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Internet addiction has many negative impacts on one’s life. The two major effects are brain damage and reduction in cognitive capabilities. Various researches have shown that individuals are better in reasoning and handling matters that require good cognitive abilities before they get addicted to the Internet.
Addiction to the Internet comes with a reduction in this ability since the Internet prevents one from thinking as it provides almost all the answers to their questions. Individuals tend to go ahead and search everything on the websites, including the simple tasks they used to handle on their own before getting addicted to the Internet. Another possible cause of a reduction in the brain capabilities is the kind of the materials that one is exposed to on the Internet.
Exposure to sexual materials makes one spend most of their time thinking about sex. According to the use and disuse law in science, it is only normal that the brain develops in the direction of use. In terms of sex and matters related to it, the individual addicted to pornographic sites on the Internet will therefore be way too good in sexual matters. This, however, comes with a negative impact as far as thinking about other life issues is concerned.
It is common knowledge that one may be seated in an exam room and, instead of thinking about the solutions to the questions, the mind is wandering as he/she is thinking of the last scenes seen on the Internet. The person also spends time thinking about when he/she will be free to use the Internet again. Some even go as far as escaping activities that could develop their cognitive abilities just to have a glimpse of the funny internet scenes (Young, “Caught in the Net” 34).
The victim’s tendency to be violent increases since once an individual is addicted to the Internet, he/she becomes exposed to violent materials in the form of games and movies. In most cases, it occurs because they lose the ability to reason and handle matters using dialogue.
Thus, they think that using their muscles to iron out issues is better and much easier than sitting down to discuss them with anybody. A dialogue and other diplomatic means of solving conflicts are seen as a waste of time by those addicted to the Internet. The major reason behind this is that they will want to spend most of their time on their addiction rather than on other life issues, such as solving disputes between them and other human beings.
Some persons become violent because of the violent movies or pictures that they download from the Internet (Block 306). Almost every new action movie or picture downloaded from the Internet teaches the addicted individual a fighting skill. Unfortunately, most of these individuals are not professional wrestlers and they have nowhere to practice, and the only available area to apply their skills is on fellow human beings who have no idea of what is going on in the lives of the addicted.
They also find satisfaction from winning such violent wars as their victims do not possess the same skills. This motivates them and makes them watch more violent movies on the Internet to learn more fighting techniques. At the end of it all, they lose themselves in violence, as they develop high levels of violent behaviors leading to isolation, since people tend to avoid their company (Watts 88).
Loss of Self-control
An individual addicted to the Internet loses self-control and other social abilities. Self- control is all about being able to use your brain to say No to some things and Yes to others.
Unfortunately, those addicted to the Internet lose this capability as they are not in a position to differentiate between what is good and bad in their lives (Damasio 42). Furthermore, addiction to the Internet comes with other addictions, such as pornographic materials, drugs, and masturbation. Once an individual has many addictions, he/she has no room to ponder on whether to be into actions related to the addictions or not.
A simple thought related to such persons’ addictions, or mentioning of the act related to their addiction, comes with a strong urge forcing them to repeat the act. This is indeed degradation of the social ability of individuals and their ability to control their lives. Eventually, they end up losing their lives in the addictions. The levels of violence are likely to go up, as analyzed in the previous paragraph, which has to do with temperamental issues. At times in life, all that is required of an individual is to control their tempers.
This will prevent one from indulging in regrettable actions, but those addicted to the Internet resort to other means of solving temper related issues. They only consider violence the best option to exercise in all circumstances. This is the reason individuals addicted to the Internet become more violent every day. If it happens that one loses their temper at the lowest agitation, they will therefore lose friends, and this will definitely impact their lives negatively (Martin 72).
Social isolation is also a major negative impact of being addicted to the Internet. Individuals are good in socializing before they get addicted to the Internet. There is usually a balance between social life and other life matters. This, however, comes to an end immediately after one becomes an Internet addict (Pinker 32).
Individuals addicted to the Internet will want to spend most of the time alone in closed rooms away from distraction as they want to give all their concentration to their addiction, since having friends around them may not give them a chance to give undivided attention to the Internet scenes.
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Friends tend to engage them in conversations that require concentration while they are using the Internet, yet they want to have all the time to surf the Internet. Thus, they develop poor relations with their friends, as they are not willing to follow the conversations with them and, in most cases, they take a lot of time to answer questions that are necessary to keep the conversations going.
When they finally answer the questions, the answers are usually wrong or kill the conversation, and with time, friends and family members lose interest in conversing with the individuals. The temper and violence issues also have a great impact on the individual’s social life. Nobody will enjoy staying around a person who punches them from time to time. All persons enjoy their peace and staying around calm people who can handle their tempers. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the individuals addicted to the Internet.
Loss of Interest in Life
The Internet is a major issue in the lives of the addicted. They will spend a good amount of hours staring at Internet sites, reading funny materials, or watching silly movies. Addicted individuals will want to sacrifice every aspect of their lives just to have time to go through the Internet. Sleep becomes a thing of the past for these individuals. They go to bed with their laptops or Internet-enabled phones. All they do is chatting over the Internet with people they do not even know.
When caught up with sleep, they go out of bed to wash their faces. They do their best not to fall asleep easily, thus having more time to chat with their so called “friends”. For married couples, addiction may cause breakups or even divorces in extreme cases (Young, “Internet Addiction” 7). This happens when one partner finds it difficult to stay around the addicted. For instance, an addicted individual will laugh in the middle of the night just because of an interesting chat or scene on the Internet.
They end up waking up their partners in marriage, and with time, their partners will want to sleep alone in separate beds just to have some sleep. This way, the sexual contact, or even the romance, that is meant to keep a couple together disappears. The addicted individual may find sexual satisfaction from the Internet pornographic scenes forgetting that they have partners who need them. This is another reason as to why married individuals end up cheating on their partners.
It is common sense that if one cannot get what they want from their partners, they will look for it elsewhere. Eating is also a thing of the past for individuals addicted to the Internet since they eat less quantities of food, and with time, they become emaciated and lose their strength. A truly internet addiction is a vice that kills all the other aspects of one’s life (Dijik 46).
Solutions to Internet Addiction
Feasible solutions refer to methods that can be used to solve the problem and that will provide a desirable outcome. These solutions are;support from family members and rehabilitation of the addicted individuals. Family members, friends, and other people in the lives of the addicted have a big role to play to help them out.
Family members and friends can create social events that make the addicted forget about the Internet for some time (Wallace 39). They can take them for swimming, mountain climbing, or enjoyable picnics. It is always advisable to replace bad addictions with good addictions like jogging, playing chess, or scrabble. Such activities will see the addicted spend less time on the Internet, and later on, they will be out of their trap.
Rehabilitation centers can also be attended by individuals who really want to overcome their addictions. At the centers, they will be taken through therapies that are likely to reduce their level of addiction (Welch 99). They may be treated with the help of music play lists, positive games, or even lessons that discourage them from using the Internet.
The use of mobile phones that are not Internet enabled is another way of fighting the addiction. This means that the individuals will only use the Internet when they get to cyber cafes or their computers. Indeed, Internet addiction is a vice that can take away an individual’s life, if not done away with at early stages, and thus dealing with it is a worthy endeavor.
Counseling is also another step that can be taken to ensure that the addicts are saved from their obsession. This process involves getting a psychiatrist to talk to the addicted individuals so as to understand why they prefer the Internet compared to the normal social life. Sometimes, people end up being addicted to the Internet due to unsolved psychological issues that can be dealt with by the psychiatrist.
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