Is it too hard for you to get rid of the phone? Do you find it compulsory to check it? Then it is perhaps the case of Internet leading to compulsive viewing
Well, living in the 21st century and more than one year into a pandemic, we can’t really say that technology has not shaped the world we are existing in. In fact, it has become the place where people are living in the pandemic age. From school lectures to office meetings to family meet-ups, most of the things shifted online during the pandemic. And to not ignore is the inclusion of social media in people’s life more than ever, for entertainment and for identity. But its conscious impacts can be seen in the fact that the Internet is leading to compulsive viewing, as people are unable to get rid of the phone. And this behaviour is also termed as Internet Abuse Disorder by psychotherapists.
What is Internet Abuse Disorder?
Internet Abuse Disorder or Internet Addiction Disorder certainly refers to the behaviours of people who find it compulsory to view something on the internet. It can include reading messages, sending texts, watching content on social media etc. And not being able to do it makes them feel anxious and depressed. This disorder looks like spending hours and hours of the day online, either on mobile phones or laptops.
What is compulsive viewing?
Compulsive viewing can be defined as the condition where one is finding it compulsory to keep on viewing something. With social media being a ready and available option for viewing and space where viewing can not literally come to an end, it leads to a habit of compulsive viewing.
According to the findings of a study on the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on media use in India, there was an increase in the use of social networking apps during the first period of the nationwide lockdown. Person users recorded an average of 3 hours and 37 minutes on social media in the last week of June that year, which stabilized in the following weeks.
The compulsive viewing shapes in the following form –
A Compulsive feeling of keeping up with online Relationship
This can shape in to form of keeping online relationships moving, and can often result in ignoring and neglecting real-life families and friends. The availability of spaces like Discord where live servers exist for people to interact anytime makes it easy to have an online space and community but at the same time, makes it compulsive and addictive to have relations on online spaces.
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Compulsive Information Seeking
internet is a pool of information and there is no ending to how much we can learn from it. The want and need to have some information all the time is a terrible example of how the internet leads to compulsive viewing. This can be quite severe at times as one ends up dwelling deep in the well of information on the internet. And, it can really affect the work-life balance and productivity of a person.
Compulsiveness for online gaming
Computer gaming has increased by many folds in the pandemic. And online gaming spaces like Twitch have come into extensive use. It also behaves like an online community and makes people be compulsive to be active and responsive to the community, leading to compulsive behaviours. And while computer gaming consumes the brain too, the unavailability of it for even some time leads to compulsive behaviours.
Net Compulsions for interactive activities
Net compulsions are risky immersive internet practices such as online poker, stock dealing, online auctions (such as E-bay), and compulsive online shopping. These practices may have a negative effect on one’s financial health and cause disruptions in one’s job-related duties. Excessive spending or loss of money can also create tension in one’s relationships.
So, this is how the Internet can lead to compulsive viewing. With increasing online communities, compulsive viewing habits are only seen to be increasing, creating conditions of stress and anxiety. The preventions for it are certainly ensuring limited use of internet and online communities.
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