• Social Media and Internet Overload By Karen Kerr, LPC, LCADC, NCC

    I purchased my first computer and was introduced to the internet in 1997. At that time, I was very interested in genealogy. The internet helped me to connect with a family member from another country whom I never knew existed. It was even more supportive when I returned to college and had easier access to information that became helpful writing research papers.

    Most of us have probably experienced the many positive benefits that the internet and social media provides including connecting to long lost friends or family members that we haven’t seen in years. Social media has also provided the advantage of meeting new people whom we have shared interests with not just from our immediate area but from across the world.

    As social media gained popularity and increased the rise in the use of smartphones “staying connected” in case you haven’t noticed, can take up a lot of our time. To see just how much stress, you might be under in connection to overuse of the internet take this quiz:

    Internet Stress Survey

    This nine-item survey is designed to test your tendency to become addicted to the ‘Net. Please review each of the questions below and make a note of how many times you answer “Yes.” After completing the survey, add up the number of times you answered YES.

    1. Do you spend more time than you think you should surfing the ‘Net?

    Yes No

    2. Do you feel you have a problem limiting the time you spend on the ‘Net?

    Yes No

    3. Have any of your friends or family members complained about the time you spend at your


    Yes No

    4. Do you find it hard to stay away from the ‘Net for several days at a time?

    Yes No

    5. Has either your work output or your personal relationships suffered as a result of spending too


    time on the ‘Net?

    Yes No

    6. Are there particular areas of the ‘Net, or types of files, you find hard to resist?

    Yes No

    7. Do you have troubling controlling your impulses to purchase items, products, or services on the


    Yes No

    8. Have you tried, unsuccessfully, to curtail your use of the ‘Net?

    Yes No

    9. Do you derive much of your pleasure and satisfaction in life from being on the ‘Net?

    Yes No

    How did you do? If you scored between 0-3 yes answers on this survey–congratulations! You probably have very little tendency to become addicted to the ‘Net. If you scored 4 yes answers, you may or may not have a tendency to become addicted to the ‘Net. If you scored 5 or 6 yes answers, you may have a greater chance of developing a problem. If you gave 7-9 Yes Answers you may very well be addicted to the ‘Net.

    Taken from: https://www.stresscure.com/hrn/addiction.html

    If after obtaining your score, and it is concerning to you what can you do about it?

    If you have an iPhone you might want to begin to monitor your screen time or you can try the app “Moment” that can track the amount of time you spend on your phone and help you to develop limits for yourself. If you have an Android phone you might want to check out an app called “My Addictionmeter” and this too will help you to track the amount of time you spend on your phone.

    Now, may be the time to take a good look at the amount of time you spend using the internet or the amount of time engaging on social media. Challenge yourself to cut back and see if it helps to improve mood, time spent with family and friends and improve your general wellbeing, overall.

    Have you have been feeling overwhelmed lately? Do you often wonder why there never seems like enough time in your day? Are you having trouble with completing routine tasks? Examining your internet habits may be a good place to start.

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