Just like how drugs change our dopamine levels where we depend on them to feel good, the same can go with the internet. You can have any information you acquire at your fingertips. It is important that you learn why the internet is so addictive so that you will keep your time online under control.

You can spend several hours on the internet watching videos, listening to music, commenting on photos and posts, and Googling whatever you want. The possibilities are endless with the internet because you tell the internet to do what you want and it will obey. When you see a number on your notifications on your social network or your emails, a dopamine rush kicks in. You feel like you are constantly checking your iphone or laptop to see what that mysterious notification means. Either someone sent you a piece of gossip or maybe something heartfelt.

Researcher Linda Stone says that eighty percent of people stop breathing or breathe shallowly when they check their email or look at their laptop screen. Your fight or flight hormones set in as you could have gotten a message from work or from a family member. You know that this message requires action and you are not aware of what it is until you open the message. Your body is preparing to face potential threats or surprises.

The internet is also addicting in that it involves self-control and willpower. For example, you know you are supposed to do your homework or work on a task that your boss told you to do but you see your Spotify app on the bottom of your screen so you feel the need to turn on music. You also look up at your bookmarks and see the link for YouTube so you have the urge to scroll for videos. You do not have anyone telling you what to do or what to search. It requires having a lot of willpower to know what needs to be done. If you feel like your internet use is out of control, you should find web-blocking apps to shut down the internet after a certain time. You can also set a timer and commit yourself to working on your task for twenty minutes and then five minutes internet surfing. By opening one webpage and focusing on the task at hand, you will gain more control over your internet addiction.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.