Der Blog für digitale Kompetenz

Der Blog für digitale Kompetenz

Internet Addiction – A serious look at a growing problem

A new era of addictions

In the age of digital advancement, where technology is seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives, a subtle yet serious threat is on the rise: internet addiction. With a constantly changing technology landscape and increasing digitization, the internet has become an indispensable part of life. Internet-enabled devices can not only be found in almost every household, but are also our daily companions through the smartphone and play a decisive role in almost all aspects of our lives. Whether it’s for education, work, social interaction, or entertainment – without the internet, many things just don’t work anymore.

internetsucht

Topic Overview

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While this development brings many benefits, it also creates a number of problems. Dependence on technology, and in particular on the Internet, is a phenomenon that is constantly increasing. Like any addiction, internet addiction can be difficult to spot, especially because it seems almost normal in our increasingly connected world.

To determine if you are internet addicted, you must first understand what internet addiction is and the signs and symptoms associated with it. Below we will address these questions in detail.

Internet Addiction – A serious look at a growing problem

A new era of addictions

In the age of digital advancement, where technology is seamlessly integrated into our everyday lives, a subtle yet serious threat is on the rise: internet addiction. With a constantly changing technology landscape and increasing digitization, the internet has become an indispensable part of life. Internet-enabled devices can not only be found in almost every household, but are also our daily companions through the smartphone and play a decisive role in almost all aspects of our lives. Whether it’s for education, work, social interaction, or entertainment – without the internet, many things just don’t work anymore.

internetsucht

Topic Overview

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While this development brings many benefits, it also creates a number of problems. Dependence on technology, and in particular on the Internet, is a phenomenon that is constantly increasing. Like any addiction, internet addiction can be difficult to spot, especially because it seems almost normal in our increasingly connected world.

To determine if you are internet addicted, you must first understand what internet addiction is and the signs and symptoms associated with it. Below we will address these questions in detail.

Definition: What is internet addiction?

Definition: What is internet addiction?

Internet addiction, also known as pathological Internet use, is a serious mental disorder characterized by excessive and uncontrolled use of the Internet. Affected individuals spend much of their time online, often at the expense of their job performance, academic performance, and their relationships with others.

Although internet addiction is still a matter of debate in the medical community, many experts consider it a form of behavioral addiction. It can have similar effects to other forms of addiction, such as alcohol or drug addiction.

“Internet addiction can be broken down into several subtypes, including gambling addiction, social networking addiction, information and research addiction, and cybersex addiction. Each of these subtypes has its own distinctive patterns and impact on individuals.”

While the exact diagnosis is complex, there are still signs and symptoms that can indicate internet addiction. These symptoms can be both physical and psychological and vary in severity and duration.

Internet addiction, also known as pathological Internet use, is a serious mental disorder characterized by excessive and uncontrolled use of the Internet. Affected individuals spend much of their time online, often at the expense of their job performance, academic performance, and their relationships with others.

Although internet addiction is still a matter of debate in the medical community, many experts consider it a form of behavioral addiction. It can have similar effects to other forms of addiction, such as alcohol or drug addiction.

“Internet addiction can be broken down into several subtypes, including gambling addiction, social networking addiction, information and research addiction, and cybersex addiction. Each of these subtypes has its own distinctive patterns and impact on individuals.”

While the exact diagnosis is complex, there are still signs and symptoms that can indicate internet addiction. These symptoms can be both physical and psychological and vary in severity and duration.

Symptoms: How do I recognize internet addiction?

Symptoms: How do I recognize internet addiction?

There are several signs that can indicate a possible Internet addiction. Physical symptoms often include fatigue, trouble sleeping, neglect of personal hygiene and health, as well as headaches and back pain from sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time. On the psychological side, loss of sense of time, neglect of tasks and responsibilities, isolation from friends and family, euphoria when surfing the Internet, inability to reduce time online, and growing restlessness or irritability when Internet access is restricted can be indicators.

“While these symptoms do not necessarily indicate internet addiction, they are warning signs that should be taken seriously. Anyone who experiences these symptoms in themselves or a loved one People noticed should see a doctor or therapist.”

It is important to note that self-diagnosis is not sufficient. A diagnosis of Internet addiction should be performed by a qualified professional. It is often the result of an extensive diagnostic process that includes interviews, questionnaires, and sometimes physical examinations.

