The 21st century has given rise to a new type of addiction: addiction to information. How and why do we get addicted to "informational doping"?


The World Health Organization has included addiction to computer games, including network games, in the international classification of diseases. So if you like online tanks, then urgently ask your neighbor the following three questions (you yourself may not try to answer, since it is difficult for an addict to ascertain the fact of addiction):

1. DO I LOSE CONTROL OF MYSELF DURING THE GAME? (Emotional response associated with deep experience of game dynamics).

2. IS THE GAME STARTING TO TAKE PRIORITY IN MY LIFE? (The addict plays to the detriment of other significant aspects of his life)

3. DO I CONTINUE TO PLAY DESPITE THE FACT THAT I AM AWARE OF A NUMBER OF NEGATIVE PHENOMENA ASSOCIATED WITH THE GAME? (Having a negative emotional experience is not a valid reason to quit playing.)

If you answer in the affirmative to at least one of them, then it's time to sound the alarm. Because it is better to warn than then painfully to get off this "needle".

And in this article I will talk about why the Internet and TV are stimulants for our brain that can replace alcohol and marijuana.


Internet addiction is on the list of mental disharmony considered by the World Health Organization. Basically, it is no different from gambling addiction. But if it is recognized, then the number of people dependent on information will increase significantly.

But with the TV, most likely, the situation is more complicated. Despite the fact that psychologists have been working with this problem for a long time, it in itself is becoming a thing of the past along with television.

Addiction to watching TV is the lot of the older generation. Those of the retirees who have mastered the Internet, successfully abandon the TV, transplanted to a more powerful stimulant. Well, the younger generation doesn't need a TV in principle: thanks to their gadgets, they are permanently connected to the “matrix”.

And the main idea that I am trying to express in this part of the article is as follows: it does not matter what source of information we are dealing with. If this source actively controls our attention, then it possesses the qualities of an object of addiction, and with uncontrolled handling of it becomes an “energy hole” that engulfs our life.

Read about the mechanism of this influence below.


It's all about the natural instability of our psyche. In other words, we need constant contact with the external environment in order to maintain mental balance. This becomes well understood when one is familiar with the experience of solitary confinement. Isolated from various signals from the outside, the brain is unable to maintain "mental homeostasis", and the threat of insanity hangs over the person.

The external environment is the source of those signals that divert our attention to themselves. Attention controls the flow of thoughts. They influence desires and shape emotions. This is how psychic dynamics develop. If we experience a deficit of information coming from the outside, then we are forced to turn our attention inward, engaging in introspection. In other words, we turn to abstractions, going into the past or the future.

However, with age, a person learns to remember the worst of what happened to him, and, predicting, consider, first of all, negative scenarios. This tendency (quite adaptive to itself from the point of view of survival in the African savannah) becomes the reason that, turning attention inward, we, sooner or later, come to negative thoughts and begin to "tire ourselves". To prevent this from happening, you need to be able to control the course of your thoughts, that is, to have disciplined thinking. Well, or just not be alone with yourself. And this is where the Internet (or TV) helps us.

The Internet, like television, is a very powerful external source of various information that effectively absorbs our attention. Thanks to the flow of dynamically changing signals, it begins to structure our consciousness. We seem to be on the road again, busy again, again in knowledge. But this is not the case. This is just a powerful illusion, in fact eating up our volitional center.

Why information dependence leads to degradation of consciousness - read on.


Consciousness is the result of the activity of the neocortex, the "heart" of which is the will center located in the prefrontal cortex. He is the source of our will. Will manifests itself in VOLUNTARY ATTENTION.

This is important to understand. Will is not all attention, it is just VOLUNTARY attention. When we surf the Internet, our attention is involuntary, it is controlled by the unconscious. From a neurobiological standpoint - the mid brain (often referred to as the "reptilian brain"). But when we solve a complex problem, focus on something, then attention becomes arbitrary. It is already generated by the prefrontal cortex.

And the brain, after all, is like a muscle: what is actualized is what it trains. If you spend your free time buried in a smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV, then you deactualize the will center, the heart of your consciousness. According to the laws of plasticity, that part of the brain that is rarely involved loses its connections, decreasing in volume (just as an inactive muscle dystrophies).

In other words, if we get used to giving our attention to the power of external impulses, then we do it always and with ease, becoming driven, regardless of the level of our ambitions. Learning to independently organize your mental space, not being afraid to be alone with yourself, you develop your consciousness, your spiritual independence.


If we are aware of the existence of a pernicious addiction to the Internet, then it is necessary to take a number of measures for our information security. Here they are:

1. MAKE A SCHEDULE OF FREE TIME. The main problem of people working in the "system" is the habit of a normalized work schedule and the absence of the need to independently plan their time. If planning a working day is a common thing for you, then it will not be difficult to plan your evening or weekend. Unscheduled time is wasted time.

2. ENRICH YOUR LIFE WITH READING. It turns out that reading affects the brain in a different way than television. Reading makes your brain work. Your addiction to movies relaxes you and reading trains you. Dilute your love of cinema with a love of reading. The cinema will not be jealous, and the brain will say "thank you". But don't read from your phone. Use a paper book or e-book with a dim screen. A flickering computer or smartphone screen is a good way to speed up your psyche and the constant temptation to go online.

3. EXERCISE. It sounds corny, but it is. The best way to spend your free time constructively is to give yourself a load. Physical training, whatever it is, always forces you to focus, actualizing the source of your will. Therefore, those who exercise regularly are more disciplined (and discipline starts with thinking).

4. HOBBIES. A business for the soul, exciting and useful (including for your environment) - this is the best way to spend time interestingly and usefully, breaking away from the Internet coffin that threatens to become an Internet grave. Anyone who has found interest in life does not need a TV or the Internet. Because both are virtual illusions that lead us away from real life and ourselves.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Rudiyr. I was born and live in Russia. I am engaged in giving advice to people on mental health, self-improvement and harmonious development. I am also the author of the course "Philosophy of Practical Natural Science". In it, I consider issues of health, positive energy balance of a person, energy sources for a person (sleep, nutrition, physical activity, creativity) and other aspects that allow a person to live happily.