Did you know that an estimated 5 to 10 percent of Internet users are unable to control their usage and are considered addicts? As a result, society now has a new problem to deal with…Internet Addiction Disorder. This comes to no surprise considering we live in a world filled with iPhones, tablets, iPads, and laptops that make it virtually impossible to escape the influence of technology.
A recent study of people diagnosed with Internet Addiction Disorder revealed that changes in their brain took place that disrupted pathways related to emotions, decision-making, and self-control. Changes also occurred that were similar to the brain scans of people addicted to alcohol, cocaine, heroin, marijuana, meth, and ketamine. This revealed that people addicted to the internet share psychological and neural mechanisms with other types of substance addiction and impulse control disorders.
In another study done on the differential psychological impact of internet exposure on internet addicts, they discovered that when heavy internet users go offline, they undergo withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced by drug users.
Professor Phil Reed states that “although we do not know exactly what internet addiction is, our results show that around half of the young people we studied spend so much time on the net that it has negative consequences for the rest of their lives.”
All of the studies revealed that without the internet, an immediate drop in mood and incredible increase in anxiety took place.