There are several signs that can indicate a possible Internet addiction. Physical symptoms often include fatigue, trouble sleeping, neglect of personal hygiene and health, as well as headaches and back pain from sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time. On the psychological side, loss of sense of time, neglect of tasks and responsibilities, isolation from friends and family, euphoria when surfing the Internet, inability to reduce time online, and growing restlessness or irritability when Internet access is restricted can be indicators.

“While these symptoms do not necessarily indicate internet addiction, they are warning signs that should be taken seriously. Anyone who experiences these symptoms in themselves or a loved one People noticed should see a doctor or therapist.”

It is important to note that self-diagnosis is not sufficient. A diagnosis of Internet addiction should be performed by a qualified professional. It is often the result of an extensive diagnostic process that includes interviews, questionnaires, and sometimes physical examinations.

Causes: Why do people become addicted to the internet?

Causes: Why do people become addicted to the internet?

The causes of internet addiction are complex and varied and can vary from person to person. Some people might be genetically more prone to addictive behaviors. Others might use the internet as an escape from problems or negative feelings.

Caught in the net

In the digital world of the 21st century, where we can travel to distant lands, order exotic dishes or expand our knowledge with a click of the screen, there is a dark side: internet addiction. It is estimated that millions of people worldwide are affected by this addiction. But why do people become addicted to the internet? What are the causes and factors that contribute to the development of this addiction?

Psychologists and neuroscientists have identified various reasons why people become addicted to the internet. The exact causes cannot be generalized, but there are some known triggers for internet addiction.

Social isolation and loneliness
A majority of Internet addicts suffer from a feeling of isolation or loneliness. The internet offers an escape from the real world and allows them to feel a part of virtual communities. Internet addiction has increased significantly, especially in times of social distancing and quarantine due to COVID-19.

Brain’s reward system
Neuroscientific research has shown that the internet affects the brain’s reward system in a similar way to drugs or gambling. When we surf online, seek information, or use social media, our brain produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. The constant stimulation of the internet can lead to the brain demanding more of this “reward”, which can lead to an insidious addiction as a result.

Reduce stress and anxiety
The internet can be used as a form of self-medication, similar to addictive substances such as nicotine or alcohol, to relieve stress, anxiety or other uncomfortable emotions. The constant distraction the internet provides can temporarily help quell these negative feelings, leading to a self-reinforcing cycle: the more stress and anxiety a person has, the more inclined they are to use the internet, eh eventually leads to addiction.

Personal Factors
Personality traits such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem, or depression can also contribute to Internet addiction. People who struggle to manage their emotions or maintain social relationships are more likely to resort to excessive internet use as a way to do things they can’t do in real life.

The causes of internet addiction are complex and varied and can vary from person to person. Some people might be genetically more prone to addictive behaviors. Others might use the internet as an escape from problems or negative feelings.

Caught in the net

In the digital world of the 21st century, where we can travel to distant lands, order exotic dishes or expand our knowledge with a click of the screen, there is a dark side: internet addiction. It is estimated that millions of people worldwide are affected by this addiction. But why do people become addicted to the internet? What are the causes and factors that contribute to the development of this addiction?

Psychologists and neuroscientists have identified various reasons why people become addicted to the internet. The exact causes cannot be generalized, but there are some known triggers for internet addiction.

Social isolation and loneliness
A majority of Internet addicts suffer from a feeling of isolation or loneliness. The internet offers an escape from the real world and allows them to feel a part of virtual communities. Internet addiction has increased significantly, especially in times of social distancing and quarantine due to COVID-19.

Brain’s reward system
Neuroscientific research has shown that the internet affects the brain’s reward system in a similar way to drugs or gambling. When we surf online, seek information, or use social media, our brain produces dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure. The constant stimulation of the internet can lead to the brain demanding more of this “reward”, which can lead to an insidious addiction as a result.

Reduce stress and anxiety
The internet can be used as a form of self-medication, similar to addictive substances such as nicotine or alcohol, to relieve stress, anxiety or other uncomfortable emotions. The constant distraction the internet provides can temporarily help quell these negative feelings, leading to a self-reinforcing cycle: the more stress and anxiety a person has, the more inclined they are to use the internet, eh eventually leads to addiction.

Personal Factors
Personality traits such as impulsiveness, low self-esteem, or depression can also contribute to Internet addiction. People who struggle to manage their emotions or maintain social relationships are more likely to resort to excessive internet use as a way to do things they can’t do in real life.

Consequences: The effects of internet addiction

Consequences: The effects of internet addiction

Berlin, June 9, 2023 – An increasing number of people are spending significant time online these days, and while the internet offers numerous benefits, excessive use can lead to serious problems. The so-called “Internet addiction” deserves more and more attention in our digital society.

