The evolution of technology has brought about a new era, where the boundary between the reality and human fantasy is blurring every day. The Internet is the most important invention of the 20th century and has given rise to Video games and social networking sites, the world of virtual reality. It is estimated that over 2.2 billion people are active players, out of which 59% are male and 41% are female, with age group 18-35 years contributing the most. Over 3 billion people are an active social site user, which is estimated to be 40% of the world’s population. With over 1.7 billion users, Facebook is ruling the world of social media. But how much is too much?
“Don’t get lost in virtual reality. Remember that you can unplug at any time” –Zaid Mahomedy
The virtual platform has connected the whole world, whether it is in the aspect of education or entertainment, marketing or building relationships. But are the social sites really making us more social? Are those incredible video games just an escape from our monotonous life? The new era of technology also brings about the era of internet addiction. Studies have shown that the over usage of internet causes addiction. This leads to isolation that results in serious mental problems like anxiety, depression, and impairing every aspect of one’s social life.
It can be described as an impulse control disorder where users spend excessive amounts of time over the internet. There are three stages of addiction:
- Preoccupation with the internet
- Intoxication/ binging with the internet
- Withdrawal from family, work, and social life.
Why Internet Addiction?
Today’s hectic lifestyle has made people’s lives stressful and monotonous. To escape the reality of hard and stressful life, unfulfilling relationships, we jump down into the rabbit hole of virtual reality. People already suffering from mental issues like loneliness, depression, and anxiety, use it as an antidepressant, making their mental situation worse.
Signs that you are an internet addict-
Here are four simple signs:
- You can’t live without your smartphone even for a moment.
- Frequently going online and check your social sites or browse the internet.
- Spending long hours, even a whole day on the internet or playing games. You are completely ignoring your family, friends, work and even yourself.
- Feeling depressed when you are not online.
What can we do to prevent internet addiction?
Very simple! Take breaks from your busy life as well as smartphones, hang out with friends, meet with new people, participate in social events, explore new places, or simply resort to nature and just chill. Not losing touch with the real world is the only way to balance your virtual world. And if you think that you too are a victim of internet addiction, then don’t suffer silently. Reach out for help. Consult a therapist.
Two people sitting beside each other are complete strangers, while they are connecting with thousands of people around the world. Is it really making the world smaller or is it making people more distant from each other? We are social beings. We need a sense of connection to survive. The virtual world can never provide you emotional support, which is today’s biggest necessity in everyone’s life.
The human existence has reached a new level of experience because of the virtual world. Today we have greater access to knowledge. The video games give us adventure, pleasure and a sense of satisfaction. It is very true that the online friends are also real, amazing people from different corners of the world just a click away from you. However, too much of involvement that leads to addiction is dangerous for your own well-being.
“An overindulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate”- Criss Jami