Internet Addiction: The Facts

  • “May soon be included as an actual health disorder”
  • People who are addicted to the internet show changes in their brains such as “connections between the cells and brain areas that control attention, executive control, and emotion processing”
  • The changes in the brain caused by internet addiction are similar to those caused by substances like cocaine and heroine 
  • Dopamine (system in the brain that allows people to experience pleasure) is not as prominent in those that are addicted to internet

Walton, A. G. (2012, October 2). Internet Addiction: The New Mental Health Disorder?     Forbes.

  • A group of people with an average age of 25 were tested to see how much they used the internet (excessively or for only certain purposes)
  • People who were then told to no longer search the internet experienced something similar to a drug (ecstasy) “comedown” where there was an increase in negative moods

John, O. (2013, February 19). Study: Internet Addicts Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Like Drug Users. Time.

  • “Researchers have notices a rise in something called Digital Attention Disorder – the addiction to social networks and computers in general”
  • Internet addiction, like most drug addictions, release excessive amounts of dopamine

Hepburn, N. (2013, January 24). Life in the age of internet addiction.The Week.

  • Internet addiction ruins relationships, a decrease in performance at school and/or work,  and increases the chance that one may experience mental disorders
  • A person who is addicted will experience withdrawals
  • A person may spend a lot of time on the internet but may not be addicted. The amount of time online is not relevant to addiction
  • People who are addicted to the internet constantly think about being online, lie about how often they are online, use the internet to escape other problems, and decline in performance. 
  • In some cases, internet addiction has been fatal

Lee, J. (2010, August 19). Understanding Internet Addiction – Facts, Symptoms, and Risks. Choose Help.

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