Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do You Have An Internet Addiction?

I was reading an article about internet addiction being something like the dopamine trip people get from cocaine and gambling. I would have to agree with that. It talked about gaming and Blackberries being always there, in a way that would almost be without boundaries, unlike casinos. It could become OCD in the way some of us get addicted to checking our email, our Facebook, and Twitter.

I admit, I have an issue with this.  I'm not one to sit for very long, at all.  I almost never sit for more that 30 minutes at any given time while I am awake. It's not in my nature to do so.  However, that is not to say that I don't check in on my FB, and email about every hour.  I check, and if I need to, I reply. This likely takes up 15 minutes of every hour I am awake, and at home. (I don't own an iphone). My husband sees this as excessive and it is a major source of contention in our marriage. I have tried different ways to curb this, but have been unsuccessful, thus far.  I think the internet gives me a social connection to the world that I find not only comfortable, but also much needed.  I guess I will have to apply the techniques I used to quit smoking 2 years ago to this internet issue. I do think it's an addiction, because when I am at home and unable to check in on my laptop for awhile I get really grumpy and jittery.  So, along with 30 day Meditation Challenge I will also work on gently curbing this habit.

Anyone else struggle with this? I would almost think that it would be more common in the adult ASD community, as we have trouble making friends in real life, so the internet could become a quick and easy substitute.  For me, it is here when I need it, but not when I don't. I don't feel as overwhelmed by socializing online as I do in person.  I also would surmise that parents of ASD kids, especially moms that stay home with their kids, would be more likely to focus a lot of their social lives on the internet. It doesn't require a babysitter, or a lot of effort to leave the house. Leaving the house when you have ASD kids, especially if they are on the severe end of the spectrum takes so much planning and is often an impossible task to be able to have conversations with others while chasing your child around.  It's also, so very comforting to be able to effortlessly connect with a whole community that also has the same day to day life as you do. These friends 'get it'. They know and they support you, encourage you and you in turn do the same for them.  This is addicting. It's easy to get hooked into this online world when you've met so many great people there that seem to understand.

However, with all that being said, I do have to admit that my time spent on line is excessive and could be better spent doing other things. I am asking for tips. and real life stories of others that have struggled (or maybe still struggling) with this sort of thing. I don't need to totally cut out my FB, blog and other online social activities.  I just need to be more reasonable with the time I spend on these endeavors.

As always, thanks for reading. I appreciate all of you that read and comment! :)