From Dr. Sheri Meyers, Psy.D., a Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA and author of “Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love, and Affair-Proof Your Relationship”. For more information, please visit www.chattingorcheating.com.
When does being constantly connected and forming cyber relationships cross the line between one of life’s little pleasures into a full-blown and dangerous cyber- addiction? Take this quiz to find out.
Ah…the allure of the Internet and social media. Nowadays, our computers, smart phones, gaming devices and tablets have become the virtual gateway and convenient one-stop wonderland for many of our personal, social, professional and recreational needs. Logging on can bring instant relief to feelings of loneliness, stress and boredom, supplying an unlimited source of entertainment and stimulation anytime, anyplace 24/7.
With every notification, tweet, comment or “like”, you get a little thrill in the form of a shot of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical that is released during pleasurable experiences, such as falling in love or riding a roller coaster. That cocktail of brain chemistry can easily lead to a dangerous addiction, hazardous to your relationship as any substance abuse. Part stimulant, part emotional tranquilizer, it’s easy to get hooked. Going online is like getting high on a drug.
You find yourself spending time more and more time online, triggering the click that will get that you that next “hit.” The time you spend online seems to fly. You tell yourself (and your family) that you’re just going to check your status, do some research, get some work done and hours later, you realize you’ve spent the entire evening online—AGAIN. Meanwhile, you find yourself zoning out with your kids or spouse, thinking about the last thing you posted and whether anyone has read it. You can’t seem to tolerate boredom, and lately, your days feel more and more boring when you’re not online.