Internet Addiction & Social Media | How to Recognize & Overcome It

Hi everyone! This video is going
to be about Internet addiction and how to recognize it and
overcome it. I have a video about addiction that is a
precursor to this, so I’ll have an annotation and a link in the
description so you can check it out. The Internet has brought
about new ways of discovering information, communicating, and
so many other possibilities to stay connected to the people and
things we love. However, this doesn’t come without a downside.
What if one is constantly online, checking social media,
even just checking text messages on their phone? They check these
things so much that they become addicted and begin to neglect
the people around them and themselves. While I’m sure many
of us that are always connected to the Internet feel
disconnected without it, we may feel lost that we cannot check
messages from our friends, or view articles or videos
online, there comes a point that addiction may set in and we
could be spending too much time on the Internet and social media
sites. The information in this video can help you recognize
this and overcome it. Internet addiction can take many forms.
As was mentioned earlier, a big one is social media and
connecting with others. Perhaps someone is on Facebook for hours
on end, talking with friends, playing games, looking up
articles and funny videos. This is all a form of distraction
and escape from the world around them. They slip into a cyber
world that they can perhaps make their own. Speaking of which,
what about gamers that perhaps have a character in an online
multi-player game? They create this character, perhaps as the
person they truly want to be since they may be happy with
themselves or like themselves, and live in this fantasy game
world to escape the problems they face not only in the
real world, but also within themselves. I’ve even read of
someone who dissociated from who they really were and became
this video game character they created online. They became
this video game character even outside the video game. Yes,
dissociation and escapism is often a core problem with
addiction. The person perhaps has an issue with themselves
that they simply do not like. They go to the Internet to
escape themselves, to dissociate from their problems and escape
into a world that they want to have. But, this denial and
inability to face and accept reality and oneself only causes
more problems. Perhaps the person feels even worse when
they have to leave the Internet or it becomes disconnected
because it brings them back to the life they do not want.
Instead of actually addressing their real problems, they push
them away and think they will just simply go away by not
thinking about them. And the truth is, this only makes the
problems worse since each time they return to their reality,
they feel their negative emotions stronger and stronger,
which turns into an even stronger desire to stay
connected to the Internet and escape. While escapism certainly
is one of the core problems with Internet addiction, it’s not
the issue with everyone. Perhaps some people don’t use it to
escape, but rather simply cannot disconnect when they need to,
such times being to be with family and friends and taking
care of oneself. Regardless of the cause, Internet addiction
is very possible for anyone who routinely connects to the
Internet, and let’s face it, in today’s society connecting to
the Internet is extremely easy. We have wireless access all
around us, not to mention mobile phones, tablets, laptops
can connect to these wireless signals. And on top of that, if
we lose Internet, perhaps our phones still have reception and
can access the Internet. It’s like we are never without
Internet. And we often feel lost without it. I know I sure have.
When my Internet has been down and I cannot connect, I felt
lost and disconnected. But, after a day it was an amazing
feeling as I got back in touch with myself and wasn’t clouded
by this social media and friends and all this other garbage that
just wasn’t me. It allowed me to concentrate more and not get as
distracted. This is one of the major signs to recognize an
Internet addiction. Perhaps you are in the middle of work
and are like, “Let me log on Facebook real quick to see
what’s going on.” Sure enough, that ‘real quick’ turns into
hours and you have no idea where the time went. Then you come
back to yourself and realize that you still have work to
do. If you didn’t have Internet during this time, you would’ve
never even considered going online to check social media.
