Santa Clara University

Wellness Center

Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction

Many students and faculty across the country are finding themselves spending longer amounts of time online, sometimes to the detriment of their work, studies and social lives, and being drawn into a downward spiral of missed classes, not getting homework completed, focusing on online social interactions instead of real social relationships face-to- face, and 'going online' to escape from or relieve the pressures of everyday life.

The Internet can be an invaluable resource for in the academic community - finding information, communicating with friends, co-workers, and professionals. Used as such, it is a healthy and helpful tool. But some find that they use it to fill their time, avoid other life responsibilities, neglect normal social interaction, and become increasingly dependent on their 'logon'. They lose their own personal control of their computer use.

Here are some things that suggest a problem:

  • Lack of sleep and excess fatigue
  • Declining grades
  • Less investment in relationships with boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Withdrawal from all campus social activities and events
  • General apathy, edginess, or irritability when off-line (s)
  • Denial of the seriousness of the problem
  • Rationalizing that what they learn on the Net is superior to their classes
  • Lying about how much time they spend online and what they do there
  • Trying to quit completely when threatened with possible expulsion because of poor grades, then slipping right back into the same addictive patterns.

Yet, despite these problems, denial cuts especially deep in the college environment because packed computer labs provide an even more effective cover than drinking in a crowded bar. When you're sitting in rows of Internet users whose obsessions manifest in eight-hour sessions, no one's going to tap you on the shoulder and say: "Hey, I think you're seriously addicted to what you do on the computer and you need to get some help." Most students laugh off any suggestion that they're becoming psychologically dependent on the feelings they get from playing games and chat rooms. "Only foolish adults get addicted to stuff they take or things they do," students counter. "Anyway, I'm not as bad as the geeks with the computer majors who never log off and have to know all the software programs. I can cut back or quit fooling around on the Net any time I want."    But some students can't cut back . . .

|| Take an Internet Addiction Survey Online ||

|| Symptoms of Internet Overuse or Addiction ||


Help Is Available

If you are concerned about your own or a friend's internet behavior, please do not hesitate to call some of the following resources:

On Campus:
Counseling Center    554-4172
Health Center          554-4501
Wellness Center       554-4409


Other Internet Addiction Resources

Center for Online Addiction
Is Internet Addiction Real?--APA Article

Internet Addiction Guide Psych Central, Dr. John Grohol
Glossary of Internet Terms
What is Internet addiction? Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at Proctor Hospital (Peoria)


Source: CUNY Brooklyn College

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