With the Internet becoming so wildly popular there are some problems that are gaining attention. Internet addictions are being researched and studied more. There are many opportunities for addictions on the Internet. People use the Internet for finding information, entertainment and relationships. With over half the world’s population on the Internet your chances will increase of coming across Internet users with some type of addiction. Researchers suggest that one in eight Americans have some type of Internet addiction and that some are so obsessed they try to hide it from their loved ones. If you are worried about family members that may be addicted here are some ideas on learning to recognize Internet addictions in your family.
Some warning signs that your family member may indeed have an Internet addiction can include any of the following symptoms or behaviors.
•The family member is preoccupied with the Internet. They are always on the Internet doing something. They feel the need to be on the computer on the Internet in chat rooms, or just surfing around.
•Your family member talks more about Internet friends, chat rooms, and other things they find or do on the Internet then they do about things they have done at work, school or throughout their day. When talking to them it would seem like the only thing they do pertains to the Internet.
•One or two hours a day on the computer surfing the Internet is not sufficient enough for leisure play. The family member may get visibly upset if you tell them to be on the Internet less. Spending less time on the Internet could be very hard for the family member if they really are addicted.
•Your family member gets more satisfaction from being on the Internet and in chat rooms then they do with the other things in their life. This would include neighbors, work, school, community work, or other social affairs.
•Staying on-line longer then usual is also a major sign of an addiction. If you have time limits this is easy to monitor. If you do not have time limits and think that your family member may have an Internet addiction then you should set a time limit. Monitor how long they are on the Internet and if the family member goes over the time limit by how long.
•If your family member is staying on the Internet sites at the risk of their education or job. For the kids you would see grades decrease and with younger kids you may see some behavioral problems. If the family member works then you may notice that it is harder for them to get up and get to work.
•If you find your family member lying more and more to you or other family members then they may be addicted to the Internet. This is true if they also lie to friends or co-workers about being able to go out.
•If you feel your family member is using the Internet to escape other problems they have in their life you may be right in thinking there is an addiction. This could be anything from a fight with friends, work problems, or even different family problems. It’s not so bad to escape every once in awhile but when it becomes a habit and you don’t see your family member trying to overcome the problem then you may be looking at an addiction.
•If you feel your family member is using the Internet to gain information that may be harmful to them then they may have an addiction. Monitor their usage of the Internet and discuss with them your cares.
There could be more signs to look for in an Internet addiction but these are some of the major changes you will see. There are self help books to help you and your family overcome this addiction.
This article is not meant to replace the help of a certified professional. If you suspect addictions of any kind, consult your healthcare provider.