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Addiction to the Internet and social networks

Today we live in a connected world thanks to the Internet, being connected has many positive aspects, that is obvious but there are many other negative ones that arise when people cannot separate life on the network from normal life as a way of satisfying their needs.

We can hardly conceive of our world without the Internet. It is a tool that has revolutionized many areas of our lives. While the positive aspects are undeniable, there are other negative aspects that arise when people get hooked on the net as a primary way of satisfying their needs.

According to the Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicol├│gicos, technological addiction is a repetitive behavior that results in a pleasurable way, and generates a loss of control in the subject, more for the type of relationship with the person than for the behavior itself, it generates a serious interference with their daily life, whether at a family, social or academic level. Because of the evidence of interference with daily life, a study published last December in BMC PSychiatry reveals a clustering along three dimensions:

- Emotional and cognitive preoccupation with Internet access.

- Work (or academic) neglect and lack of self-control

- Social problems

The Addiction Treatment Foundation (FECAL) comments that Internet addiction is a problem of impulse control, characterized by the inability to abstain or moderate its use. It is currently a problem for many adolescents, who experience a withdrawal syndrome when they cannot connect, characterized by deep emotional discomfort, insomnia, irritability and restlessness. Internet abuse can be a secondary manifestation of another addiction or other psychopathological problems.

Are there important warning signs of Internet dependence?

Psychology affirms that yes, there are warning signs that denote a dependence on ICT or social networks and these are:

- Sleep deprivation (sleeping less than 5-6 hours) to be connected to the Internet.

- Neglecting other important activities such as contact with family, friends, studies or health.

- Obsession with the speed of the Internet connection, feeling excessively irritated when the connection fails or is very slow.

- Losing track of time when you are connected to the Internet for a long period of time and lying about the time you are connected or playing.

Nowadays our daily life cannot be conceived without the use of the Internet as a tool to manage numerous services, to connect with others, to start a business or to get information. But we have to keep in mind that for many people it can become the perfect environment to escape from the problems of the world, the family or one's own limitations. Given that adolescents and young people tend to be the people who spend the most time on the networks, it is important to be aware and pay attention as it can have important consequences for mental health.

The increase in the number of hours on the network could have a negative impact on people's personality, as well as self-esteem, conscience, emotional stability...

To conclude, one should not lose sight of the quality of life and the perception of happiness associated with problematic Internet consumption.