There are many types of addictions but have you heard of internet addiction? Yep! It's true. Many teens and adults are getting addicted. Are you a victim? Learn more about the effects of the internet and how to get help.
How have we gotten to the place of internet addiction today? Well, here is a brief history of how the internet and how it all began.
The initial idea behind the internet started in 1961. However, "in 1993 the Internet experienced one of its largest growths and today is accessible and used by people everywhere in the world." (1) Therefore if you were born in 1993 or later, you have probably had access to the internet most of your life...therefore leading to the issue of teens getting addicted to the internet today.
I graduated from high school in 1993 and distinctly remember first using e-mail when I went to college. Wow, have times changed since then. Now, we can do just about everything from the internet. We get the news, the weather, stay connected with friends and family, share pictures and videos, shop, get maps and directions, get information for school work and the list goes on.
Along with all the positive influences of the internet, there are also some negative influences that lead to internet addiction.
Is there a problem? Here are a few statistics on media consumption. These stats include TV, internet, video game use. Check out these shocking statistics...
Do you feel like the internet controls your life? Is is taking the time you could be using elsewhere? I think the TV and internet are some of the biggest thieves in our culture... because they steal our time!
Take this internet addiction test to see the effects of internet addiction in your life.
"A person who is “addicted” to the computer is likely to have several of the experiences and feelings on the list below: How many of them describe you?
Try a Media Fast
I recommend taking periodic media fasts where you "unplug" from a certain type of media for a specific time period. You might decide to give up all internet for 30 days. Or that may feel like too much for you and so you decide to give up the internet for one day in order to spend time outdoors and plugging into your Creator instead.
Whatever you decide to do for your media fast, there are plenty of things you can do instead. Check out the list below that our ministry partner, Phillip Telfer, and my husband compiled from suggestions from teens just like yourselves.
Internet Addiction Rehab Centers
I just stumbled upon an article the other day that said the first rehab center for Internet addiction opens in the U.S. and offers a 45 day detox program for $14,500. Wow! I found it very interesting because one of the main parts of the program is getting out into nature more often. (3)
Unfortunately, the internet (and TV and video games) take a lot of our time and energy away from our relationship with God. I have seen this in my own life. I may be doing "good things" online, but find that hours have passed and I missed my opportunity to spend time with God by going on a prayer walk, journaling or listening to worship music. I have missed out on building my relationship with God, the only one who can truly fill the void in my life.
It's so easy to let happen in our culture of social networking, blogging, texting and information overload. It seems like there is always something to distract our attention from Christ. And it can feel like we are swimming against the current of culture when we decide to break away from the media that is controlling our time and energy.
I have to confess that I have felt controlled at times by my need to check my e-mail or Facebook constantly through the day. In church today I was praying and asked God why I tend to get controlled by e-mail and social networking. I sensed God saying in my spirit that it is because of my desire to be in constant communication. I long to hear back from people and get their feedback. And social networking provides a way to do that...and happens to be very addicting! I was realizing that God gave me the desire to be in constant communication....and I try to find it in people instead of God. When I stay in constant communication with God, I get filled up so I'm not so "needy" for other people's attention and contact.
"I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved." Psalm 16:8 (AMP)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:1-2
Shelley has a heart for teen girls that began from her own journey of finding her true beauty in Christ. She is currently serving God by helping other Christians learn to let their light shine.
Connect with Shelley online:
Do you think internet addiction is a problem today? Why or why not? What about e-mail, Facebook and Myspace? Can you get addicted to social networking?
Share your ideas and what you've found helpful in overcoming internet addiction.
Click below to read others submissions
Internet time limit software Not rated yet
I have created an internet time limiting software application, which I think your readers may be interested in knowing about. I came across your website …
Being connected to the world with the use of internet connection is really great Not rated yet
Being connected to the world with the use of internet connection is really great. But sometimes, it really angers me. It happened when my son demand on …
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