The Social Implications of Internet Addiction

Written by:  rfreshour • Edited by: Lamar Stonecypher
Updated Aug 28, 2009
• Related Guides: Internet | Mood Swings

Internet addictions are on the rise, bringing with them the effects on the social interactions of the addicted parties. Learn some startling statistics, what the effects are and how to reestablish a connection with the world around you or how to help a loved one affected by the addiction.

The Social Implications of Internet Addiction

There are many social implications arising from Internet addiction, such as divorce, loss of friendships, not maintaining educational goals, and neglecting work schedules. There is evidence of this in a survey conducted by Stanford University. These statistics are listed below;

(1.) 13.7% found it almost impossible to not use the Internet for long periods of time.

(2.) 12.4% stayed online much longer than originally planned.

(3.) 12.3% had recognized a need to reduce their Internet use.

(4.) 8.7% lied to conceal their Internet use that was non-essential from friends, loved ones, or employers.

(5.) 8.2% used the Internet to escape from problems or to relieve stress.

(6.) 5.9% recognized that their excessive Internet use caused their relationships to suffer.

These are significant percentages will continue to rise as the Internet becomes more accessible to more users.

How Internet Addiction Affects Social Life

Some of the attraction of the Internet is that you don’t even have to leave your home to do all the things of daily life. You can shop, date, talk, play, and even have cybersex, while doing it all anonymously. You can be anyone you wish to be, even if you are unattractive, shy, unpopular, or have trouble carrying on a conversation with people face to face. However, you need interaction with people and you must be able to get away from your computer to have a healthy, happy, and productive life.

Some of the ways that Internet addiction affects social life are things such as withdrawal, feeling angry, tense, or depressed when the Internet is not available, excessive Internet use, resulting in a loss of time, (which is a very precious thing), mood swings, including arguments, lying, isolation, fatigue, and poor achievement of goals.

How Internet Addiction Affects You Physically

These are statistics that show how the Internet can affect you in different ways, from no affect to severe affect;

(1) Academic/ Mild 2%, Moderate 40%, Severe 58%

(2) Relationship/ Mild 2%, Moderate 45%, Severe 53%

(3) Financial/ Mild 10%, Moderate 38%, Severe 52%

(4) Occupational/ Mild 15%, Moderate 34%, Severe 51%

(5) Physical/ None 75%, Mild 15%, Moderate 10%, Severe 0%

There are also cases noted of prolonged or excessive Internet use that stated dependent users were apt to use the Internet as little as 20 hours per week or as much as 80 hours per week. Single sessions could sometimes last up to 15 hours. With such usage, sleep patterns are disrupted, with the dependent staying up until early hours of the morning, knowing they had to wake at 6:00 a.m. for school, work, etc. With this type of sleep schedule, it will cause fatigue, which lowers one’s immune system, making them vulnerable to sickness or disease. Also, excessive computer use can result in a lack of normal exercise, leading to higher risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and strain on your back, shoulders, and eyes.

Take a look at the statistics and decide if this describes you. Decide if you or a loved one has a problem and get the help that is needed and deserved. Then go out and enjoy life to the fullest.

 
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