In this day and age, the Internet is everything. Many of us have lost hours of productivity and sleep because we were too busy surfing the Net. Even when going to class or watching television, people often feel the constant compulsion to check their social media apps. Simple decisions like where to get your morning coffee are even becoming more complex because many have to consider if the coffee shop has free wifi or not.
With the Internet being so prevalent in our Western society, we should really take a step back to evaluate our usage. Internet addiction is a very real thing and can take over your life without you ever realizing it.
Here are five signs that may help you recognize your obsession with the web:
1. Discovering new social media networks is better than discovering new passions.
When Facebook was first opened to the general public in 2006, it took the world by storm and paved the way for our social media-run generation. Nowadays, some people cannot wait to join the newest social media networks as soon as they come out. As advertisements have begun to take over Facebook, the true Internet lovers have started slowly creeping toward the new ad-free network Ello. The site is currently in Beta so it cannot handle too many new users, but you can join the waiting list for a personal invitation.
2. You need a bright screen in your face to help you fall asleep.
As children, many of us needed night lights in order to fall asleep because the ominous feeling of the pitch black was just too much, but now many people are needing a different kind of comfort to go to sleep. With so many movies and television shows available to stream, falling asleep to your favorite program is easier than ever before.
3. You get more excited about a new Tinder match than you get about being at the same party as your crush.
Whether to swipe left or right is often the biggest decision many college students have to make. Seeing a Tinder match in class can make anyone scrunch down in their seat trying not to be spotted. Tinder is supposed to be about meeting new people, but for many it seems to make social situations more awkward. Dating websites are taking the surprise out of meeting new people by making sure you already know all their interests, favorite foods and what they do for a living, all before you even meet.
4. You order all your meals online.
Websites like Grubhub.com and Chownow.com have made it so that no human interaction has to take place when ordering food. Many restaurants have online ordering available and mobile apps so you can order food anywhere from your phone or tablet. When ordering online, you don’t have to ask any questions or make any inferences about the dish you are selecting because every little add-on and option is laid out right in front of you.
5. Quoting Vines and YouTube videos is easier than quoting anything else.
With the large amount of popular Vines and YouTube videos out there, many people have started quoting them in everyday life. After listening to the same six second Vine clip over and over, it is easy to have whatever they were saying burnt into your memory. Once a video goes viral, it is then plastered all over every social media network by those wanting to share their addiction with the world.
Although the Internet is everywhere, it does not mean that we have to let it take over our lives. Closing the computer screen or turning off your cellphone should not be hard tasks.
Follow Tanner Owens on Twitter @T_Owens21