It wasn't long ago that many people faced addiction to things such as drugs, alcohol, food and gambling to name a few. But today there is a whole new addiction that we must face: addiction to the internet. Because internet addiction can interfere with your social life as well as your professional life it is important to keep track of your online time. Internet addiction has become such a problem today that there is even content filter software to help companies keep productivity up while keeping surfing the web to a minimum. You can read more about these software applications by visiting our examination of small business internet filter software.

Those who suffer from internet addiction generally start out as the casual online user who reads their email, checks their bank statements and maybe reads a bit of news. But as they surf the web they come across something more. These sites are usually social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, but they can also be gaming and gambling sites as well as online retail sites such as eBay. So how do you know if you have been hit with internet addiction?

If you stay online longer than you had planned to, this may be the first sign of internet addiction. Of course there are occasions when we all get sidetracked and stay online longer than planned. But if this happens to you more times than not, it is cause for concern. Another question to ask yourself is do you neglect household chores because you'd rather be online? If the dishes are piling up day after day this is also cause for concern. While these two items can seem menial they are usually the beginning of something bigger to come.

While the items listed above may indicate that there is an addiction forming, the following behaviors may signify that the addiction has formed and may be interfering in your life.

Do you often prefer to spend time online than with your family, especially your partner? If you answered yes to this question you may becoming dependent on these relationships. This is easy to do because when speaking to someone on the internet they become what you would like them to be in your own mind. When you are not online do you have feelings of depression or loneliness? Again, if you answered yes to this question it could mean that you have some internet addiction and should seek some type of help.

While the items listed in this article are just a couple of signs that you or someone you love may be dealing with internet addiction, there are also many more signs to consider. Please consider doing more research on this topic and getting the help that you or your loved one needs.Internet addiction is real and can lead to a life of sadness and depression if not treated.

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