Computers and the internet are an integral part of daily modern life. People use them for work; kids for their homework. Along with tablets and smartphones, they help us keep in touch with friends and family, provide entertainment with games and videos, and keep us informed instantly with online news sources.
People are now used to sitting at a computer for hours on end. Taking time to steal a glance at Facebook, a gossip site, or look up a song doesn’t seem to be a big deal – until two minutes turns into twenty. So, when does productivity and a bit of fun turn into an internet usage problem or addiction?
Pathological internet usage in children and teens is characterized by excessive time spent online accompanied by changes in mood –irritability when they’re not online, preoccupation with thoughts of being online, anger and agitation when online activities are interrupted. Also, other aspects of their lives suffer – from friendships to personal responsibilities, such as household chores and academics.
Research also shows that internet use, especially excessive internet use, can rewire the brain’s pathways. As a type of behavioral addiction, it also shows signs of having similar effects as substance abuse.
The pros and cons of using the internet and technology like computers, video games, and smartphones should be considered. They can also be used as a guide for understanding if your internet use is causing more trouble rather than productivity. While it may not be possible to fully get the internet out of daily life, it is possible to monitor our habits, so that we can better enjoy the people and non-digital world around us.
Getting Away & Breaking the Addiction: Wilderness Therapy
Internet addiction can at times be the result of other issues, such as depression. In searching for comfort or an outlet, someone suffering may turn to the internet. Ultimately, technology is definitely impacting our lives, relationships, and habits – for better or worse. And when it’s for worse, we should do something to change it.
For young adults or adolescents who are struggling with internet or gaming issues along with the possibility of depression and anxiety, getting away from the source of their trouble is a great start. Wilderness therapy can be a great opportunity for a digital detox and a time to discover what is at the root of internet addiction. Pacific Quest wilderness therapy program is a unique mix of outdoor therapy, standard therapy, healthy living, and a wellness program. The Pacific Quest’s holistic approach gives young adults and adolescents an opportunity to learn life and healthy coping skills, apply those skills and ideas, and then understand how those help learn to lead balanced lives – lives in which they know how to better balance internet and technology use.