The internet is a great tool for accessing information, keeping in touch with friends and family, and even making new friends. When I see clients who are lacking a support network, sometimes they feel much better after attending a MeetUp group they found on the internet or making new connections online. However, sometimes being online can go too far. Internet addictions interrupt daily life and can hinder important relationships – even your marriage.
What is an Internet Addition?
Addictions can manifest differently in different people, but there are some common symptoms. Do you recognize yourself in any of the following scenarios?
- You feel anxiety when you don’t go online for long periods of time
- You compulsively check certain websites, like Facebook or San Diego Craigslist, looking for new posts or ads
- You are typically online for longer than you had intended because you lose track of time
- You feel irritated or restless when you try to cut back on time spent online
- You need to use the internet for longer periods of time to achieve the same satisfaction you once got from just a quick email session
- Your job, marriage, or personal commitments are suffering because of the time you spend on the internet
If you are worried about being an internet addict, getting professional help is crucial. Like any other addition, it will be difficult to stop the behavior cold turkey. Talking to a therapist will address the root cause of why you turn to the internet to meet your needs. Chances are you need to use the internet for work or other legitimate reasons, so it can be tricky to figure out how to use online tools and apps without sliding into your previous bad habits of being addicted to the internet. Don’t go at it alone!
Are you browsing Facebook and San Diego Craigslist for hours at a time? Give Estes Therapy a call so we can help get you the support you need!
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653