How can you break addiction to the Internet?
The first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Overcoming denial should be followed by other treatment steps, including:
- Identifying specific problem areas
- Generating a behavior modification plan, such as setting a timer for usage, planning a daily schedule, keeping a log of moods when going online, matching time spent online with time spent socializing face-to-face and taking part in non-computer related activities
- Focusing on other areas for needed skill enhancement, such as problem solving, assertiveness, social skills, overcoming shyness, anger control
- Assessing for other disorders like depression or anxiety that may need medical treatment.
- Assistance in locating or forming a support group for other people who are trying to regain control over their computer use.
If you suspect you are addicted to the Web, consult a therapist in your area, preferably one who specializes in addiction. In addition, you might join a support group. One online group can be found at the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery.
Dr. David Greenfield offers suggestions to help manage Internet use before it becomes a problem:
- Consider taking a technology holiday
- Find other interests
- Watch less television
- Talk to your friends and family about what is happening in your life
- Try counseling or psychotherapy to assist you in dealing with the addictive behavior
- Consider a support group
- Develop new relationships and friendships
- Talk to others about your overuse of the Internet
- Shorten your Internet sessions
How can I help computer-obsessed friends?
- Be a good role model. Manage the computer use in your own life well
- Introduce them to some other people who are fun, interesting, and who handle their computer use sensibly.
- Get them involved in some non-computer related fun.
- Support their desire for change if they think they have a problem.
- Encourage them to seek professional counseling.