Addicted To The Internet?

Silhouette of a person sitting in front of a laptop
Image credit: photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash.

The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Internet: absolute communication, absolute isolation.

Paul Carvel.

(I didn’t know which quote post to use for this, so I decided to use both.)

In our hyper-connected world, it can be all too easy to fall into an addiction to something that most of us consider essential to our daily lives: the magical internet. This addiction may take the form of hours spent reading blogs, or following Facebook links and paths, or even just checking email over and over.

Regardless of what form it takes, it may take us a while to recognize it as an addiction at all.

Like other addictions, we most likely have denied it and or rationalized it to ourselves, convincing ourselves that we need to check email so frequently so that we don’t miss an important business opportunity, or that we need to look on Facebook to keep up with friends and family. We think of it as just a harmless habit.

Indeed, that can be one of the hardest things about this addiction – unlike alcohol or drugs, we can’t just stay away from it.

Everywhere we go, triggers will present themselves, including, possibly, our very real and valid work needs. Even if we are not in an office, the person next to us on their phone or iPad makes us reach for our cell phone in response, as if we, too, are important.

So How Can We Start To Stop The Addiction?

We can start by getting some success in concrete ways.

  • Perhaps decide on times that you will turn the phone off - maybe after getting home for work or during family time.
  • Start small here. We don’t want to start off with “I’m not going to go on my phone all day”, but perhaps just going from five to ten minutes between checking email or Facebook. 

Find more tips on how to break free in my complete article: Addicted To The Internet On Long Island Is Not Just For Adolescents.

My wish for you to today is for you to become aware of your time spent in front of these magical screens.

Kathleen Dwyer-Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.

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