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Internet and social network addiction

Nowadays we live in a connected world thanks to the Internet, the positive aspects of this are evident but there are many others of negative aspects that arise when people get hooked on the net as a way of satisfying 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 ones that arise when people get hooked on the net as a primary way of satisfying their needs.

According to the Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicológicos, technological addiction is a repetitive behaviour that results in a pleasant way, and generates a loss of control in the subject, more because of the type of relationship with the person than because of the behaviour itself, it generates a serious interference with their daily life, whether at a family, social or academic level. Because of the evidence of interference in daily life, a study published last December in BMC PSychiatry reveals a three-dimensional grouping:

- Emotional and cognitive concerns about Internet access

- Neglect of work (or academics) and lack of self-control

- Social problems

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

Are there warning signs of Internet dependence?

Psychologist Maria Dolors Mas affirms that yes, there are alarm signals 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 how long you are connected or playing games.

Nowadays our daily life cannot be conceived without the use of the Internet as the management tool of 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. Since teenagers and young people tend to spend the most time in networks, it is important to be aware and pay attention as it can have important consequences for mental health.

Increasing the number of hours in the network could have a negative impact on people's personality, as well as their self-esteem, awareness, emotional stability

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