Updated: Feb 2
Recently I came across the story of a young man named Larry Carlet, who lost his job and got divorced due to Twitter addiction. This internet addict would tweet as much as 30 times daily and was able to amass over 25,000 followers in three years.
His boss accused him of violating the company's social media policy, and he was asked to choose either to delete the account or face sack, and he chose to terminate his job. Barely a month later, he tweeted something silly about his wife, and she filed a divorce. Larry eventually left the social media platform. I hope he didn't die of depression.
A study reveals that worldwide internet use increased by 1000% between the years 2000 and 2015. If you're looking for an explanation for why social media is growing that much, the reason is more straightforward than you thought. Many users come together for connection feasibility, accessibility to information, or ease of communicating with other users.
Many people, especially the youth, are now addicted to social media; they stay online as if their lives depend on it. Addiction to mobile phone or computer use is more common in teens and young adults, probably because they are the users who have grown up alongside this technology.
However, spending an excessive amount of time on the internet doesn't necessarily mean you are an addict. People now spend many hours on the internet for school, work, and many other important reasons. Freelancers and other people earn their living online while some people study online. I'm not referring to these categories of people. After all, they are using technology to improve their lives.
What makes you an internet addict? Internet addiction, otherwise known as 'Compulsory use of the internet.' can be characterised by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupation, urges, or behaviour regarding computer use and internet access, leading to distress or impairment. Imagine a couple laying on a bed, each deeply engrossed with their phone, and dealing with the internet for hours, without talking to each other. That's what addiction can do.
Well, If you would agree with me, I think all these makes you an addict:
Staying online longer than you intended to.
Going online without any intention.
Feeling bored whenever you are not connected to the internet.
Neglecting other important tasks because you are connected to the internet.
You can add yours too. When you lose pleasure in real-life activities because of the internet, you become an addict.
A young lady discovered Facebook recently and turned into an addict within a short time. She influenced her little brother, and they both stopped doing their chores. Her parents confronted her, and she killed herself by hanging. Online chatting, gaming, gambling could turn you into an internet addict.
After much brainstorming, I discovered that depression and loneliness might be the primary causes of internet addiction. People try to avoid family or personal problems, which creates even more discomfort in the long run. Besides, loneliness and social phobia have led many people to relate only to the network.
Don't you see BAD HEALTH as a consequence of internet addiction? Does an internet addict have enough time to sleep? Does an addict have time to exercise his body? He finds it hard to get proper exercise, and he strains his eyes too.
Other consequences might include bad social life (since he finds it hard to relate with people physically) and underperformance in academics. Can we solve the problem of internet addiction? Well, here are my suggestions, and you might find them helpful:
1. Know when to stay online and manage your time properly.
2. Discover healthier ways to get out of depression, like reading and regular exercise.
3. Relate with people more than ever before and socialise more with people offline.
We've identified the causes and consequences of internet addiction. It's worthy of note that the World Health Organization has recognised internet addiction as a disorder (Internet Addiction Disorder). Since nobody wants to suffer from any disorder, I implore us to stop internet addiction to better our lives.