Internet addiction changes personality consciousness and is treated worse than alcoholism

My eighty-year-old grandmother watches with interest as I communicate on ICQ with a friend who is on the other side of the world. Fingers quickly run on the keys, I briefly try to explain how the Internet works and what opportunities are presented thanks to this miracle-find. 

Today it is difficult to imagine life without e-mail and search engines, diaries and forums. Satisfying our needs, they firmly took their places on the shelves of everyday life. However, sometimes online fills all space, leaving no place for offline. About how not to get stuck in the web of the world wide web, the correspondent of SE explained.

A lot of innocuous things can become a subject of dependence: food, work, shopping and even sex. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that such a useful thing as the Internet can cause harm. In general, the term “Internet addiction” appeared not so long ago – in 1994 American psychologist Ivan Goldberg spoke about an unreasonably long stay on the Internet. However, many psychologists of the term “dependence” avoid.

The point is that there is no clearly defined boundary between the painful and normal use of the Network. After all, dependence is a medical and psychological term, it can be proved and confirmed by a number of factors. Is it possible, for example, to call a dependent programmer whose work is connected to the Internet, or a student preparing for the exam, given the time they spend sitting at the computer?

But there are other cases when a person does not want to leave the virtual world in the real world, when he “cuts” into games until the morning or communicates with virtual interlocutors, forgetting about his very real and tangible relatives. For unfortunate women, whose husbands disappear, sitting down at the computer, even invented a special name – computer widows.

Under the Internet addiction is understood as NAVYAZCHIVOE desire to enter the Internet and the reluctance to go out of it. 

This dependence, unlike alcohol or narcotic, allows you to maintain physical health, but more deeply rooted and powerfully changes the personality. According to research, 91% of Internet-dependent people sit on the Internet for the sake of communication. But why do these people prefer smileys instead of real smiles?

Dummy for the user

Pathological predilection for the Internet, as a rule, is rooted in psychological problems. Care in the virtual can be an attempt to cope with depression or anxiety, an attempt to fill the inner void and feel safe.

However, a serious psychological condition can worsen – the danger lies in social disadaptation, when a person forgets about the real world and completely immerses himself in the virtual. “We can say for sure that with increasing time spent dependent on the Internet, the level of disadvantage in different spheres of life also increases,” says psychotherapist Alain Sagadeeva.

Usually people are interested and addicted to other people, objects and activities that satisfy some of their needs. Actually, these needs determine our behavior. In this regard, we can recall the Maslow’s pyramid of needs, which is based on the basic biological needs of man, and at the top is the need for self-actualization.

According to Alena Sagadeeva, the main thing that people get on the Internet is emotions.

“The feeling that something valuable or important is happening, often – the opportunity to dive into the desired state, no matter whether it’s safety, excitement or, for example, sexual arousal. What is missing in reality, gets through the Internet. It’s like a baby dummy. Milk is not, but soothing. ”

Who is there?

It is not always possible to realize their desires and intentions. Someone writes beautiful poems, but they are not in demand in ordinary life, someone is very affectionate towards girls, but due to circumstances, they do not dare to show feelings in real life. On the Internet you all the cards in hand. If there is nothing special in you, you can think up something special, if you have one, you can open it without fear of misunderstanding (among a huge number of users there will certainly be someone who will appreciate your talents, and in addition, the computer can be turned off at any time).

You’re renting an evening gown …

Sex – one of the main human needs (in the Maslow pyramid, it is located at the very bottom, along with hunger and thirst). How is it realized on the Internet? Cybersex – it has the ideal qualities for a person who for some reason does not have a sexual partner: accessibility, anonymity, emotional security. According to research, about 8% of users who visit porn sites are dependent on cybersex. Most of them – men – prefer photography and video, women prefer not to look, but to say “about it.”

On the Internet, anyone can become a sexual giant, voice their fantasies without fearing unwanted pregnancy or aggression – all this is very attractive. Especially if you are alone and want to experiment; or if you suffer from complexes and fears – they have no place on the Internet, and this is the second stage of Maslow’s needs – the need for security.

Here they know me

Of course, there are a lot of people who come to the Internet to talk not about their sexual adventures. But often the original goal of obtaining useful information is replaced by a simple habit of looking at breaks at work and chatting about nothing. Why do these people kill their time? The answer is simple – there is someone to talk to. People need other people, like-minded people and friends. At the third stage in Maslow’s hierarchy, there is a need for belonging: we want to be accepted and loved, we seek where we are known and are interested in. Interesting information and attentive interlocutors allow satisfying the cognitive need and the need for respect. If the virtual world is the only place where people are listened and respected, dependence is inevitable.

Are you addicted?

According to Alena Sagadeeva, people whose talents do not touch the sphere of communication become dependent: “Potentially dependent people are experiencing misunderstanding, boredom, distrust towards other people in communication; themselves often considering explicitly or secretly unworthy, not enough interesting or good. Then virtual communication replaces the real. ” As for the diversity of forms, this is only a way of experiencing its dependence.

So, according to the psychologist, gamblers are adrenaline-dependent on the background of weak physical preparation and denial of interest in human communication; lovers of diaries do not know how to present themselves in an explicit form, openly demonstrate themselves, but secretly desire it; chat rooms and forums – the ability to safely “chat” without the risk of being open.

If you are seriously concerned about your hobby for the Internet, you can pass a special test, developed by Professor Pittsburgh University Kimberly Young. There you can meet the questions of such a plan: “Do you often notice that you spend more time online than you intended?”, “Does your productivity often suffer because of the Internet?”, “Do you often say to yourself” for a moment ” being online? “.

Alain Sagadeeva suggests two ways to find out if there is dependence. The first is to refuse for two weeks from the Internet and observe their experiences: “In the case of dependence – to refuse for a long period from the Internet is either impossible at all or very difficult. And in the absence of this pleasure there is a “breaking”, the mood spoils, irritation appears, the level of aggression grows, bouts of boredom, sadness or despair appear. ”

The second way is less painful – to remember and record all the important contexts for you: family, work, sports, friends, entertainment, hobbies. On the contrary to each position, you should write down how much time per day you are occupied with this case. “If the time you spend on the Internet is longer than the time devoted to important things for you,” says the psychologist, “yes, much more, it’s already a relationship.”

Depth, I’m not yours

If you or your close are addicted to the Internet, analyze what the Network is giving and what is missing in the real world. Perhaps you provoked the withdrawal of a partner from reality. “Try to determine whether there is a hope that he will want to get out,” advises Alena Sagadeeva. –

It is usually easier to treat alcohol dependence than the Internet. Therefore, it is better to monitor risks in the early stages and look for alternatives: fun in real form, giving no less pleasure. ” 

Kimberly Young advises you to take control of your day’s routine. For example, do not rush to the computer in the morning, and take a shower, then have breakfast in the kitchen, and not next to the keyboard. In addition, use external, additional incentives, clearly limiting yourself in time, or ask the household to help you with this.

However, like in other types of addiction, it all makes sense, if you know WHY you get rid of the habit. After all, the Internet itself is not addictive – it’s just an instrument. And how you dispose of this tool, depends only on you.

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