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Hooked on the Computer/Net? 

By Katherine Schneider

As wonderful as computer and the Net are, has your use of them become a problem? How many of the following questions would you answer yes to?

  1. Do you need more and more time at your computer or on the Net?
  2. When you try to cut back your use, do you get anxious? Find yourself constantly thinking about what you are missing?
  3. Are your friendships, schoolwork, or health suffering because of the amount of time you spend online?
  4. Are you spending too much for unneeded items online or upgrading your computer to hold more and more downloads?
  5. Do you lose awareness of time when you are online chatting, gaming, etc?
  6. Have you lost sleep, missed appointments because of your use?
  7. Have you tried unsuccessfully to cut back on your use?
  8. Do other people comment negatively on the amount of time you spend at the computer?
  9. Do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of the computer / Net use?
  10. Do you think that your life without computer / Net use would be boring, empty, joyless?
  11. Do you act annoyed at people for bothering you when you are on-line?

As you can see from these questions, computer / Net overuse can create problems for people. If you answered, "yes" to several of these questions, you many be considering ways to decrease your computer / Net use. Some of the following self-help steps may prove useful for you.

  • Change your pattern by putting another activity ahead of using the computer / Net (e.g., eat a meal, take a walk... first)
  • Keep track for a week of your computer / Net use, then set a goal of ten percent less use for the next week and give yourself an award (not more computer time if you achieve this goal)
  • Figure out what you are missing when you are on the computer, and why you are choosing computer use over these other activities. Then pick one of these other activities to add to your next week.
  • Seek support in person from friends and family for cutting back on your computer / Net use. The counselors at the Counseling Service would also be glad to help you with computer / Net use concerns. Call us at 836-5521 for an in person appointment.

For more help you may wish to read:

Young, Kimberly S. (1998). Caught in the net: How to recognize the signs of Internet addiction - and a winning strategy for recovery. New York: J. Wiley.

Available at McIntyre Library: RC569.5.154 Y68 1998

Or you may wish to visit:

*As UWEC's Computing and Networking Usage Guidelines point out, using your University computing privileges for harassment or viewing sexually explicit materials or spamming (among other uses) are prohibited. See Student Services and Standards for further information about appropriate use.