New Technologies May Help Internet Addicts

By Staff Writer

Internet addiction is becoming increasingly common in this ultra-connected digital world. In addition to seeking treatment from drug rehab facilities, there is now a crop of other systems that may help individuals deal with their inability to step away from their computers.

For example, a group of writers including Nora Ephron, Dave Eggers and Nick Hornby recently cited the benefits of a program called Freedom, according to the Washington Post. The software automatically shuts down a user’s internet access for a specified period of time.

The program is designed to force individuals who compulsively spend time online to put down the mouse and limit their internet time. It can be set to limit access for anywhere from 15 minutes up to eight hours.

Social networking sites are one of the main drivers of internet addictions. The news source reports that there are also some tools that can address this situation. For example, the program Anti-social blocks social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Studies from Harvard University researchers have shown that anywhere from 5 to 10 percent of internet users show symptoms of addiction.