The internet and more generally the use of technology has many benefits, from allowing family and friends to keep in touch on messaging and social media platforms, building new friendships and social networks amongst lonely individuals and online gamers, to providing access to educational material and online shopping. The internet is everywhere, and the majority of individuals are able to integrate this new technology into our everyday lives in a postive and beneficial way.
However, there are a small number of individuals where access and use of this technology starts to become a problem and family and friends may start to notice behavioural changes. Perhaps the use of the internet becomes all time consuming to the extent, it starts to impacts their functioning in normal society e.g. negatively impacts work-life, family-life, relationships with friends and family etc. In these circumstances the individual may have an Internet Addiction, although it should be stressed that as of yet Internet Addiction is not a medically recognised disorder and should be considered simply a term to describe the similar addictive behaviours seen between internet use and other types of addicitions.
Internet Addiction is a general term to cover all uses that involve the internet e.g. social media, online gaming, shopping, pornography and general web surfing.
In these cases therapy may be justified to assist the individual to rebalance their internet use with their other responsibilities. This is a particular area of interest for myself and forms the basis of a doctorate in Psychology that is currently on-going at the University of Bolton.
The outline of the research is detailed below.
If you have any question about this topic or would like to discuss if you or someone you know may be addicted to the internet please contact me using the contact form. Alternatively see my blog for more information.