Technology has without a doubt made our lives easier and more comfortable, but somewhere in the mad race to keep abreast with the latest technology, inventions, and gadgets, we have compromised on many other things such as personal intimacy in relationships, physical activity, and efforts in daily tasks and social involvement in general. It is not uncommon these days to see individuals walking on the road with a mobile in their hands and typing while crossing the road. Be it, young children, using their parent’s phones to play on preschool apps or adolescents fighting with their parents for the latest smartphone in the market, we are all too familiar with such scenarios. We do realize the physical ill effects of such, but the adverse effect of the internet on one’s mental health has yet to gain its due importance in our knowledge bank.
Excessive use of the internet is known to cause attentional impairments, poor anger control, anxiety, and depression. When children start using the internet at an early age, there is definite impairment in maintaining concentration and poor frustration tolerance. Adolescents these days interact more on social media than in a personal manner, this has been found to cause low confidence levels and hostility in relationships.
Even though viewing the internet as an addiction seems too farfetched, in reality, it is not so. It was firstly in the year 1996 that internet addiction was proposed to be a disorder by Kimberly Young Ph.D., and since then it has been an area of stringent research to the extent that its involvement in the classificatory systems of Psychiatry is being debated. It is said that individuals suffering from internet addiction disorder(IAD) have
Constant preoccupation with the internet,
use the internet for longer periods over time to achieve satisfaction,
made unsuccessful efforts to control or shut down internet use,
become restless, moody or irritable when attempting to cut down the use,
stayed online longer than intended to or necessary
have faced or risked the loss of a job, relationship, career or educational opportunity because of the internet use
lied to family about the extent of involvement with the internet.
Even though there has still not been official recognition of internet addiction as a psychiatric disorder, the field is widely expanding and more so in metropolises such as Delhi. What needs to be done is time-limited and balanced use of the internet and not at the expense of our relations and routines.