Best to be ready in case two of your connections go down
It’s the tool most of us can’t do without, whether we’re doing research or just stalking exes on Facebook. Over 93% of Australians access the Internet every day, with the average user spending over 21 hours per week online.
There’s a whole generation growing up as digital natives, dealing with digital technology from birth. The question is, will they ever learn to switch off?
Recent studies suggest that internet addiction is a real phenomenon.
Earlier this year in China, scientists discovered changes in the brains of internet addicts that mimic those seen in the brains of drug users.
Another study at Yale University in the US found that the 1 in 25 teenagers who overused the internet were more likely to be depressed and use drugs.
And new research from the University of California suggests that office users going cold turkey on email had reduced stress levels – as well as becoming more productive. But staying disconnected from email proved to be as difficult as quitting drugs.
These studies have used small sample sizes, but Baroness Susan Greenfield believes it is enough to prompt more serious research into what our internet use is doing to our brains.
“To say there is no evidence is just wrong, and that’s someone who clearly is in denial.”
But Australian Professor Ian Hickie suggests we shouldn’t leap to premature conclusions.
“Addiction is a strong word… people use the internet to maintain social connections and it’s associated generally speaking with better mental health.”
Do you or anyone you know have a difficulty with Internet addiction? Let us know below!