The internet is defined by Dictionary.com as "a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide." But what do you perceive the internet to be? A place to write emails, play games, maybe meet new people? All of those are correct.
The internet can be interpreted and used in many different ways: both for good and for bad. The internet has become such a mainstream form of communication and information sharing because everyone uses it – even your grandma. The internet can be whatever you want it to be, depending on how you use it.
How it affects you
Not only can the internet be used in many ways, but it can also affect your personal life in many different ways. Some people use the internet in moderation, much to their advantage. However, many people have problems with using the internet safely. Using it too much can cause addiction in less disciplined people.
That's right – just like any drug, the internet can be addictive. Internet addiction can cause social issues, mental issues and even physical issues. Yet we cannot blame these issues purely on the internet itself; in reality, it is the content on the internet that has the potential to damage relationships and cause social isolation. Some damaging content includes porn, cyber-relationships and online gambling, all of which can directly affect the stability of a home and/or marriage. These concerns do not affect just a little bit of the population; it affects a sizable portion which continues to grow.
How it affects society as a whole
In 2006, Stanford conducted a nationwide household survey of 2,513 random adults. The statistics are simultaneously surprising and disturbing. The study showed that 13.7 percent found it hard to stay away from the internet for more than a couple days at a time. A solid 8.7 percent tried hiding their nonessential internet from the people surrounding them. This is especially concerning most people use the internet in a nonessential way, and they feel the need to hide that.
The last and most disturbing statistic: "8.2 percent used the internet as a way to escape problems or relieve negative mood." This statistic shows that some people cannot cope with daily stresses in a safe and productive manner so they turn to the internet to feel comforted. This is parallel to how an alcoholic may cope with the problems in his/her daily life.
Not to fret, though. There are many ways to prevent an internet addiction from occurring. If it is already present, there are ways to correct that as well.
Even though an internet addiction is a dangerous and prevalent problem, there are many ways to slow its life-ruining progression. Obviously, the best solution is to limit the amount of time you spend on the internet each day. If you have kids, teach them to respect the internet and that although it can be fun, it is not a toy.
If you already suffer from internet addiction, contact Psychguides.com at 1-888-344-8837. They will help you locate help near you. Understand that while the internet can be helpful and useful, it can also be dangerous. If you treat the internet with respect and balance your time between online activities and offline activities, you shouldn't have to worry about internet addiction.