As is the case with almost every addiction, most cases of Internet addiction build gradually over time. In fact, Internet addiction can be a particularly tricky to both identify and address in an age where 24/7 connectivity is the everyday norm. In the case of those with genuinely problematic Internet addictions, it’s almost always a case of casual use slowly but surely snowballing into something much more serious. Unfortunately, it’s often not until things become relatively severe that the problem is acknowledged and the necessary action taken.
According to the experts at www.davidgoodlad.co.uk, the key to avoiding Internet addiction often lies in better understanding the causes of Internet addiction. Exactly what it is that leads any given individual into addiction in the first place will to a large extent be unique – as is the case with all addictions. Nevertheless, there are several identifiable causes of web addiction, which if acknowledged and considered can be helpful in avoiding problematic behaviour and addictions.
According to the results of a recent survey carried out by ABC News in the United States, more than 5% of adults technically suffer from Internet addiction – some more severely affected than others. In terms of why it is that such enormous numbers are now facing genuine problems with Internet addiction, experts state that the biggest cause of all is simple availability. As in the fact that the Internet is there in front of you, or even in your pocket, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. As such, it has become so easy to spend enormous amounts of time online that this is exactly what millions are doing – ultimately falling into addictions without even realising it.
For some, Internet addiction is the result of using the web as something of a refuge from the real world. Of course, exactly why it is that those concerned may wish to escape the real world varies enormously from one person to the next, but in all instances the Internet as a whole has become an easily accessible ‘second reality’ for those in any way unhappy with their real lives. Some for example will turn to the web as a means by which to quell feelings of loneliness, others to avoid social situations and some to seek consolation/conversation in the event of bereavement. In all such instances, the Internet can be extraordinarily helpful and beneficial, though when turned to compulsively and excessively can lead to detrimental addiction.
Depression and Anxiety
Individuals with a history of depression or anxiety also tend to be naturally more prone to developing Internet addictions than others. In such instances, seeking and finding solace, comfort and entertainment online can lead to a situation where the Internet becomes the only trusted source for finding happiness. Over time, this kind of dependence and compulsiveness can make connecting with and living in the real world increasingly difficult, in some instances only intensifying or prolonging problems with depression and anxiety.
Unsurprisingly, online gaming has been singled out by many professionals as one of the biggest contemporary causes of Internet addiction. With such enormous availability of games and access to enormous global communities of gamers, it has for the first time become possible to play any game at any time with anyone else on the face of the Earth, usually 100% free of charge. As such, it’s largely inevitable that relatively large proportions of the gaming community will face problems with moderate to severe addiction – total availability once again being the root cause.
Once a rather niche market with a relatively modest global clientele, the Internet has transformed the face of the pornography industry in ways few could have imagined. Pornography addiction has become one of the most common and potentially life-affecting addictions associated with the Internet. As in the instances already mentioned, it’s the way in which infinite volumes of pornography can be accessed in an instant at any time and entirely free of charge that leads so many into addiction. What starts life as something of a curiosity or perhaps a healthy interest can quickly snowball into something quite seriously detrimental, reinforcing the importance of maintaining control and knowing exactly where to draw the line.
As each case of Internet addiction is as unique as the individual in question, there’s really no such thing as a right or wrong time to seek professional consultation. Even if it’s simply to discuss the various ways and means by which Internet addiction can be successfully avoided, it’s always worth consulting with an expert to shine light on one of the 21st century’s most relevant subjects.