Is internet addiction becoming more prevalent?

Image credit: Verywell Mind

Cam Adair realised his video gaming addiction was out of hand when it drove him to contemplate suicide.

Mr. Adair, a 32-year-old Canadian, went on to start Game Quitters, an online support club for people who are addicted to video games. It presently has over 75,000 members all across the world.

While technology, particularly the internet, has aided in keeping the world operating throughout the coronavirus lockdowns, he claims that it has been difficult for people like him. Gaming addiction is now classified as part of a larger internet addiction by the US National Library of Medicine. “Excessive or poorly regulated preoccupations, impulses, or behaviours related to computer use and internet access that cause impairment or distress,” it says.

While some may argue that it is not as terrible as alcoholism or drug addiction, it may nonetheless be crippling for those who suffer from it. Dr. Andrew Doan, a neurologist and digital addiction expert, feels that the restrictions have aggravated the problem.

A number of tech companies have developed solutions that can be used to ban or limit access to the internet or gaming websites in order to assist in battling internet addiction. One such product is Linewize, which is geared towards youngsters or, more especially, their parents.

Parents and caregivers can use the website and app to remotely control and monitor how much time their children spend on gaming sites or on the internet in general, whether through their children’s smart phones or laptops.

Teodora Pavkvic, a licenced psychologist and digital wellness expert at Linewise in San Diego, believes that young people are particularly prone to overusing the internet. This is something that most parents of teenagers would agree on.

The BetBlocker app, which is available for download for free, can also be used by a person’s spouse, friend, or parents. Users can restrict access to gambling websites for hours, days, or weeks at a time. People can also use the programme to ban other websites, such as those that are related to gaming.

Mr. Garvie, who is based in Edinburgh, says, “This is meant to help users by creating a limit during known periods of vulnerability.” 

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