Compulsive use of Internet pornography, sexting, nude-swapping, adult chat rooms, or messaging services can impact negatively on your real-life intimate relationships and overall emotional health.While online pornography and cybersex addictions are types of sexual addiction, the Internet makes it more accessible, relatively anonymous, and very convenient.Addiction to social networking, dating apps, texting, and messaging can extend to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships.
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Online compulsions, such as gaming, gambling, stock trading, online shopping, or bidding on auction sites like e Bay can often lead to financial and job-related problems.
While gambling addiction has been a well-documented problem for years, the availability of Internet gambling has made gambling far more accessible.
While you can experience these impulse-control problems with a laptop or even desktop computer, the size and convenience of smartphones and tablets means that we can take them just about anywhere and gratify our compulsions.
In fact, studies suggest that most of us are rarely ever more than five feet from our smartphones.
While the Internet can be a great place to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, or even start romantic relationships, online relationships are not a healthy substitute for real life interactions.
Online friends tend to exist in a bubble, not subject to the same demands or stresses as messy real-world relationships.
Many people admit to regularly using them in theaters, while driving, during religious services, business meetings, kids’ school performances, in the shower, and even during sex.
So what causes our obsession with these always-connected devices?
While a smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with your daily life, work, and relationships.
When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, news feeds, websites, or apps—even when it has negative consequences in your life—it may be time to reassess your technology use.
By learning about the signs and symptoms of smartphone and Internet addiction and the ways to break free of the habit, you can better balance your life, online and off.