Caught in the Web (Washington Post)

More People Say Heavy Internet Use Is Disrupting Their Lives, and Medical Experts Are Paying Attention

By January W. Payne
Washington Post Staff Writer

A few months ago, it wasn’t unusual for 47-year-old Carla Toebe to spend 15 hours per day online. She’d wake up early, turn on her laptop and chat on Internet dating sites and instant-messaging programs — leaving her bed for only brief intervals. Her household bills piled up, along with the dishes and dirty laundry, but it took near-constant complaints from her four daughters before she realized she had a problem.

“I was starting to feel like my whole world was falling apart — kind of slipping into a depression,” said the Richland, Wash., resident. “I knew that if I didn’t get off of the dating sites, I would just keep going,” detaching herself further from the outside world.

Toebe’s conclusion: She felt like she was “addicted” to the Internet. She’s not alone.

health, internet

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