The Internet has become an integral part of our lives and its use has increased significantly. For a long time, addiction was limited to the use of substances. In recent years, internet addiction and gaming have become some of the most popular addictions for the current generation. Internet addiction is referred to as a substance-induced impulse control disorder. In response, recent studies have demonstrated a positive correlation between high internet usage and mental disorders. Regardless of the activities that follow, Internet addiction is a psychological dependence on the Internet.
Internet gaming can lead to psycho-social and behavioral changes that affect their daily activities. In addition to physical health issues such as sleep disturbances and eating habits, internet gaming and addiction can have a psychological impact such as anxiety, depression, social phobia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and more.
What are the effects of excessive gaming and internet addiction?
Gaming and internet addiction are associated with various negative consequences. A person addicted to the internet loses focus on daily tasks, which can adversely affect their academic or professional performance. Researchers have found that people who spend more time playing online games or surfing the Internet have less memory. In addition to being more aggressive, they are more likely to initiate self-harm/suicide thoughts.
People face social issues that lead them to sacrifice their real-life relationships in favor of spending more time online.
The online platform can be addictive, giving them the opportunity to pursue anonymity, allowing them to escape any prejudices or judgments they receive. Depending on the game, players can act as specific characters to create alternative identities. This in addition makes it difficult to separate themselves from the virtual world of which they are apart. Apart from these, they are more likely to experience financial losses (gambling or betting), loneliness, mental disorders, self-esteem problems, and impulsive behaviors.
Although gaming and internet addiction appear in a small percentage of the population, it is soon predicted to become a major mental health problem if not addressed immediately. Parents or guardians must communicate with their children and assist them in engaging in offline activities and also explain the consequences of excessive screen time.
With the boom of technology, many people are spending more time online and it is difficult to face the consequences of high screen time.
What are the different ways to manage internet dependency?
1. Pursuing a passion
Rather than sit in front of your gadget and scroll through it, try again to do what you love!
2. Set a time for phone usage
Set some basic rules for when and how long to use the Internet. Draw the border! Use the gadget only for work / academic or specific time and try to stick to it.
3. Spending time with friends and family
Try to spend more time with your family. Do some fun activities or play games together. We have a lot to lose when we do not spend time with our closest family and friends.
4. Technology Free- Bedroom Policy
We used to take gadgets to the bedroom and use them before we went to bed. It affects not only our sleep duration but also our sleep quality.
5. Knowing the consequences of high screen time
Most people are not aware of the psychological consequences of overuse of the Internet or gaming. Try to communicate with people and listen to their words.
In some respects, the stigma of not accepting excessive gaming and behavior is likely to contribute to high addiction and problematic play. The time is fast approaching when we should begin to identify and address the prevalent gaming addiction that we observe.