How to tell if you’re addicted to the internet

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It’s official: According to a recent study, the Internet is now the most popular activities Americans engage in on a daily basis, even above television. The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, found that 67 percent of respondents said they go online every day — an increase from 62 percent in 2009.

But is there such a thing as being too connected? According to some experts, yes. “Internet addiction” is a real phenomenon, and it’s one that is becoming more and more common.

Here are 10 signs that you may be addicted to the Internet:

1. You spend more time online than you do sleeping.

If you find yourself spending more time awake staring at a computer screen than you do sleeping, you may have a problem. Most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night, so if you’re regularly skimping on shut-eye in order to spend more time online, it’s a red flag.

2. You use the Internet as a way to escape from your problems.

If you find yourself using the Internet as a way to escape from your problems — whether it’s by chatting with friends, playing online games, or browsing the web — it may be a sign that you’re addicted. When you’re using the Internet to avoid dealing with real-world issues, it’s a problem.

3. You neglect your friends and family in favor of time online.

If you find yourself neglecting your friends and family in favor of time spent online, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When you’re spending more time talking to people online than you are in person, it can be a problem.

4. You’ve tried to cut back on your Internet use, but you can’t.

If you’ve tried to cut back on your Internet use, but you find that you can’t, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When you find that you can’t go without the Internet for even a short period of time, it’s a problem.

5. You lie about how much time you spend online.

If you find yourself lying to friends and family about how much time you spend online, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When you’re spending more time online than you’re admitting to, it’s a problem.

6. You’ve been told by others that you’re addicted to the Internet.

If you’ve been told by others that you’re addicted to the Internet, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When those closest to you are concerned about your Internet use, it’s a problem.

7. You’ve put your job or education at risk because of the Internet.

If you’ve put your job or education at risk because of the Internet, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When your online habits are interfering with your ability to function in the real world, it’s a problem.

8. You’ve experienced negative consequences because of the Internet.

If you’ve experienced negative consequences because of the Internet, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When your online habits are causing problems in your life, it’s a problem.

9. You can’t seem to control your Internet use.

If you find yourself unable to control your Internet use, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When you’re spending more time online than you want to, and you can’t seem to stop, it’s a problem.

10. You’re feeling remorseful about your Internet use.

If you’re feeling remorseful about your Internet use, it’s a sign that you may be addicted. When you’re using the Internet in ways that you know are harmful, or that you feel guilty about, it’s a problem.

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