Internet addiction is an umbrella term that refers to the compulsive need to spend a great deal of time on the Internet, to the point where relationships, work and health are allowed to suffer. Many internet addicts develop anxiety issues and depression. This is because just like other types of addiction, this one also has grave consequences. The first major category of side effects include problems which affect social health. People lose sense of time and neglect their work. Medical opinion is divided on whether Internet addiction exists as a mental disorder in its own right. Internet addiction is a behavioral addiction in which a person becomes dependent on use of the Internet, or other online devices, as a maladaptive way of coping with life's stresses. What most people online who think they are addicted are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Internet addiction can be defined as overuse of the Internet leading to impairment of an individual’s psychological state (both mental and emotional), as well as their scholastic or occupational and social interactions (Beard & Wolf, 2001). Internet addiction is a relatively new mental health concern, considering worldwide Internet use increased by 1,000% between the years 2000 and 2015. Evidence suggests Internet addiction is most prevalent among males, people with higher income, and those who exhibit certain psychosocial traits like neuroticism, impulsivity, and loneliness. Internet addiction is common among many millennials, and these people do not even realize that they have an addiction.
Their physical health also deteriorates. Internet addiction is becoming widely recognized and acknowledged, particularly in countries where it is affecting large numbers of people, such as South Korea, where it has been declared a national health problem.
Being addicted to the internet can lead to many side effects which could harm your social, emotional, and physical health. This hampers their professional growth. Other symptoms can include carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, migraine headaches, a decline in personal hygiene and back aches, according to Maressa Hecht, founder of Computer Addiction Services and a member of the Harvard Medical School. It has a major impact on a person’s brain function. While the debate goes on about whether or not the DSM-V should designate Internet addiction a mental disorder [12-14] people currently suffering from Internet addiction are seeking treatment. Internet overuse can lead to sedentary lifestyles, weight gain and a decline in physical fitness.