Is there really anything like Internet addiction? How do you know if you are addicted to the Internet? These are some of the questions I asked myself when I discovered I was spending more than 4 hours a day browsing the Web. Perhaps, the fact that my area of specialisation involves Information Technology (IT) does not help matters either. While I am not aware of anything called Internet Addiction Syndrome, there are a lot of people or their partners who are worried whether they are addicted to the Internet. Twenty years ago, this question would probably never have been asked and perhaps it is one of the fall-outs of the kind of technology advancement we have today.
Computers are becoming more mobile, take for example – laptops, tablets, notebooks and smart-phones are all around us. Back in the days, the only mobile computer I knew of was a rubber calculator wrist-watch, fast-forward two decades later, mobile devices and broadband companies are evolving everyday and access to the Internet has become a lot cheaper and more accessible. So then, how do you know if someone is showing signs of addiction to the Internet? Well, the answer is quite easy to figure out, for example – when one carries a portable Internet device everywhere including on a family vacation, when you are anxious to check your email inbox whether you are expecting an important message or not and when you wake up in the middle of the night to look at your phone or computer without a reasonable excuse.
Inasmuch as the above signs may not indicate a medical condition, there are steps that can be followed to ensure that you do not for example, ruin your family holiday. You can leave your portable Internet devices at home, set aside a specific time to read emails or browse the Web, pick holiday destinations where there are limited or no Internet or mobile phone network coverage or the use of mindfulness technique whereby you discipline your mind not to wonder too far ahead or behind.
How can one separate business from his or her personal life? Can you suggest other ways of reducing Internet impulsion or dependency?