In cognitive psychology, internet obsession, particularly among young people, has been recognized as a mental health disorder. According to the Pew Research Center, 77 percent of Americans and Canadians connect to the internet daily. On the verge of social media, most youths and some adults are glued to their smartphones, computers, and tablets. According to Balhara et al. (2018), internet addiction can be revealed in five categories. They include cybersex addiction, net compulsions, online relationship addiction, compulsive information seeking, and gaming addiction. These five internet usage aspects can cause a long-term problem where a person experiences restlessness, depression, or irritability (Balhara et al., 2018). Also, addicted have to use the internet for an increasing amount of time to achieve satisfaction. Due to the increase of such cases, numerous researchers have studied the topic to understand its impact on society and litigation measures.
This research proposal aims to understand how the internet has directly influenced addiction, especially among young people. It will find out how the internet causes a feeling of self-fulfillment and influences mental disorders. The proposal will suggest the research method to be used, the literature to be reviewed, and a summary of the thesis’s significant achievements.
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The research question suggested in this proposal is, “what is the extent of internet addiction among adults?” The methodology of this thesis will be based on the reviewed research studies. However, from an overview of the topic, digital media’s impact on adolescents has not been researched widely despite cognitive psychology being a popular field in psychology (Moqbel & Kock, 2018). Although some researchers would prefer collecting primary data from a study setting, it limits the researcher’s population. In that regard, a literature review on related topics in cognitive psychology would provide insightful information, where conclusions can be drawn. The proposed research would provide additional value to the existing literature on psychology.
The literature to be used in the research thesis will be classified from the most relevant to the least. Qualitative and quantitative research studies will be used to provide both theoretical and empirical findings on the topic. The sources should be peer-reviewed journal articles, which will be obtained from Scopus, Google Scholar, Researchgate, and Science Direct. Data from the sources will be reviewed and compared amongst the articles based on the findings.
The internet has revolutionized how people communicate, which created the disruptive power of communication technology. Instant connection with people worldwide through smartphones, computers, and laptops has advanced human analytical intelligence (Hindawi et al., 2015). Consequently, these advantage to human society has come with its challenges as well. The verge of social media continues to force adolescents to become defined by the internet society. Some of the popular social media platforms include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Due to the instant gratification social media presents, most adolescents may be defined by the photos and content online.
According to Moqbel & Kock (2018), the millennial generation has been described as the “Look at Me” generation. They have been submerged in the sense of entitlement and obsession with their looks and interactions. Often, millennials use social media to depict an image of them to the world. Their interactions online have defined their self-worth, sense of fulfillment, and satisfaction. Most of the time, they are engaged in constant competition based on their looks, material ownership, and progress in life. Therefore, addiction to the internet can be attributed to these forms of fulfillment.
Numerous adolescents have demonstrated various mental disorders due to internet addiction. In an Ohio State University study, 800 male participants were assessed based on their social media sharing habits. The study found that self-absorption has a high possibility of causing personality disorders (Moqbel & Kock, 2018). From one of the interviewed participants, due to their Facebook comments about their physical appearance, they started talking about 80 selfies and photos each day (Roh et al., 2018). As a result, the young man started becoming obsessed and desperate for others’ approval, which led him to commit suicide.
According to Mental Health Reporting statistics in Canada, mental health disorders are among the three leading causes of suicidal death, especially among people between the ages of 15 to 44 years (Roh et al., 2018). Social media and the internet, in general, have caused most personality disorders, mainly when people try to interact with others. There is an increased culture of narcissism, materialism, aggressiveness, and the desire for external validation. Consequently, these behaviors may cause dramatic emotional changes within an individual, leading to unexpected actions such as suicide.
In the above regard, people need to be educated and sensitized on the dangers of social media and the internet. Excessive indulgence hurts one’s life despite the benefits that technology presents. Based on the balance in life, one must use technology in moderation and regulate their exposure to the internet (Mulwani, 2020). Also, seeking external validation may never be fulfilled based on the different perspectives people have on the internet. Therefore, focusing on self-awareness and enhancing knowledge about the effects of social media and internet use would create a healthier generation (Mulwani, 2020). However, approved procedures on ways to reduce the impact of social media and the internet should be suggested. Therefore, in this thesis, understanding the factors that lead to addiction and the mitigation measures will provide literature that may guide future studies on the topic.
According to previous researches, meta-cognitive regulations have been significantly affected by digital learning. However, the calibration of data has not been consistent over time. Some of the findings have revealed significant differences between non-digital media and digital media (Roh et al., 2018). These findings are based on different research studies that have been conducted in other parts of the world.
The sources have revealed significant internet addiction findings and their relationship with different personality and mental disorders from the literature review. The conclusions of these studies have demonstrated the importance of exploring this topic further. This research will reveal the need for awareness among the youths to reduce some of the impacts of internet obsession. The research will find out different ways for people to change these behaviors, especially when they reach the potential of suicidal acts. According to the studies, extreme actions have been witnessed worldwide due to social media’s exaggerated realities. Therefore, this extensive research on the topic will add to the available literature on the impacts of internet obsession.
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Balhara, Y. P. S., Dahiya, N., Varshney, M., Garg, S., & Bhargava, R. (2018). Awareness, self-assessment, and help-seeking behavior for behavioral addictions related to the use of mobile technology among attendees of a health camp. J Assoc Physicians India, 66, 45-8.
Hindawi, D., Hindawi, O., Lippincott, L., & Lincroft, P. (2015). U.S. Patent No. 9,059,961. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Moqbel, M., & Kock, N. (2018). Unveiling the dark side of social networking sites: Personal and work-related consequences of social networking site addiction. Information & Management, 55(1), 109-119.
Mulwani, J. (2020). Social media impact on the mental health of adolescents and young adults. http://188.8.131.52:8080/
Roh, D., Bhang, S. Y., Choi, J. S., Kweon, Y. S., Lee, S. K., & Potenza, M. N. (2018). The validation of Implicit Association Test measures for smartphone and Internet addiction in at-risk children and adolescents. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 7(1), 79-87.