When does being constantly connected and forming cyber relationships cross the line between one of life’s little pleasures into a full-blown and dangerous cyber- addiction? Take this quiz to find out…
Ah…the allure of the Internet and social media. Nowadays, our computers, smart phones, gaming devices and tablets have become the virtual gateway and convenient one-stop wonderland for many of our personal, social, professional and recreational needs. Logging on can bring instant relief to feelings of loneliness, stress and boredom, supplying an unlimited source of entertainment and stimulation anytime, anyplace 24/7.
With every notification, tweet, comment or “like”, you get a little thrill in the form of a shot of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical that is released during pleasurable experiences, such as falling in love or riding a roller coaster. That cocktail of brain chemistry can easily lead to a dangerous addiction, hazardous to your relationship as any substance abuse. Part stimulant, part emotional tranquilizer, it’s easy to get hooked.
GOING ONLINE IS LIKE GETTING HIGH ON A DRUG
You find yourself spending time more and more time online, triggering the click that will get that you that next “hit.” The time you spend online seems to fly. You tell yourself (and your family) that you’re just going to check your status, do some research, get some work done and hours later, you realize you’ve spent the entire evening online—AGAIN.
Meanwhile, you find yourself zoning out with your kids or spouse, thinking about the last thing you posted and whether anyone has read it. You can’t seem to tolerate boredom, and lately, your days feel more and more boring when you’re not online.
ARE YOU ADDICTED?
Take the Quiz and Find Out…
- Answer one of three ways: Always Sometimes Never
1. How often do you check your e-mail, send a text, or make a post before doing something else that you really need to do?
2. How often do you choose the stimulation of the Internet to intimacy with your partner or spending quality time with your kids?
3. How often do you put aside other work, chores and responsibilities to spend more time online?
4. How often do your kids, partner or family complain about the amount of time you spend online?
5. How often do you get angry or annoyed when a family member talks to you while you’re online?
6. How often do you feel anxious, unhappy, restless or moody when you are off-line, which disappears once you are back on-line?
7. How often do you turn to the Internet for soothing or distraction when you are upset, bored or lonely?
8. How often do you lose sleep or feel exhausted the next day because of late night log-ins or texting?
9. How often does your real life seem dull in comparison with how you feel when you are online?
10. How often do you stay online longer than you planned and keep telling yourself “just a few more minutes”?
11. How often have you promised to cut back on the time you spend online, texting, or emailing and failed?
12. How often do you minimize or deny the amount of time you spend online when asked by your partner, family or friends?
Tally up how many times you answered “always”, “sometimes” and “never.”
If you answered “Never”, CONGRATULATIONS, you are NOT addicted to the Internet.
If you answered “always” to 2 or more OR “sometimes” to 4 or more of the above questions, it’s time to consider some Internet Rehab. Click HERE to read my recommendations to help you break your addiction and get your life back on track.