How to Combat Internet Addiction

internet addiction

Surfing the internet might seem innocent, but it can become a blackhole. This can lead to a device addiction. An addiction to the internet can be a scary thing, but there is a way out. 

A device addiction isn’t just about scrolling along the internet. It takes over a large part of your life. It can also include:

  • Gambling
  • Social Networking
  • Surfing The Net
  • Pornography
  • Online Gaming


An internet addiction is a process-based addiction. This is different from drugs and alcohol, which are substance-based addictions. Process-based addictions usually involve compulsive behaviors. These slowly turn into obsessive behaviors. Some symptoms of this type of addiction include:

  • Planning Your Day Around A Device
  • Forgetting About Personal Relationships
  • Spending Hours On A Device
  • Denial

Acknowledge The Problem

It can be tough to acknowledge the issue of addiction. Many people think it is normal to spend hours on the internet. Once the emotional surge that happens when you’re online becomes too much, it actually releases neurotransmitter chemicals. When this happens, chemicals cannot balance in the brain and it actually starts to break apart the brain’s reward system. The brain then has trouble regulating emotions. This is why it is tough to notice that there may be an issue with someone afflicted by internet addiction .

Identify The Element Of Addiction

Most people aren’t addicted to the entire internet. They usually have an issue with a specific website or a part of it that is addictive to them. They could be socially addicted or addicted to online gambling, a variety of reasons are available. 


Set Boundaries

The most important part of trying to combat addiction is to set boundaries. If the brain is dependent on the chemical effects of surfing the internet or being on a certain website, it will take over. The person may not understand they have been online that long. Set boundaries with yourself. You can schedule a set time to look at a certain website. You can set alarms limiting the amount of activities you do on each site.


Block Certain Websites 

If it doesn’t work for you to set boundaries, you might need to block certain websites that cause an issue for you. You may have to delete certain apps on your phone so you aren’t tempted to get on them. If you block these websites or apps, it helps train your brain to understand you don’t need them.


Change Your Routine

Addiction is a habit. It turns into a lifestyle. You can combat it by replacing these habitual routines with new ones. Fill the time with positive behavior. Instead of scrolling the internet, take that time to go for a walk or read a book. You get to control the addiction instead of letting it take over. When you postpone your habit, the brain trains itself to do something else in the place of it.



Ask for help. It’s not weak to ask friends and family to help you stay accountable. Tell them to help you set limits and stay off of the internet. Stay busy with loved ones so you stay away from your usual habits. 


Schedule Free Time

You might not know what to do with yourself when you have free time if you’re trying to stay away from the internet. Most people are busy with all sorts of activities, but everyone finds themselves bored at times. Try to schedule your free time away from the computer. If you have time slots open, you might be prone to getting on the internet. Fill this time with exercise classes, spending time with friends or just getting out of the house to do something you enjoy.


New Ways To Socialize

Many people get on the internet to socialize. Whether they’re scrolling for new dates, checking out what friends are doing and/or playing games with others online, socialization is easily found online. If it is an issue, get out and find a club or an organization to meet and hang out with people. You don’t have to hide online to find new friends.


Work With An Addiction Counselor

The good news is you can combat addiction with an addiction counselor. If your addiction has taken over your professional and/or personal life, reach out to a counselor. You can get help to get back on track to a positive life.


Wes Cain, LPCA, NCC, IHC



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