Internet addiction is often perceived as an impulse control disorder which results in a negative influence on the students' psychological and physical well-being. It refers to a situation where the internet users are unable to monitor their use of the internet as evidenced by the impairment of daily activities and the feelings of distress. Sim et.al (2012) argues that the most valid and reliable criteria which can be used to conceptualize the internet addiction are the DSM-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorder a significant criteria that have been applied for pathological gambling. Through the criteria, the symptoms of internet addiction which can be identified include the increased tolerance cognitive preoccupation with the Internet, withdrawal symptoms and also the unsuccessful attempts. Furthermore, the other symptoms which can be identified through the criteria include the situation where an individual stays online for quite a length of time than the recommended time. It has also been established that the lying about online activity and the negative emotions are also associated with the internet addiction. Additionally, some of the web users also use the Internet for self-medication something which might affect the health status of an individual as might act as a risks factor for the health of an individual.
The research that was carried out by Ceyhan et.al 2008 demonstrated that the internet addiction has resulted in the mental health problem something that has been recognized internationally. This has been evidenced by the research that was carried out on the Jordanian Internet users. The study took place in the public and private universities which are found in the country of Jordan. The researchers identified ten public universities and 19 private universities to undertake their research. The purpose of the research was to determine the prevalence of internet use in the schools. It aimed at measuring the prevalence of internet addiction in association with psychological distress. The information provided by the research was significant to the health professionals that includes the physicians, the psychologists, and the psychological counselors. The information is great because it improves their knowledge regarding the internet use and the health impacts which are brought by the internet addiction. Its significance is seen in the provision of and understanding relating to the severity of the problem and the clarity of the connection between the internet addiction and the psychological factors.
The most cited reason for internet addiction among the students as the accessibility of the web. Among the students who were interviewed the majority of the argued that because they have internet access, they have the tendency of using the internet most of the time. The schools have installed the internet for the students to use them while undertaking their academic research. According to the universities, the internet is important for the academic improvement among the students. It boosts their ability to effectively carry out their research and gain useful knowledge for their academic performance. However, the students have to an extend of using the school internet for their personal activities which include staying for long hours to interact with their friends, loved ones and relatives in the form a social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and any other kind of social media platform. Another reason which makes the students to be addicted to the internet is the encouragement from the university staff to utilize the internet for academic benefits. The majority of the internet staff who were interviewed argued that the web boosts the academic morale especially when the students appropriately use them. Moreover, the other reason which makes the students use the internet include the presence of long unstructured time. Furthermore, the freedom from the parents is also another factor that exposes the students to the long use of the internet. What is more, the transition from the high school to college live is also another factor that predisposes the students to become addicted to the internet as they want to enjoy the college freedom and feel that they can do anything without much control.
The internet addiction results in various impacts which include the behavioral, the emotional, the physical and the also the mental health problems. These effects have been witnessed most in the developing countries. Furthermore, the psychosocial problems which result from the internet addiction include the depressions, the suicidal ideation and also the loneliness (Fu, Chan, Wong & Yip, 2010; Kim et.al, 2006). Additionally, there are other effects which include the adverse impacts on the academic performance and the achievements. According to Young (1998b), the internet addiction results in the limited time to engage in physical activity as an individual may spend much of his or her time on the internet. On the other hand, Sothern (2004) argues that lack of physical activity as brought by internet addiction will result in the obesity. What is more, the internet addiction will result in a lack of adequate sleep as an individual tend to spend much of his or her time online.
To address the problem of internet addiction, there should be a sophisticated response from the supporting agencies that comprises the psychologist, the nursing, the counseling and also the social workers. Even though the internet is relevant to the students for uplifting the academic performance and achievement, they need to be taught regarding the risks associated with internet addiction. The Internet users should be in the position to use the internet appropriately.
Conclusively, the internet is important, but its inappropriate use has resulted in addiction among the users. The Internet is relevant to the students as it can boost their academic performance and achievement when appropriately used. However, the majority of the students have become addicted to the internet use, and most of them use the internet for long hours. Such poor internet usage has resulted in the poor negative impacts to the user. The consequences range from the physical, social, psychological, emotional and also health problems. Therefore, the internet users should understand the issues which are brought by the internet addiction. Academic stakeholders should teach the internet users the adverse effects that result from poor internet usage and encourage them to engage in an appropriate internet usage.
Title/Links of References
Internet Addiction-Neuroscientific Approaches and Therapeutically Interventions https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=Ma-yBgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Internet+addiction&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Internet%20addiction&f=falseYouth and Internet Addiction in China
https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=Ma-yBgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Internet+addiction&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Internet%20addiction&f=falseThe Internet and CBT: A Clinical Guide https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=ColqBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA1&dq=Internet+addiction+in+health+perspective&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjei-3vrvvRAhUrCcAKHSH7Cu04FBDoAQgoMAM#v=onepage&q=Internet%20addiction%20in%20health%20perspective&f=false
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