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When the Internet Becomes a Problem

People get addicted to all sorts of things: drugs, eating, gambling, exercising, spending, sex, etc. Problematic addiction can be defined as anything that never really satisfies needs, that ultimately causes unhappiness and disrupts lives.
Here are some questions that psychologists offer to people who are trying to determine if they are indeed addicted:

  • Are you neglecting important things in your life because of this behavior?
  • Is this behavior disrupting your relationships with important people in your life?
  • Do important people in your life get annoyed or disappointed with you about this behavior?
  • Do you get defensive or irritable when people criticize this behavior?
  • Do you ever feel guilty or anxious about what you are doing?
  • Have you ever found yourself being secretive about or trying to “cover up” this behaviour?
  • Have you ever tried to cut down, but were unable to?
  • If you are honest with yourself, do you feel there is another hidden need that drives this behaviour?

Answering yes to one or two of these responses may not mean anything. Yes to three or more of them could mean trouble. Please call if you need help.

Is Your Modem Leaking?
Handling email and “surfing the Web” can eat hours from each day. Bit by bit, our days dribble away, trickling out our modems. Every hour behind the keyboard is 60 minutes not spent doing something else. During the hours you spend online, you could instead plant a garden, volunteer at a senior citizens' home, teach your child (or a neighbourhood kid) to catch a pop fly, throw a vase on a potter’s wheel. It’s all about balance. Is there something you’d feel better about doing?

If you would like to know if your on-line friendship is too friendly take this quiz.