Without self-control, cyber addiction is a problem that is only going to get worse. Regardless of age, a large number of us are addicted to the internet and are constantly waiting (on what?) which is bad for both our physical and mental health. The fact that most of us are unaware of the consequences we experience is also one of its risky aspects.
Cyber addiction affects grades, career, job and relationships because it is not just focused on browsing or spending excessive amounts of time on social media. This also includes time spent playing games, gambling, compulsively checking the phone, or hanging out with online friends instead of real friends.
IANSlife spoke to Dr Paula Goel, consultant paediatrician, adolescent therapist, and founder of Faith Clinic, and she says cyber addiction has been included in section 3 of the DSM-V, which lists medical conditions Reserved, which requires further investigation. being designated as a separate category of disorder. recommends the following diagnostic criteria needed to diagnose cyber addiction:
Dr Paula: Can occur in any age group but is more common in male adolescents aged 15-16 years.
What could be the possible cause of cyber addiction?
Dr. Paula: There are various causes, taking into account the comprehensive model of the development and maintenance of Internet addiction by Winkler and Dorsing.
socio-cultural factors (eg, demographic factors, access to and acceptance of the Internet), neuro-anatomical factors Research suggests that people with Internet addiction have brain changes similar to those of individuals who are addicted to drugs or gambling . Changes occur in the prefrontal cortex of the brain that is associated with attention, planning, and prioritization. Therefore, people with addictions tend to put their addictions before basic everyday things, such as eating or sleeping.
biological vulnerability (eg, genetic factors, and abnormalities in neurochemical processes) lead to reduced levels of dopamine and serotonin transmitters in the brain compared to the general population. Addictions increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.
psychological bias (eg, personality characteristics, negative affect)
Internet-specific characteristics of excessive engagement in Internet activities, especially on social media platforms
What are the effects of cyber addiction on health, social life, career and academics?
Dr. Paula: Spending long hours online is losing track of time and staying up longer than expected. It can also cause physical problems, such as carpal tunnel syndrome (pain and numbness in the hands and wrists); dry eyes or strained vision; back pain, neck pain, or severe headache; sleep disturbances; apparent weight gain or weight loss; depression and anxiety; Mood swings with feelings of guilt and euphoria when stressed or depressed, or when using the Internet as an outlet for sexual gratification or arousal.
It also affects social life as the person becomes disconnected from family and friends and becomes more friends online rather than real life friends. The person may suffer from loneliness, and an inability to form close personal relationships, and may develop poor self-esteem and low self-confidence.
Spending long hours on social media platforms and compulsive checking of gadgets can lead to loss of concentration, poor focus and lack of commitment and dedication at work and will affect academics and career. They would be unable to complete their academic or work assignments.
Cyber addiction triggers sleep problems
Is there a connection between cyber addiction and sleep?
Dr. Paula: Cyber addiction interferes with sleep and always leads to insomnia. The blue light emitted from gadgets suppresses melatonin (the sleep hormone). Decreased levels of melatonin affect sleep and one may suffer from hormonal imbalance, high blood sugar and insulin resistance and develop diabetes, heart disease, obesity, PCOS and other non-communicable diseases, all due to Sleep patterns occur as a result. , Lack of sleep also stimulates the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increases appetite and leads to overweight and obesity.
Does cyber addiction affect relationships?
Dr. Paula: Cyber addiction affects relationships. Relationships can be formed online and can be exciting and addictive because of the anonymity and ease of disclosure. Furthermore, it compensates for feelings of loneliness as it keeps a person busy with minimal need for real life interaction. Cybersex and social networking may go unnoticed until it is too late.
There is a huge difference between virtual and everyday real life relationships. People often prefer to use their imaginations instead of interacting with real life and facing its challenges. Virtual relationships lack tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and touch. This becomes extremely problematic in real-life relationships, where individuals involved in online relationships are more interested in their online friends rather than their spouse because they have created that person in their head. The imperfection of their partners is greatly amplified and it sabotages the need for communication and intimacy with their partners in real life, creating distance and real life problems.
Cybersex and pornography are other threats to real life and authentic relationships Because of their anonymity, convenience and escape.
Cyber addiction affects family time
Apart from intimate relationships, relationships with family members are also affected as they are unable to shoulder family responsibilities or provide support to family members in times of need. The breakdown in communication significantly affects the quality of the relationship. The need to spend quality time, to seek advice during difficult times and to share one’s innermost feelings with family members is lost and the individual becomes isolated and locked in a self-created world where they are not real and are unable to demarcate between virtual worlds.