This was something that would happen to me. I would
procrastinate by researching things, going on Facebook, and
doing things that simply were not productive. I gave into that
strong desire to check other things instead of focusing on my
work and telling myself that it can wait. With that being said,
I think it’s time to discuss some ways of overcoming
an Internet addiction. To overcome an Internet
addiction, you have to recognize it and want to help yourself. A
sign may be that you are using the Internet as a form of
escapism from your problems, perhaps a gaming addiction, porn
addiction, gambling. It takes many forms. But, an addiction
comes into play when you are constantly doing it and
not actually addressing your problems. Other signs include
procrastinating, spending less time on the things you actually
enjoy outside the Internet, spending less time with the
people you are close to, and the worst of all, spending less
time on yourself and neglecting yourself. If you’ve realized
this, then you would then need to admit you have a problem and
want to help yourself. You would want to help yourself so you can
get back to do the things you like. When you can admit it
and have a plan that is focused around bettering yourself, you
can then proceed at tackling the addiction. A way of tackling it
is to understand how it makes you feel. What need is being
fulfilled by the Internet and why is it not being met in your
daily life? How can you fulfill that need without resorting to
the Internet to fill it for you? In other words, how can you
address it within yourself? For instance, perhaps offline you
are shy and have severe social anxiety and cannot talk with
anyone, yet online you are confident and can talk
with people freely without hesitation. You have that need
to connect with others, as many of us do, yet are not getting
it in your offline life, so you resort to the Internet to
fulfill this need. How can you bring this confident you from
online to your offline you? How can you integrate the two? In
order to combat this, you have to learn how it makes you
feel and dive into the negative emotions. You have to face them
or no healing will take effect. It can be excruciatingly
difficult to face reality and what you are truly struggling
with, but denial is not helping anything. By understanding your
emotions associated with this and facing them, you will have
better control over them and be able to overcome them. This
bring me to the next point, find a better outlet that has the
same end result. Perhaps you have an online gaming addiction
which allows you to feel fulfilled. You become addicted
to the rush of emotions and good feelings associated with the
game you play. While gaming itself is not a chemical
addiction, you can very easily become addicted to the chemicals
your body produces when you are gaming. This then becomes the
classic conditioned response where it becomes conditioned in
your subconscious that gaming gives you this release that
you crave. If you can find an alternative outlet to feel this
way that can benefit you and your growth, then you will
have turned this addiction into something beneficial that
helps you. You are looking for something with the same end
result feeling as the gaming addiction, something that gives
you the same satisfaction. Your mind doesn’t know the
difference, only you, consciously, know the
difference. So, make the best out of what you feel satisfied
with. And lastly, you have to lessen the Internet use. It
can wait. Make a schedule for yourself when you take time away
from the Internet. Perhaps you do some exercise, relaxation,
focus on your career, whatever can help you relax for a bit
to lessen the addiction. But remember, what you substitute
Internet use for should be something to benefit you. If you
are partaking in other addictive behavior, then you are simply
not helping yourself. Perhaps a way is to pretend you do not
have Internet, disconnect and unplug. Perhaps you are
triggered by something which results in this addictive
behavior. Recognize this trigger and understand it. If you
are aware of it before you are triggered, you will have better
control over it. Let’s look at an example of someone addicted
to Facebook. They are constantly looking on Facebook. Their
trigger is that they receive many notifications and messages
which causes them to log in and check it out. They truly want to
stop, but every time they get a notification, it tempts them to
log back in and check. Perhaps a solution would be to turn off
notifications or uninstall the app from their phone so they
cannot access the site on the go and only from a desktop
computer. This can help them make time outside of Facebook
and then dedicate time to it when needed. Perhaps they may
even want to get away from it altogether. They may choose
to deactivate their Facebook account until they can work on
themselves and dedicate more time to the things they enjoy.
Again, remember to be strict with yourself and think it
through. Tell your friends and the people you talk with online
that you need some time to yourself and to get away from
the Internet. Tell them that you will get back to them after that
time is up. A true friend will be understanding and will
wait for you to return. So in conclusion, an Internet
addiction can be quite common in today’s society since we
are always connected to the Internet, even on our phones,
and have any and all information accessible to us with just a few
clicks. However, it’s up to you to use it to help you instead
of hindering your life. By recognizing and understanding
the addiction and triggers, such as what fulfillment is not being
met, and then finding a better outlet that has the same end
result of satisfaction, one can overcome the challenge presented
to them regarding Internet addiction. I hope this video
was informative and helpful. Thanks for watching!

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