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Internet Addiction, a real thing?

Hmm… So, I opened Quora for the first time today. I know I am too late to the party but better late than never, eh?

I was going through a few questions when the questions drifted to various addictions. (I have no clue how I reached there. For the record, I have no addictions except, perhaps for the one I am going to talk about).

Just looking at the symptoms of addictions I can say that the basic definition means that when it begins to hurt your work, your life and you cannot stop it at any time you want.

At least in the case of Alcohol and Drugs, it means that. Cigarettes too are addictive, probably more than alcohol but it is less damaging than alcohol in the sense it doesn’t make a man lose his self. Though, cigarettes do defy the above definition in some ways. A person does not get crippled even if he becomes an addict to smoke.

As, I was reading through all this, I got curious about internet addiction. It is a real thing according to some, a myth according to others.

internet addiction-001

My curiosity is on three fronts regarding this matter-

  1. Is it real or myth according to people?
  2. What kind of addiction it is- Alcohol or Smoke?
  3. How to know you are an addict?

The first question is not whether it is a myth or not. It is whether people think it is or not. Many times, perceptions have equal or even more impact that real thing. So, if people believe that it is a real thing then much behaviour will be attributed to it. Like, it is believed that video games make kids violent (without conclusive proof). Placebo effect is well known. So, this is my question to people-

Do you believe that there is such a thing like Internet addictions?

I can share my experience with you- I have felt that I could not live without internet for a single day. I have panicked and gotten irritated when I saw that I will not have internet 24/7 and but as I realised that I was feeling (what might be called pangs of addictions) I worked on stop being dependent on it. It was a long time back and now I have too much internet to know whether I am addicted or not. I always am connected. It will be only when I am not connected for extended period of time (I means in hours and not days), that I can tell you my current status. Though, I feel that now I have matured.

The second question is- Is this addiction life shattering?

For example, I felt the addiction only when I could not have internet. So, the question really becomes whether a person becomes inaccessible when he has internet. In my opinion if a person’s job is related to internet it might not be such a big deal but if a person’s job needs outside world interaction, it would hamper his or her work.

This is if such a person has no family. Imagine, any person with family not giving anyone time because he is stuck to his computer. So, in a way I believe that internet addiction is more like alcohol. It wastes one’s time and occupies him or her and affects the life.

The third question is- How to recognize?

I felt that I was an addict and thus I tried to break free of my shackles. But now, I do not know whether I am an addict because I always have internet, I live alone and my work consists of using internet. So, there is no way I will realise it unless I am devoid of internet – Not usually possible as it will affect my work as well.

Also, people who are addicts are in denial.

Still, I will put a few symptoms if you relate-

  1. Can’t go a day without using internet, whether it is for facebook, youtube or even Wikipedia.
  2. In its absence feel irritated at other things (very important).
  3. Getting it back gives a sense of relief that one gets from eating or drinking. Basically feels like fulfillment of physical need.

There are more but they are more or less a subset of this. So, if you relate to one you might be in the initial stage. All means that you are in trouble. That is all my opinion of course. There might not be such a thing as Internet addiction at all.

I would live to hear from you… What do you think? Is Internet Addiction a real thing for you?

About Kunal Prakash

A graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Kunal Prakash’s love for technology was at first sight and everlasting. He is currently enjoying the first stint as a professional after leaving over 20 years of schooling. You can follow him on facebook or visit his blog for his other musings.


  1. Hi Vandhana, Thanks for the appreciation. @Altaf: It is good that you are not addicted. :) And addiction is not out of need but more than that. I mean a student needing internet for project is not addiction but a person not able to bear oe day without facebook is.

  2. Hi Kunal, Having said that, the definition of addiction to Internet which you described above is exactly true. It may not cause you physical damage like cigerettes but one feels agitated if you dont have it. And when you get it back, the feeling of fulfillment is the charector of addiction. When we were in College, in every village there used to be a place where people gamble. You may not believe it but the gambling goes on 24X7. Some people go home have food come back. Day in day out. Those guys when they are just back from game, tey are normal. But during such times when police raid such places and the place shuts down for a week or two, the personality of those people changes. They get irritated at trivial things. They quarrel. Gambling is not physically damaging but when it is not there, people get agitated and once they get it back, they become normal. I feel the same with guys addicted to internet. :)

  3. I agree with the concept of this article. But in reality, addiction to internet difers from person to person. It depends on how old are you, where you live, how you live, what you do etc. I also thought I was addicted to internet. However when I went to a place to visit distant relatives, where internet is not fluent, I did not feel agitated. So I sensed that I am still not addicted. If guys are teens, the need of internet is sometimes projects but mostly social gossiping. If you are still living in rural India, internet is limited to finding commodity prices, to read news etc. Even if you live in Urban India and if you belong to lower social strata and spend 8 to 10 hours earning your living, the only time you look at net is when you are back from work. Though the net savvy Indian population is growing, there are still hundreds of millions who never experianced internet. I dont know the actual facts, but this is what I feel. May be I am wrong too. Just my two paisa :)

  4. Vandhana Karthick

    Your article is 100% real and without Internet we are not way able to escape to check one information. I myself cannot find a single day without using Internet wherever I go. So it is simply known day by day Internet usage in India is going high and also people like the luxury, tension free, time saving and many more can be said by using Internet. Your article is really useful essential to be read by all

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