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Are You an Internet Addict?

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While the Internet may be an asset to modern life and time spent online can be productive, overuse can interfere with daily life, work and relationships. It is important to learn about the signs and symptoms of Internet addiction, and how to balance life with the online world.

Types of Internet Addiction

* Cybersex Addiction: A person is considered a cybersex addict if he or she compulsively uses Internet pornography, adult chat rooms or adult fantasy role-play sites. This form of Internet addiction can have highly negative effects on a person's real-life intimate or romantic relationships.

* Cyber-Relationship Addiction: A person is considered a cyber-relationship addict if they constantly use social networking, chat rooms, texting or messaging. This form of addiction can be harmful if online relationships become more important than real-life relations with family and friends. This is often thought to be the most common type of Internet addiction.

* Net Compulsions: This type of Internet addiction is characterized by online gaming, gambling, stock trading or overuse of auction sites like eBay. Net Compulsion can be harmful in cases of excessive use, resulting negatively in financial or job-related problems.

* Information Overload: A person who compulsively surfs the web or uses database searching is considered an information overload addict. This type of addiction commonly leads to lower productivity and less social interaction.

Are You at Risk

You might be at risk of becoming addicted to the Internet if you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress or have a lack of social support. The Internet is commonly used as a distraction from these things, and can result in dependency or addiction.

Signs of Internet Addiction

Internet addicts often lose track of their time spent online. In some cases, an addict may find it difficult to limit time online.

Additionally, Internet time may take over other tasks. Addicts sometimes find that laundry piles up or that there is no food in the fridge because they have been unable to step away from the computer and perform daily functions. An addict might even go out of their way, like staying late after work, to continue spending time on the Internet.

Symptoms of Internet Addiction

Becoming addicted to the Internet can be a highly emotional experience. Internet addicts often feel a sense of guilty or defensiveness associated with their use and may hide or lie about time spent on the computer or a mobile device. Other Internet addicts may feel a sense of euphoria when online, using the web as an outlet for stress, sadness, sexual gratification or excitement.

Source: Help Guide