TAMPA, Fl. (CBS News) – Do you always have your smart phone close at hand – never wanting to miss the latest tweet, status update or email?
You may be caught in the web of internet addiction.
We’re just a click or swipe away from unlimited information at our fingertips.
But there’s a dark side to the internet and social media that’s sucking us in to addiction.
A recent study reveals the average person spends 90 minutes a day staring at their phone screen – that’s 23 days a year and nearly four years of the average person’s life.
Pay per Click’s John Crestani said, “You were like oh I check my phone a little bit too much. No. you’re addicted.”
Crestani says it really becomes a problem when you put your online life ahead of work or loved ones.
Crestani said, “When people start using that as a stand-in for real interaction it’s going to cause developmental issues.”
The smart phone side effects are something mom Jill Lumsden worries about with her kids.
Lumsden said, “It makes them a little bit more introverted. It’s not good.”
New research shows there’s a downward spiral: the more social media consumed, the higher the chances of depression, which can lead to more trolling on social media.
There is a group called – Internet & Tech Addiction Anonymous.
And a doctor in Pennsylvania started the first in-patient, 10-day treatment program complete with a digital detox – no internet devices for 72 hours.
Experts say the first step is recognizing it may be time to unplug.
Crestani said, “It’s hurting families, it’s hurting businesses, it’s hurting relationships.”