The German Society for Addiction Research and Addiction Therapy (DG-Sucht) estimates that around one million people in Germany are affected by serious internet addiction, with adolescents and young adults being disproportionately represented. But what are the implications and what actions can be taken to combat this growing threat?

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Physical and psychological consequences

First of all, internet addiction can have significant health effects. These include physical problems such as back pain, headaches, sleep disorders and an overall poorer physical condition due to lack of exercise. Of particular concern for young people is that these physical consequences can have long-term effects on their development.

Excessive internet use can also lead to mental problems. Those affected often show signs of depression, anxiety and social isolation. In severe cases, it can lead to a serious impairment of the quality of life because those affected neglect their work, their studies or their social relationships.

“While internet addiction is a serious threat, there are ways out of addiction. Psychotherapy, behavior modification, support groups, and in some cases, supplemental medication can help treat this addiction overcome.”

Berlin, June 9, 2023 – An increasing number of people are spending significant time online these days, and while the internet offers numerous benefits, excessive use can lead to serious problems. The so-called “Internet addiction” deserves more and more attention in our digital society.

The German Society for Addiction Research and Addiction Therapy (DG-Sucht) estimates that around one million people in Germany are affected by serious internet addiction, with adolescents and young adults being disproportionately represented. But what are the implications and what actions can be taken to combat this growing threat?

cshow
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Physical and psychological consequences

First of all, internet addiction can have significant health effects. These include physical problems such as back pain, headaches, sleep disorders and an overall poorer physical condition due to lack of exercise. Of particular concern for young people is that these physical consequences can have long-term effects on their development.

Excessive internet use can also lead to mental problems. Those affected often show signs of depression, anxiety and social isolation. In severe cases, it can lead to a serious impairment of the quality of life because those affected neglect their work, their studies or their social relationships.

“While internet addiction is a serious threat, there are ways out of addiction. Psychotherapy, behavior modification, support groups, and in some cases, supplemental medication can help treat this addiction overcome.”

Therapy and Prevention: The Road to Recovery

Therapy and Prevention: The Road to Recovery

The good news is that there are effective therapies to treat internet addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common method that aims to identify and change problematic behaviors and thought patterns. In therapy, those affected learn to control their internet use, find alternatives to online time, and change their emotional responses to the internet.

In addition, more and more emphasis is placed on prevention strategies. Educational programs that raise awareness of the risks of Internet addiction and teach self-control skills are becoming more common in schools and communities. Parents and guardians also play a crucial role in prevention by establishing healthy screen times and looking out for signs of internet addiction.

Technology companies are also beginning to take responsibility and integrate digital welfare functions into their products. These features allow users to track their screen time and set limits on their internet usage. While therapy and prevention are crucial in combating internet addiction, it is just as important to combat the stigma surrounding the condition. Internet addiction is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone. Those who suffer deserve understanding and support, not judgment and blame.

We live in a digital world and the internet will continue to be an integral part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is even more important that we learn how to use it in a healthy way. On the website of the Association for Media Addiction you will find advice and contact points for therapy offers.

The good news is that there are effective therapies to treat internet addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common method that aims to identify and change problematic behaviors and thought patterns. In therapy, those affected learn to control their internet use, find alternatives to online time, and change their emotional responses to the internet.

In addition, more and more emphasis is placed on prevention strategies. Educational programs that raise awareness of the risks of Internet addiction and teach self-control skills are becoming more common in schools and communities. Parents and guardians also play a crucial role in prevention by establishing healthy screen times and looking out for signs of internet addiction.

Technology companies are also beginning to take responsibility and integrate digital welfare functions into their products. These features allow users to track their screen time and set limits on their internet usage. While therapy and prevention are crucial in combating internet addiction, it is just as important to combat the stigma surrounding the condition. Internet addiction is a serious mental illness that can affect anyone. Those who suffer deserve understanding and support, not judgment and blame.

We live in a digital world and the internet will continue to be an integral part of our lives for the foreseeable future. Therefore, it is even more important that we learn how to use it in a healthy way. On the website of the Association for Media Addiction you will find advice and contact points for therapy offers.

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About the Author:

Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.

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About the Author:

Michael W. SuhrDipl. Betriebswirt | Webdesign- und Beratung | Office Training
After 20 years in logistics, I turned my hobby, which has accompanied me since the mid-1980s, into a profession, and have been working as a freelancer in web design, web consulting and Microsoft Office since the beginning of 2015. On the side, I write articles for more digital competence in my blog as far as time allows.

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