Contributed by – Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
How much time do you spend on the internet daily? For most of us internet has become the way of living. A single day without internet seems impossible. We have unknowingly but willingly become slaves to the modern day technologies.
Internet is a virtual treasure of knowledge and has undoubtedly made our lives much easier as everything is just a click away nowadays. It sure is nice to have such instant access to information and news all the time. No matter where you are you are always connected with your loved ones, world indeed has become a small place. But this amazingly extraordinary invention has its flaws. Internet does have several harmful impacts on our lives, especially our health.
Do you often experience headaches, backaches, anxiety problems, depression or sleep problems? Wondering what’s wrong? Your precious phone, laptop might be the culprit!
All these health problems are a side effect of spending too much or most of our time with our new dearest friend – Internet. Internet has become the centre of our worlds and the everyday life revolves around it.
Internet addiction, also known as internet addiction disorder, has become our reality.
It is really important to understand the adverse affects of internet usage on our health. Let us go through the modern day health troubles caused due to internet addiction and how to deal with them.
Irregular eating habits
Do you spend most of hours glued in front of your computer?
Such addiction or indulgence often leads to lack of desire to get up and eat or take your meals on time. Hence, we end up eating chips, chocolate, cookie, juices or some other unhealthy foods. Such unhealthy carbs and sugar loaded junk foods are really bad for health. Infrequent and unhealthy eating habits can have really harmful effects on the health. Such unhealthy eating habits can lead to eating disorders and serious health problems.
Most of us have jobs that demand spending hours in front of our laptops, overuse of internet or phones leads to sedentary lifestyle. Such lifestyle causes weight gain that makes us much more prone to several health issues. Our day starts and ends with our phones, everyone no matter small or old have become addicted to internet. Kids prefer watching videos on the phone rather than playing outside; this leads to obesity in children and makes them more susceptible to diseases. Weight gain and obesity can pave the path towards various health problems like heart disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems, osteoarthritis, breathing problems etc.
Spending hours in front of the internet can cause severe damage to our eyes. Dry eyes are a common problem caused due to overuse of phones or computers. Several hours of nonstop glaring at the screen can be really harmful. Our eyes are really delicate and needs protection, such over exertion and staring at the phone or laptop screens for hours can cause dryness, itchiness and other problems.
Headaches are such a common problem nowadays. Most of us suffer from headache or heavy head on almost daily basis. Sitting in front of the computer exposes our eyes to the harmful light that leads to ocular motor dysfunction which further leads to health problems.
Do you suffer from frequent backaches?
Backaches are another really common complain these days. The main reason behind such backaches is our sedentary lifestyle; sitting at a single spot for extended periods can cause several postural defects. Less movement can cause stiffness in the arms and neck and cause a constant feeling of tiredness and exhaustion.
Many studies suggest that overuse of internet leads to disturbed sleep or sleep problems. Working late nights, lack of proper sleep ultimately leads to decrease in sleep or disordered sleep pattern. The light emitted from the phone and laptop screens have an impact on the circadian rhythms and are possibly causing insomnia. It is wiser to avoid using phones or laptops before going to sleep as they hamper our health. Lack of proper rest can cause serious health problems like heart diseases, lower immunity, unexplained weight gain or loss, loss of appetite, slow reflexes, headaches, blurred vision etc.
Anxiety and depression
Several research prove that sitting for hours in front of the computer or using internet on your phone leads to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. We spend most of our time on the internet while life is passing us by. We are missing out on a lot of experiences; we might be connected to a lot of people on several social media platforms but are actually alone. Internet is great but let us not forget connecting with the people around us. A little quality time with family and friends can be really magical. It is time to disconnect with the internet so that we can start reconnecting with our loved ones again.
Carpel tunnel syndrome
The feeling of numbness, tingling, weakness in hand is the most common symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome. It is caused due to pressure on the median nerve in the hand. Poor postures and the lack of breaks while working can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. So, take small breaks and engage in conversations with people around you.
Symptoms of internet addiction
What are the symptoms of internet addiction? How do you know if you are a victim of internet addiction syndrome? Here is a list of some of the common symptoms of internet addiction:
Adverse effects on our responses or performance at school or jobs
- Spending less time with family and friends
- Losing interest in hobbies or other activities
- Feeling of anxiety or depression
- Constant need to use your phone or laptop
- Angry or defensive reaction (especially when someone comments on your behavior)
- Frequent migraine headaches
Time to draw some boundaries
It’s time to understand the harmful effects of internet addiction and realise the need to control the internet use. Some simple steps can be included in our daily routine to break the shackles of internet addiction:
- Set a limit on the screen time
- Take frequent breaks while working
- Turn off your internet device before going to bed
- Indulge in some hobby
- Spend more time with family
- Go for walks
Internet is a boon, do not let it turn into a sinful indulgence.
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