Computers and technology have changed the way we live our daily lives. They have become part of our daily routines and have changed the way we socialize. However, with all of the positive effects technology has, there are also the negatives. This is especially true with the internet. The internet is an example of modern technology that provides a tremendous amount of benefits, but also negative side effects. One major side effect of the internet is addiction.
Internet addiction is common among many millennials, and these people do not even realize that they have an addiction. Being addicted to the internet can lead to many side effects which could harm your social, emotional, and physical health.
The first major category of side effects include problems which affect social health. An effect of internet addiction is to be more isolated from family and friends. In today’s day and age, people are spending less time interacting face to face and more time interacting face to screen. This can affect social development between family members and friends. Another example is the imaginary friend. There are online computer games where the player becomes part of an online family. Overtime you have an online wife, dog, and children. It is your second family, a family online, even though you have never made face to face contact with anybody. This is a completely different social environment. What’s bad about having an online virtual family? Nothing really, but in many cases players have neglected time with their actual family to be with their virtual family. This is a social problem developed from internet addiction.
Another category of common internet addiction side effects is in physical health. When a person is using the internet, 99% of the time they are seated or laying down. They could be on their laptop, desktop or mobile device. On average, Americans spend hours every day on a computer. Overtime, this habit leads to improper posture. When you are seated, a lot of people will lean forward in their computer chair towards the screen. This can cause back and neck problems along with disproportionate posture. Also, more time on the computer means less time exercising, which causes weight gain in many people.
One other category is emotional health effects. The internet as changed the way we socialize and it unfortunately has created new ways young people can become depressed. Cyber bullying is an example of something that can cause immense emotional effects in many people. Some teenagers have even committed suicide from cyber bullying.
Lastly, internet addiction can simply lead to bad habits. One example would be procrastination. It is very easy to go on social media and not write an essay for a homework assignment. On the internet there are many distractions taking away your focus from important work. Another thing along with procrastination is losing track of time. When you are playing a game in a virtual world, you can lose track of real time. This may not be good if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. It may seem like a minor side effect of internet addiction, but understand that people lose their jobs because of losing track of time.
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Effects from internet addiction can go unnoticed at first, but over the course of years, these effects can change how productive your day is and how healthy of a person you come to be. The best piece of advice is to use your time wisely on the internet. If you are in the habit of staying online for 6 hours a day, try 5 hours a day and continue to limit your time week after week. Internet addiction is common, but just like any habit, it is possible to break it.