Internet Addiction and Related Psychological Factors

Internet addiction may exist when a person's daily life is negatively impacted by their excessive but instead unrestrained use of the World Wide Web for any reason, including but not largely confined to playing video games, communicating with others on social networking sites, making money transfers, watching entertainment content, or even any combination of these.

What are Internet Addiction Factors?

People may experience discomfort and irritability if they cannot access the Internet. The upward arrow indicates a growing trend toward the use of mobile devices. More and more time spent together is necessary for emotional satisfaction, which requires a high tolerance level. Disruptions in daily routines, such as spending time with friends and family, attending school, or participating in recreational activities, are highlighted.

Neuroanatomical Factors

Lowered grey matter density in various brain regions, including the forebrain, orbitofrontal cortex, and supplementary motor area; abnormal synaptic plasticity of brain regions associated with the reliance on rewards; activation of sensory-motor synchronization, with concomitant lowering of audiovisual synchronization; activation of brain regions related to the formation of uncontrollable behaviors. An EEG examination of event-related potentials revealed a shortened reaction time, which may be linked to compromised self-control.

Biological Factors

Adolescent consumption, especially among young males, has long been acknowledged as a practice significantly associated with stress. The three key predictors of internet addiction are problematic drinking, family unhappiness, and exposure to a stressful event. The internet provides a welcome diversion for all these younger generations, allowing them to focus on something other than their dire situation. Researchers have found that stress raises the risk of becoming addicted to substances and increases the chance that individuals who have already become addicted will relapse.

Gender Factors Associated with Internet Usage

Entertainment, constant availability, and the need to look good influenced guys' outlooks, while social contact and availability impacted women. The biggest change was how people spoke with one another and how much importance they placed on appearance and social standing. The study discovered that the association between entertainment and attitude is stronger in men than in women. This may be because men are more likely to feel comfortable using communication technologies and entertainment media tend to be more masculine.

Related to Age

Students have better access to the Internet at home than they do at school; teachers have a more positive influence on students' Internet behavior than do parents; students in rural or migrant schools are more digitally excluded than their urban counterparts, scoring lower on all Internet inequality indicators; Conclusions are in line with findings from other nations, demonstrating that the digital gap is indeed a serious societal issue. Addiction to the Internet is common among teenagers since they quickly pick up new skills and technology. As a result, it is essential to include measures in the classroom that will assist students in developing healthy behaviors when interacting with the internet. Similarly, given that various people use the Internet differently, we need to learn more about the nuances of Internet addiction.

Why People Get Addicted to the Internet?

Following are some of the prominent reasons −

A portion of the brain that has been outlined

Characteristics of the nervous system Studies have shown that those who are addicted to the Internet exhibit brain changes like those who are addicted to drugs or engage in compulsive gambling. Changes in the portion of the brain responsible for paying attention, making plans, and setting priorities (the pre-frontal area) have been noted. These adjustments help to clarify why a person with an addiction might prioritize their Internet use or drug use over more fundamental needs like eating or resting.

Alterations in the concentration of neurotransmitters in the brain the influence of biological variables

Studies reveal an imbalance in the brain's chemical compounds used for communication among those who struggle with addiction (neurotransmitters). Dopamine and serotonin are two transmitters found in lower-than-average amounts in this population. Since some addictive substances raise dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, this shortfall may explain why people with addiction problems start using these substances in the first place. An anxious, fearful, and worried person's unique circumstance. Since the Internet and social networks enable one to communicate without having to meet face-to-face, people who are shy and have difficulty relating are at a higher risk of developing an addiction to these technologies.

Displaying social media icons

Linked to the Internet's elements Online addiction is more common than addiction to activities with more stable and predictable benefits because of the nature of the reward offered by the Internet. Upon logging into Facebook, one can learn that a buddy has been away on vacation or that the object of one's affection has ended a previous romantic commitment. There is always something new and exciting at the beginning of a session, which keeps users coming back for more.

The following are negative emotional symptoms of internet addiction illness −

  • Someone who thinks in cyclical patterns while online.

  • Constant speculation on people's mental processes surrounds online behavior.

  • A computer user's body language includes arm movement.

  • Joy at finally mastering a computer.

  • An angry person who does not have access to Wi-Fi.

  • Lack of Internet access causes stress and anxiety.

  • Remorseful female considering online browsing.

  • If you feel bad about yourself because you were online longer than you wanted or did not finish a task you wanted to, you might feel guilty.

  • Isolation: a worried person in front of a house.


In order to curb internet dependency, psychological help is currently available. This treatment aims to assist the patient in overcoming their addiction by enhancing their capacity to deal with the circumstances that led to the development of their addictive pattern.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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