Feeds

Could you be addicted to the internet?

I can't live without IE

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Also in this week's column:

Can you be addicted to the internet?

Asked by Ian Anderson of Aberdeen, Scotland

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is one of the new psychopathologies of the internet era.

The first mention of "internet addiction" was in a 1996 paper by Drs O.Egger and M Rauterberg of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

The first case of IAD in the clinical literature was presented by Dr KS Young of the Department of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh campus in Bradford, Pennsylvania and appears in the February 1997 Psychological Reports. Bradford is now the home of the Centre for Internet Addiction.

The case concerns a 43-year-old housewife who was addicted to the internet yet who otherwise had no prior history of any other psychiatric problem.

It is unknown how many people suffer from IAD. There are several symptoms of IAD. These include:

  • A need for an ever increasing amount of time on the internet to achieve satisfaction or a dissatisfaction with the continued use of the same amount of time on the internet.
  • Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days, weeks, or up to a month after a reduction or cessation of internet use. These include distress or impairment of social, personal, or occupational functioning such that there is psychological or psychomotor agitation such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, trembling, tremors, voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers, obsessive thinking, fantasies, or dreams about the internet.
  • Internet engagement to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Internet often accessed more often or for longer periods of time than was intended.
  • A significant amount of time is spent in activities related to internet use (for example, internet surfing).
  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities eliminated or reduced due to internet use.
  • Risk of loss of a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity due to excessive internet use.
  • Internet engagement used as a way of escaping problems or relieving feelings of guilt, helplessness, anxiety, or depression.
  • Concealing from or lying to family members about the extent of internet use.
  • Internet user driven to financial difficulty due to incurring unaffordable internet fees.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.