Challenges that the internet poses to health, economic and social well-being of people, especially the young, is becoming a major topic of concern worldwide. The first internet addiction rehab clinic in the United States of America, reStart, has opened in the state of Washington. The clinic works mainly with young adults who have lost control of their internet, gaming, pornography or social media usage, reports Al Jazeera.
“According to psychologists at the clinic, the treatment focuses on teaching meditation and mindfulness, going on hikes and being physically active as well as teaching basic life skills the patients often lack.
“Recent developments suggest the world’s increasing use of the internet could be affecting more than just the part of the brain relied on for memory. Research shows that allowing the brain to rest is essential for learning, processing information and the development of wisdom and insight.
“A study carried out by the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) named ’24 hours unplugged’ followed students at the University of Maryland as they went without any form of digital media including internet, social media, phones and music – for one day.
“According to the study, the most difficult form of media for the students to give up was the mobile phone – specifically the smart phone. ‘It’s like the Swiss army knife of the mobile phone. You can do everything on it and its available 24/7,’ said Susan Moeller, director of the IMCPA.
“Not only did they rhetorically use the words addiction and withdrawals … they followed those comments by giving a more specific physical manifestation that made us say: ‘Oh, when they say addiction, they mean addiction: as in drug or alcohol addiction’,” said Moeller.
“While disconnected, students complained of feeling depressed, lonely, bored and less focused. They also complained of physical withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, feeling fidgety and hearing phantom ringing.
“Yet even students who hated the experiment said they liked certain aspects of it. They liked having an excuse for not keeping up with the media or not responding to every message.” More here…
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