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Tips - May 10, 2022

5 Ways the Internet is Controlling your Life

The Internet is like a two-sided coin. Although the social and economic advantages of the internet cannot be contested, it is indirectly transforming and controlling some aspects of your life.

There has been continuous progress since its inception. In 2014, internet addiction increased by 6% globally, and 61% of internet users in2019 were addicted. This demonstrates how individuals are losing control and becoming glued to the internet. 

On the average internet, a user spends 6 hours and 42 minutes each day online. With people spending 3 hours every day on social networking. 12.4% of internet users spend more time online than they anticipated, and 13.7% of internet addicts find it difficult to go many days without using the internet.

Social media is used by 45% or 3.5 billion of the world’s population. 20% of internet addicts check their social media accounts in the wee hours of the night. Also, before getting out of bed, 34% of internet addicts visit their favourite websites and check for status updates.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the number of internet users increased by more than 222 million, bringing the overall number of users to 4.88 billion, or 61.8% of the world’s population (7.89 billion as of 2021).

Here are some of the ways the internet is controlling your life.

How you make decisions

This is a state of being submerged and bombarded with excess information that has to be processed. That is, having excessive data at one’s disposal to fully comprehend a problem or make appropriate judgments.

This leads to bad decisions in both your work and personal life. It is a situation known as analysis paralysis and can cause burnout.

Since you are no longer in control, you feel out of control, overwhelmed, have poor mental performance, and get dissatisfied at work.

How you interact with others 

Addiction to the internet has led to the death of many people’s social relationships. Instead of spending time with people in the physical world, they are glued to social media, gaming platforms, and the likes.

Excessive usage leads to loneliness, social isolation and anti-social behaviours. Also, pornography is easily accessible online with can impair intimate relationships.

Social isolation can turn people into cyberbullies. It is contributing to online stalking and predation.

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Your grip on privacy

Thanks to the internet, there is no longer boundary between what is considered private and public. This includes other areas such as work and family life. 

This, in turn, has resulted in a lack of trust, reduced social relations, and decreased safety and security.

Your cognitive development

Excessive exposure to internet use can have harmful effects on cognitive development. It can challenge surrounding retention, attention span, critical thinking, language learning, reading, and learning capacities.

Your social values

For instance, some offline communities suffer due to the migration of some of their activities online. This includes shopping, business, socialising, leisure activities, and professional connections.

This lacks some of the social values you’ll find in an offline community. As a result, these communities suffer from poor communication, incivility, and a lack of trust and dedication.

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