In recent years, internet addiction has been a world-wide problem among the youth. Many people sit in front of the computer to play online games or chat with friends, at times for the entire duration of the day, without resting.

The internet can be constructive, but we must be conscious about how much time we spend on it daily. It is important to have other interests apart from using the internet. Since the internet is used by many people as a daily part of their daily routines, for their career or education respectively, the line between excessive and normal use often becomes marred. The fundamental aspect in distinguishing the normal from the excessive can be identified through the variable of compulsion. Normal users, no matter how heavy their usage, do not feel the need, nor neglect their occupational duties or their relationships with family and friends to instead spend time online.

Some psychologists believe that the addiction is not to the internet itself, but rather to the stimulation which the internet provides. They propose that new users often show an initial fascination, but eventually lose interest and reduce their time spent online. Compulsion is driven by certain needs, mainly gambling, pornography, social networking, and/or online shopping. Hence, the real addiction lies with the stimulation which the internet provides.

Much like the telephone, the internet has become an essential part of modern businesses. To ask people to not use the internet at all could result in a significant burden to them. Instead of total abstinence, areasonable solution proposed by internet addiction therapy is a reduction in the total use of the net. Since internet addicts will have difficulty moderating use on their own, certain therapeutic techniques can be employed to help them reduce their usage, and to become more aware of the dire side effects of excessive use.

ASHWA EMAN,

Islamabad.