10 Signs internet addiction is a problem

Learn how to spot the signs of an internet addiction and make sure something this drastic doesn’t happen to your child.

A 19-year-old boy from China has tried to curb his addiction to the internet with the most disastrously extreme method possible. Instead of, I don’t know, disconnecting the internet, trading his computer in and getting himself a pet dog, he’s taken a kitchen knife and subsequently attempted to sever off his own hand.

Local media reports say the boy, from the Jiangsu Province, snuck out of the family home and made his way to a public bench where he proceeded to sever his left hand. Even more terrifying, the local television station reportedly broadcasted it on national television.

More: iPads now illegal in Taiwan, should we follow suit?

“We cannot accept what has happened. It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy,” his mother said, according to the Telegraph. Mum might not have seen this coming, but there are signs to look out for if you’re worried that your child might also be addicted to the internet.

  • They show signs of anxiety: They may be using the internet as a distraction from their anxiety and feelings of worry about school or being bullied.
  • Seclusion and alienation: They’re spending more time online than with friends.
  • Other addictions: They might show signs of obsessive or addictive behaviour and have addictions to other things, including food.
  • They lose track of time: Before they know it, their whole day has been spent in front of the screen.
  • They feel the need to explain their internet use: Hiding or lying about use can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship with the internet.
  • They’re not getting enough sleep: Losing track of time also means sleep can be avoided or sacrificed in order to stay online for as long as possible.
  • Responsibilities are forgotten: Poor sleeping patterns and loss of touch with the outside world can mean responsibilities are forgotten about or put on hold at home or at school.
  • Anger and aggression: Children can become angry and irritable if denied access to computers and the internet.
  • Loss of interest: Extracurricular activities and sports, which were once enjoyed, now take a backseat to being online.
  • Obsessively checking: They begin to check and recheck for status updates, comments and likes almost constantly throughout the day

What other signs should parents look out for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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