Scientific studies show that computer addiction affects the brain in pretty much the same as drug addiction changes the brain chemistry by stimulating the reward circuit of the brain. As human beings we are likely to repeat doing the things we find rewarding. The pleasure one experiences from this activity triggers the release of a brain chemical known as dopamine, which makes the person to want more. This brings a cycle of pleasure and elation to repeat the behavior, which in turn leads to the increasing desire to relish reward. Soon the person craves to go up to a higher level of excitement with perverted thinking and uncontrolled behavior. I can say that it is true because my kids are doing this. They can’t be stop once they are facing the computer.
It is said that computer addiction is a serious matter. We should not take it for granted. Many have lost a loved one or their work because of computer addiction. But how do you know that you have too much of computer or the internet? There are questions below and if you answer at least seven Yes to it, then you can be considered as having a pathological Internet addiction.
1. Do I lose interest in the other activities I used to engage in?
2. Would I rather miss my regular meals than miss the internet?
3. Am I craving for more time online and feel restless when not engaged?
4. Do I feel irritable and aggressive when interrupted or when the connection is low?
5. Do I stay in the computer longer than I intended?
6. Am I neglecting family and friends and or responsibilities in order to be online?
7. Is my internet use interfering with my job or school responsibilities?
8. Do I use the internet as an outlet when lonely, upset or sad?
9. Do I lie about the amount of time on the internet and what I am browsing?
10. Am I sleeping late because of internet browsing or playing games?
So how can we control computer and internet addiction? Below are some of the suggestions that we can apply.
1. Parents should be role models for their children.
2. Put computer in a common place in the house like the living room so that parents can easily monitor on what the children’s are doing in the computer.
3. Have family meals at the table in regular times.
4. Get involved in some sports.
5. Go to bed on time.
6. Develop a strong network of friends which will provide mental and emotional support.
7. Plan family activities.
8. Limit computer use. List the things you need and want to open in the web. Set a time for each site and stick to the time allotted.
9. Be aware of the signs of computer addiction listed above.
10. If you are too addicted, seek for professional help.
11. Above all ask God’s help to help yourself detach from the excitement of computer use.
Computer and internet can help the person in some aspects but it can ruin lives and relationships if not handled responsibly.