It looks like internet addiction is just as real of an addiction as anything. This article shows how the brains of internet addicts are different from everyone else’s “both in the connections between cells and in the brain areas that control attention, executive control, and emotion processing”.
So those of us with excessive preoccupation involving the internet, who feel these urges and pangs of desire when we can’t have our social media or our online games, we are suffering from an addiction.
The article also points to a few studies that show internet addicts may have fewer dopamine receptors in the brain, as well. It seems that the pattern and behavior is similar to any other addiction, and weaning yourself from that crutch seems to be the only cure.
I’ve limited my Tumblr use (my main problem; Faceook was easy to stop), but I notice that “limit” is a difficult word because I allow myself more than 30 minutes on some days. It’s easy to get distracted. It’s even easier to let these thoughts–about what to post, what to look at, or just the desire to look at something, anything on your favorite site–block out any desire to do anything else. The mental clutter inhibits you from getting other things done and encourages procrastination.
That’s the whole reason I started the Unplug Initiative. I’ve gotten a lot accomplished and helped myself focus, but I recognize what a struggle it is. Sometimes, my only victory is that I finish all the work I’m supposed to without becoming distracted by Tumblr.
And to an addict, that’s a major victory.