as well but it will be the part of the routine.
7. Prioritise your Needs
Focus on the things you want to get done first. It depends on what you do and how you do it. For instance, if you are a student, you can decide on finishing the homework first when you come at home and doing everything later.
Similarly, if you are a businessman, you can prioritise your meetings, your schedules, first and then everything including the internet usage later. This way, you will see how internet addiction was making you miss out the things that are important in your life.
8. Keep Devices Inaccessible
If things are getting out of control and you find yourself getting more addictive day by day. You can take some serious steps by getting rid of your digital devices for a fixed time period, especially the ones bothering you a lot. It could be your gaming console, your smartphone, laptop, etc. You can ask for help from a friend and let him keep your things for a while to keep the necessary space.
9. Find Activities outside
There are many things you can do without the use of computer or smart devices. You can take part in sports team, volunteering programmes, civic groups, and further such communities to feel worthy and spend your quality time.
These things require you to go outside and be busy for hours thus keeping your mind off the things that are happening over the internet. You can share your emotions with people out there and can feel fulfilled without the use of internet.
10. Know the Cause
Why are you so much addicted to the internet? Is it because you feel so lonely? Or you have nobody to share your emotions with? Or you seek social approval? These are the possible reasons of using internet too much. Find out your reason and sort out a way to resolve it. Once you know the feelings that lead you to the unnecessary use of the internet, you might be able to resolve those issues on your own.
Using these tips can be proven very beneficial when you are willing to get yourself out of this mess. To avoid falling into internet addiction again and again, make sure you know how to control yourself once you realise that you are getting addicted to it. Keeping your eyes and mind open is a good way of staying alert and healthy. Use these tips and make sure to follow them regularly.