A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Are you addicted?

Addiction doesn’t have to be on a drug, it can be on almost anything. Although it is not officially recognized as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), Problematic Internet Use (PIU), also known as internet addiction, it was included in one of its sections as needing further study and might be included in the next version.  Many researchers and clinicians view PIU as a compulsive disorder similar to other behavioral addictions. Internet usage has increased over the years. Starting in the late 90’s, millions have gained access to it.  In society, people are surrounded by phones, computers, smart watches and tablets, and now internet can even be accessed through television.  In thirty-five years, the internet users have increased by an enormous amount. According to Internet Live Stats, there’s 200 million internet users in America as of 2018.

“This new generation has let the internet takeover, and we can’t get rid of it. This is the new era and we should just get used to it,” Adriana Martinez, 12, said.

The internet has become increasingly popular. The internet is used for beneficial things such as entertainment and research, but people aren’t aware of the effects addiction to it can cause. Constantly being on the internet can cause procrastination, low impulse control, time distortion, depression and anxiety, and people isolating themselves.

“The amount of time people check their phones in one class is insane. Looking at it both before and after class shouldn’t be necessary. Screens have taken over, most people can’t be off their phones for the whole day before reflexively clicking it again and again,” Janet Toscano, 11, said.