Internet Addiction or Addict?
Do you have an internet addition? Are you a computer, laptop, smart phone, Mac or PC addict? Do you have an ipad addiction?
An addiction is a feeling of compulsion or thinking that leads to a repetitive action or behaviour. A need is felt in a person and that need feels like it can only be satisfied by carrying out a specific action.
What is an Addiction ?
For some people that might be a chemical biological issue in the brain that leads to a repitition of a certain activity. The person feels anxious before the action is started but once completed, they can enjoy a sense of relief and feel less stressed or anxious.
Wikipedia suggestions that an addiction is: “The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity”
A learnt addiction, as the name implies, is a behaviour or activity that someone has acquired or learnt over time. As human beings we become more proficient with certain activities through repeating those activities over and over again. Learning to drive a car is an activity that is learnt over time through repetition (driving lessons). In repeating these lessons, much of the skill of driving moves from the conscious to the unconscious mind. Hence we tend to concentrate consciously on the route of the journey we take in driving a car rather than how we actually drive the car itself. The driving of the car has become an automated almost unconscious process.
However in the above example, driving a car does not ordinarily become an addiction. So you might ask what turns a repeated activity into a compulsion or addiction?
How is an addiction formed?
Generally, something else happens when a repeated activity becomes an addiction. The person repeating the activity, let’s say, checking their emails, or updating their status on Facebook, is getting some associtaed positive feeling or reward for carrying out this activity.
You leave a comment on a friend’s wall on Facebook and your comment is praised by others. You get an associated good feeling with the action you have taken. The subconscious mind starts an association between leaving helpful comments on Facebook and your sense of your self worth.
If you don’t often get praise elsewhere in your life (work, social events, personal relationships) the feel good factor you get from Facebook acts as a substitute for the real world. You find yourself returning to Facebook or other social networks to seek the same good feelings. If you succeed and your comments are praised the behaviour starts to embed itself in the subconscious mind and lead to a compulsion to repeat this pattern. You can find yourself staying up late at night either adding comments or waiting for others to respond to your latest Facebook activity, tweet on twitter or other social networking activity.
Computer Smart Phone, Ipad, Internet Addiction
It may be that you have a compulsion to check your emails every minute. Do you find yourself getting up in the middle of night with a need to check your email and respond to them? This and other activities can all form part of an addiction to your computer, laptop, smart mobile phone or other device such as an ipad.
Overcoming an Internet Addiction
Behavioural addictions, no matter what their specific actions are (eg: checking emails, Facebook activity, tweeting, MSN Messenger, Skype messages, blogging etc) have all been learnt activities. What can be learnt can also be unlearnt – put another way, you can find another way of satisfying your needs.
It’s also important to know that what is an addiction for one person, may be a healthy activity for another. Some people need to check their emails frequently, or have a presence on Facebook for healthy reasons. Some people help charities via their Facebook activity. Some people run businesses that requires they respond to emails efficiently. Only you know whether your internet, computer, smart phone or ipad activity is healthy or not. Although part of an addiction can also be denial too. If you have any doubts about whether your internet activity is healthy or not, ask someone who is close to you and who knows what you do. Incidentally, if you feel the need to hide how often you access the internet then you may already know the answer.
Overcoming an ipad addiction or computer addiction or any type always begins with the admittance of the addiction or compulsive behaviour. Do you feel you have an addiction to the internet?
By Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Clinical Hypnotherapist – London and Essex
Hypnotherapy and Internet Addiction
Hypnotherapy is often used to investigate the underlying cause of an addiction. In doing so this gives invaluable insight into the needs of a person that were previously not being met or fulfilled. In the proceeding hypnotherapy sessions, healthier lifestyle options can be explored that means that the original need is still being fulfilled but the behaviour that satisfies that need is a healthier one.
Your self confidence can often receive a boost knowing that you are no longer controlled by a compulsion but you are back in control of your life. A free initial consultation is often offered by a hypnotherapist to enable you find out more and discuss in confidence your internet addiction.