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Wi-Fi Is the New Cigarette

Cigarette smoking has decreased over 20% among American adults since the 1960s. This doesn’t mean, however, that we’ve turned our back on our addictive tendencies. Instead we’ve found other vices to consume us.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction can be physical, where the body can develop a tolerance to a substance and react negatively when the presence of that substance is removed, or it can be psychological. According to Psychology Today, addiction is often a coping mechanism for stress. So even if a person is able to overcome a physical addiction, such as to cigarettes, a person can replace that addiction with another addictive behavior. It is the compulsion, not the reaction, which defines addiction. Any activity that releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, which generates the feeling of pleasure, in the brain has the potential to cause addiction.

Is It Possible to Be Addicted to Wi-Fi?

Internet addiction, which is a psychological addiction akin to gambling, can interfere with a normal, productive life and healthy relationships with other people according to the Center For Internet Addiction. Wi-Fi is one of the most popular ways we connect to the internet. Internet users today place great importance on the availability of Wi-Fi access, with 38% of respondents to a recent survey saying they’d switch hotels if theirs didn’t provide Wi-Fi.

Our addiction to Wi-Fi may be changing our habits and interfering with our family relationships. But it arguably does less harm to our bodies than cigarette smoking. There is no conclusive evidence that overusing or being overexposed to Wi-Fi causes health problems among the general population, though there are some people who show symptoms of electrohypersensitivity when exposed to electromagnetic frequencies such as those emitted by Wi-Fi. Compare this to the health risk of cigarettes which is well documented and potentially deadly over time.

Our addiction to Wi-Fi and its psychological effects may not seem to be as serious as the physical effects of smoking cigarettes. The social implications of internet addiction, though, can still have a serious effect on person and their relationships with others. But both cigarette addiction and Wi-Fi addiction are coping mechanisms for relieving stress and unhappiness. By making a pointed effort to take care of your mental well being, you can strive to avoid the pitfalls of internet addiction.

 
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