The Internet harbors an enormously high risk of addiction. Younger generations in particular often feel stuck today without access to the Internet and find it difficult to imagine how life should work without online communities and all the advantages of the “World Wide Web”. Although many websites such as online casinos offer protective measures to prevent risks and excessive activity, you must first have your own will and an awareness of the dangers.
While the internet certainly brings many benefits as well – instant access to an infinite knowledge base, entertainment, fast communication, and simplification of daily tasks, to name a few – the debate is about to what extent the internet benefits us and to what extent it harms us , large. Find out here about the potential risks of high online consumption and how you can protect yourself or your children from them .
The influence on our performance and emotional world – how dangerous is it?
Being online 24/7 and being able to access the Internet at any time has now become standard. Most people spend far more time online than they realize. Be honest, how many times do you look at your smartphone for no reason just to check if there’s any news? The effects of this are not equally problematic for everyone, but changed behavior patterns are increasing.
If any of the following states of mind and feelings apply to you, this can be a sign of excessive internet use and its effect on you:
- Frequent exhaustion
- dissatisfaction and self-doubt
These effects can occur in a number of ways. The constantly updated news feeds and many advertisements that tempt to new subscriptions or purchases are certainly not innocent. The biggest problem, however, comes with social media.
Social media networks are a great danger
Every day we are informed about new trends in a wide variety of social media networks, we can get in touch with friends and follow their activities, exchange ideas with like-minded people or get inspiration for any projects or life situations. It all sounds fine so far, but what about the false images we are given, the aggressive behavior of many users and the distance we end up creating from reality? These are just some of the downsides that Facebook, Instagram and Co. bring with them.
Anyone who spends too much time on social media networks and not just using it to stay in touch with friends will quickly be confronted with things that lead to self-doubt and dissatisfaction. So-called influencers have launched a real competition and are causing uncertainty and depression for many. They sometimes keep us in sight of unattainable goals and, as a result, lower our self-esteem. Users constantly feel conflicted about having to compete with others, set high expectations of themselves and fall into fear, sadness or hatred as soon as they themselves have condemned their failure.
Mental illnesses have demonstrably increased in Germany and around the world in recent years. The Internet in general represents one of the main triggers of many psychological changes – unfortunately mostly in a negative way.
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This is the best way to protect yourself
There are people who panic when they are cut off from the internet for a period of time. Others suffer from sleep problems and others no longer pursue physical hobbies in their free time. These are all warning signs that you should step back and take time off the internet more often. The first step to becoming more conscious of the internet and taking control of yourself is to be aware of how much time you actually spend online and how it is affecting your life.
Setting your own limits is easier said than done. It is completely normal that the well-known weaker self has to be conquered first in order to break new ground. Keep in mind how much pressure and stress is relieved if you go offline more often and withdraw from the internet-driven world. Meet friends and acquaintances more often in person or pick up the phone in the classic way to find out how your loved ones are doing. To get out of intensive internet use, it is advisable to try out new things in your free time, to start a project yourself or even to explore a new hobby. The main thing is that you don’t forget or just relearn how to keep yourself busy,
Many sites offer built-in protections
As an example, let’s start again with the online casino section. In this entertainment industry, the commitment to customer protection is particularly evident. In order to avoid the risk of addiction, much more than contact with various anonymous addiction counseling centers is made available. Different limits can be set in your own player account, which not only include the amount of deposits, but also the gaming activity. For example, you can specify that you can only play for one hour a day. A current overview of the activity is displayed regularly via a pop-up window.
In our opinion, this is exactly the right approach to make Internet users aware of the dangers of spending too much time on the Internet. Since the omnipresence of the Internet has become so firmly anchored in our everyday life and normality, very few users are aware of the risks.
Show courage for self-assessment
Throughout this article we have repeatedly emphasized two terms: consciousness and self-will. These are the most important components that must be in place in order to be able to escape the deluge of negative influences of the Internet. However, it must also be recognized that the younger generations in particular have grown up with the normality of the Internet and the dangers for them are correspondingly much higher. Parents should work hard to protect their children from high consumption. In some extreme cases of Internet addiction, it is also a good idea to seek help and take advantage of it over the long term. If you want to take changes in your usage behavior slowly or prefer to only use sites that offer self-help.