The internet is a wonderful source of information and entertainment. However, some individuals develop a problematic relationship with on-line activities that interferes with emotional, social, financial, occupational functioning. These individuals find themselves spending an inordinate amount of time on-line and begin to substitute the interaction obtained via the computer in exchange for face to face human contact. This addiction can disrupt the lives of the individual and their family. Some may suffer loss of family, job, and friends as a result of their obsession.
Behaviors of internet addiction may include but are not limited to:
- Feeling an emotional high while on the computer
- May have guilt feelings while on computer
- Inability to make self stop when you want to
- Unsuccessful attempts to quit or limit time
- Lose track of time when using
- Neglect family, friends, or significant other
- Neglect responsibilities to spend time on-line
- Lying to cover up the time spent on the computer
- Feeling angry or emotional when you can’t get to a computer
- Feeling angry or emotional while interrupted on the computer
- Get on-line to avoid various emotions or to escape
- Rely on the computer for your social needs
- Rely on the use of the computer for sexual gratification
- Feel that you are consumed with thoughts and desires to be on the computer.