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Obsession With Digital Communication

digital communication obsessionWhen someone is obsessed with digital communication, they are constantly on a digital communication device sending, awaiting and receiving some kind of communication. This may be public communication, such as articles, blogs, press releases or social media sites, or personal communication, such as any form of private message. This phenomenon developed over recent years with the emergence of personal communication devices. Decades ago, everyone was adjusted to the fact that communication was not instant, but in modern times, it is very common to see a person behaving in a manic or addicted way toward their communication device, putting too much importance on the communication that comes through it.

There have been many studies into why people cannot seem to put down their phones, tablets, computers and other communications devices. Some of the more widely circulated and credible ideas about our modern digital communication obsession are:

  • “Staying connected.” Most people attribute their needy behavior toward their communication device to not wanting to fall out of sync with the world by missing out on breaking news stories, current events, social network gossip or personal communication.
  • “Fear of being alone.” A possible cause for an obsession with digital communication is not being able to be alone with one’s thoughts. In the past, this was primarily expressed through in person or phone communication, but modern digital communication devices can give the same feeling of communication despite being more removed.
  • “Demanding entertainment.” Modern generations are raised with fast commercials, invasive advertising, short sentences in reading assignments and general media bombardment. It is no wonder that boredom can set in more rapidly than it used to, turning people obsessively toward their personal communication devices.
  • “Fragmented and broken social abilities.” A very commonly cited psych opinion of digital communication obsession is that the value on in person communication and relationship abilities is dwindling and being replaced with the more secondhand version of communication and relationships that is digital communication.

Is Internet Addiction Real?

addicted to the internetPerhaps the most difficult aspect of internet addiction is that many people do not believe in its existence. The internet is a relatively new phenomenon in our lives. We have not had many years to study it from a psychological or sociological perspective. We are unsure of its long term ramifications toward society and humanity at large. However, one thing we have identified about it is that it has addictive qualities. Similar to a gambling addiction, an internet addiction is a behavior that gives immense pleasure to some people, so much so that certain people begin to use the internet compulsively and lose control of the amount of time they spend on it.

Sometimes the phrase “anything can be an addiction” is thrown around lightly. While a great number of things can have appeal to a great number of people, not everything is addictive. The internet came to be defined as addictive through a certain set of qualifications. The internet was found to have a particular effect on people that rivaled the effect of gambling or sex. Because the internet revolutionized the not only the way we access information, but the way we maintain relationships and keep ourselves entertained, it does not quite compare to anything else that has ever been available. Its novelty has become a cultural obsession, and for many people, an individual addiction.

For some people, time on the internet creates the pleasure chemical dopamine within their brains. Dopamine is universally the brain chemical that is released when we are experiencing something rewarding and pleasurable. Substances and activities that tend to create more dopamine for people than others tend to be the ones we identify as addictive. Not everyone can produce dopamine at the same rate. Some people have to work much harder to achieve dopamine. The healthy way of achieving it is to do something extraordinary, like start a business and work to make it succeed or climb a 14,000 foot mountain. The unhealthy way of achieving it is through addiction. Sadly, the internet with all its uses and wonders, has become an addiction modality.

Receive Treatment for Internet Addiction

internet addiction treatmentInternet addiction is identified as a case of a person using the internet so heavily that it negatively effects the other areas of their life. Because internet use is a recent phenomenon and because it is a behavior instead of a substance, internet addiction is frequently not taken seriously. This kind of reasoning is a fallacy. It is indeed a very serious situation when a person is foregoing social time, personal responsibilities, sleep and meals in order to spend time online.

The internet is a source of much information, fascination and controversy. It has changed the way we approach knowledge and information, and how we view the world. It has been very empowering for humanity to suddenly have an infinite amount of information at its fingertips. It is because of this abrupt and advantageous shift that the internet has become addictive to certain types of people. With so much information and so many opportunities to explore online, some people’s lives have become imbalanced because of the time they spend on the internet. School and work obligations are being neglected. Personal relationships are suffering. Physical health is declining. Not everyone has a handle on how much time they can allow themselves on the internet before it begins to negatively effect their lives.

Though internet addiction does not pose a serious, immediate threat to the addict, it does pose the risk of a gradual decline into an unhealthy state of existence. If internet addiction is allowed to thrive within a person, it will not be long before their reputation, relationships and health are damaged. Internet addiction requires critical thinking and cognitive analysis to overcome. If time on the internet is having negative effects on your life, take steps in order to end the addiction. Set a schedule for yourself to outline how much internet time you will allow yourself in a day. Read self help books on addiction. Fill your schedule with meaningful and necessary activities. If these things do not work and your life is still suffering, do not be ashamed to seek addiction treatment or counseling. Do whatever it takes to get your life under control!