The internet is a great resource for learning, breaking physical barriers, and connecting with others from anywhere. There’s no doubt that technology is the way of the future. Our personal mobile devices even provide internet wherever we go because it’s become such a daily necessity and luxury we can’t live without. Yes, the existence of the internet has made our lives more convenient, but do we take it too far? Do we depend on it more than we should be? Has it become a compulsive behavior to always go online? Are we addicted to the internet? Possibly! It’s an actual thing! In 2014, the DSM handbook of psychological disorders included internet addiction as a potential disorder needing further investigation.

There are people who can’t seem to control their internet use. They resemble physiological, neurological and behavioural signs of addiction. In 2014, the DSM (the psychologist’s handbook that details all the known psychological disorders) was updated, which proposed Internet addiction as a potential disorder that required further investigation.

So what are users addicted to, the internet itself or what their activity on the internet? We can see additions to online pornograpy, gambling, social networking, and video gaming. This would be considered an addiction to the online activity; however, limitless web surfing can be addictive within itself with blogs, Youtube, and researching our every question.

There are several studies looking into internet addictions and its effect on the brain. Studies show there’s a no link between the actual excessive use of the internet with reduced brain volume. However, those who displayed symptoms of addiction and an inability to control their internet use actually had less brain matter volume in the right frontal pole – an area of the brain associated with poor decision-making, addictive behavior, and willpower. Some people can actually be prewired to be have internet addictions.

Having instant access and responses are very pleasurable and unlike reality. This satisfaction could also be addicting. A lot of this internet and social media hook has a lot to do with the technology age we live in today, it’s become a way of life. Always reaching for our devices and jumping online, there’s a connection to our inability to be alone with our own thoughts and self entertainment. It’s become a process of constant interaction, whether it’s used positively or negatively, some of us depend on it. This in itself is addicting to some.

If you or someone you know might be struggling with addiction of any kind, please contact Crownview Medical Group to get some advice from a trained medical professional who can talk you through it. Addiction can hold us back from being our optimum self.