Internet Addiction

The use of internet brings many conveniences in our daily living. However, excessive use of internet may cause lots of problems to our lives such as:

  • Health problems: weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, sleep problem, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Emotional problems: feeling guilty, ashamed, excessive anger, anxious, or depressed
  • Family and interpersonal problems: being dishonest with others, neglecting friends and family, fighting with family members when being demanded to stop using
  • Social problems: withdrawing from work, school or other pleasurable activities

Some of the characteristics of internet addiction include:

  • Feeling preoccupied with the Internet
  • Feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction
  • Feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use
  • Continue to use Internet despite of the negative impacts such as health problems, family and interpersonal problems, loss of concentration or interest of work, study or hobbies.

Moreover, excessive engagement in online gambling, online shopping or online pornography or sexual behaviour may increase the risk of developing multiple addictions, such as pathological gambling, compulsive buying and sex addiction.

Different types of Internet Addiction

1. Cyber-relationships
Individuals are over-involved in cyber relationships, such as Facebook or other communication tools to develop relationships with others.
2. Cybersex and pornography
Individuals engage in online sexual activities, like viewing cyber-porn or engaging in cybersex.
3. Compulsive buying
Individuals cannot refuse to engage in cyber transactions, like “Taobao” or online shopping.
4. Online gambling
Individuals spend considerable time engaging in online gambling, which has negative impacts on their interpersonal relationships and result in financial problems.
5. Online surfing
Individuals spend considerable time compulsively searching and collecting data from the internet, for no particular reason such as work or study.
6. Online gaming
Individuals compulsively play computer games, including online games or video games, resulting in health problems and disruption on interpersonal relationship.
Individuals with internet addiction can resume a healthy life with appropriate treatment and support from family and friends. Treatment and diagnosis should be provided by professional practitioners. If you suspect yourself, your partner, your family member, or your friend having internet addiction, please call our hotline on 2827 1000.