It seems only fitting that I should be attempting to write this after one a.m. after yet another evening that has slipped by along with the hope of an early night.
Today on a science podcast I was listening to, I found myself nodding in agreement as a ‘mind expert’ reeled of a list of symptoms connected with Internet addiction disorder or IAD.
I was driving to an assignment and nodding, not only in agreement but also also in extreme tiredness after another late night browsing feeds, blogs, forums and social media apps designed to ‘enable’ me.
Enable me to what exactly..?
Well probably the same as every other learner-plate-geek up way after midnight, the morning light only a handful of hours away and the remnants of a buzz their supper time coffee has left.
B.I (Before the Internet) It used to be that I would stay up all hours watching crappy late night B-Movies in the hope that the ending made sense of the opening scene I had missed whilst channel hopping. “Just another 5 minutes” I would say.. About thirty times.
Now I have a ‘window to the world’ and the world doesn’t sleep. My search engine answers my every wish like a magical one button remote to a TV with a thrillian channels. Each one more thrilling than the next. At least that is what you hope as you click search. Praying that the next page/blog/podcast/video will show you the holy grail of content justifying the hours of stooped squinting, sending you finally to bed with a smug smile.. Ahhh.. now i know.. But no.
All you find is..
Do you suffer from Internet addiction disorder?
Do you suffer from three or more of these symptoms?:
1. Tolerance: This refers to the need for increasing amounts of time on the Internet to achieve satisfaction and/or significantly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of time on the Internet.
2. Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days to one month after reduction of Internet use or cessation of Internet use (i.e., quitting cold turkey), and these must cause distress or impair social, personal or occupational functioning.
These include: psychomotor agitation, i.e. trembling, tremors; anxiety; obsessive thinking about what is happening on the Internet fantasies or dreams about the Internet; voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers.
3. Use of the Internet is engaged in to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
4. The Internet is often accessed more often, or for longer periods of time than was intended.
5. A significant amount of time is spent in activities related to Internet use ( e.g., Internet books, trying out new World Wide Web browsers, researching Internet vendors, etc.).
6. Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of Internet use.
7. The individual risks the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of excessive use of the Internet.
Other characteristics have been identified. The first is feelings of restlessness or irritability when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use. The second is that the Internet is used as a way of escaping problems or relieving feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression. The third characteristic is that the user lies to family members or friends to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
That’s it… I am off to bed… Just say NO!