Internet Addiction

Internet has opened a myriad of opportunities to everyone, and especially to us, young people that it is almost impossible to live apart from it. In fact, for so many people like us, it has become an addiction, “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something” as teacher Corina Ionescu pointed out in her power-point presentation. It is an addiction like a sort of drug, but instead of being a substance-related addiction , it is a type of behavioral addiction, like an obsession for being all the time connected to the Internet.

Why do we, young people, become so addicted to Internet? We like to socialize with our friends, either chatting, or playing games or simply acceding to a world of information, or simply researching for more interesting topics than those learned sometimes at school.

It is not always evident to identify that kind of obsession, but there are visible signs. According to teacher Corina Ionescu for example: when you get home and you immediately hurry to the computer, stay there for more than 2 hours on a row and ignore people physically around you and loose track of the time you spend there. Emotionally, you experiment different types of feelings, from social isolation, depression to the opposite: a state of euphoric feelings and agitation; and these states of mind provoke physical reactions like headaches, since you focus your eyes in the screen and concentrate on what you are doing; backaches due to the position you are in front of the computer and can even loose hours of sleep(sleep deprivation), because of the excitement it causes.

What could be done about Internet addiction? Many suggestions were proposed, like: to establish a limit to the number of hours spent in front of the screen, find a balance between the hours isolated and the time spent hanging out with friends, going to the cinema, doing some physical exercise, learn other skills.

Bernardo Rodrigues
João Miraldo

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