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Could You Be Addicted to the Internet? 261

Posted by Zonk
from the all-part-of-the-job-description dept.
Billosaur writes "Over at The Register, Dr Stephen Juan has this interesting article on Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). Apparently this has been around since at least 1995 and there are those lobbying for it to be included in the DSM-IV. While some people use the Internet a lot for work or to keep in touch with family & friends as well as banking and bill-paying, it's interesting to thing that some people actually become addicted. There's still a lot of controversy over the diagnosis, whether this is true addiction or not. There is more detailed information available in this paper from Viriginia Tech."
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Could You Be Addicted to the Internet?

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  • Internet? (Score:3, Funny)

    by InterBigs (780612) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:55PM (#16163686)
    What is this Internet you speak of?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I think it has something to do with tubes.
      • Re:Internet? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by anagama (611277) <obamaisaneocon@nothingchanged.org> on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:33PM (#16163884) Homepage
        Tubes? What about the boob-tube? I spend a lot of time on the internet. By the same token, I spend almost no time watching television -- I see DVDs from time to time -- no cable, no antenna, just a DVD player connected to the TV, and yeah, call me an elitist I don't care. Anyway, why does the internet get bashed for being addicting, but television doesn't? Some people watch 5 or 6 hours of TV each day and yet I rarely see articles about how addictive TV is. "Internet Addiction" is just another way to bash the net as an evil place by those who either don't understand its utility, or don't want people to understand its utility.
        • Re:Internet? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:49PM (#16163965) Homepage Journal
          television does get bashed for being addictive, but this report is about the internet, not TV.

          ""Internet Addiction" is just another way to bash the net as an evil place by those who either don't understand its utility, or don't want people to understand its utility"

          no, internet addiction is when people turn to the internet even to the point where it is harmfull to them financially or socially.

          Why would you think the internet would be an exception to everything else when it comes to addictions?
          • What other addictions should be in the DSM-IV, if the requirement for inclusion is "financial or social harm"? Book reading addiction (I would be reading books if the Internet didnt exist)? Bad joke addiction? Bad hygiene addiction? Extreme sport addiction? Marriage addiction (which harms you financially AND socially)? Public service addiction? Scientific research addiction? Religious teaching addiction (though some financial profit)? Geek hobbies addiction? Military enlistment addiction? The standard for
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by QRDeNameland (873957)

          Some people watch 5 or 6 hours of TV each day...

          It may be worse than you think. According to this article I just read today [latimes.com], the average person watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day. If watching that much TV qualifies as addictive, then TV would have to qualify as most prevalent addiction out there.

          • by compro01 (777531)
            It may be worse than you think. According to this article I just read today, the average person watches 4 hours and 35 minutes of TV a day. If watching that much TV qualifies as addictive, then TV would have to qualify as most prevalent addiction out there.

            "Television. the 21st century drug of choice.", though hell if i can remember who said it.
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by crash3 (1002180)
              Televisions the drug of choice?! Guess it's about time I stopped taking crack.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by drsquare (530038)
            Time spent doing something doesn't equal addictiveness. How many people neglect their family and their jobs staying up all night every night watching TV, compared to how many people do the same playing Everquest.
      • Thank god, because I thought it had something to do with dump trucks. Thanks for clearing that up.
  • by ChristTrekker (91442) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:57PM (#16163697)

    The answer is so obviously "yes" in this audience. Was there any doubt? Why even ask?

  • I love it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by crazyjeremy (857410) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:57PM (#16163700) Homepage Journal
    Apparently it's been around since at least 1995... It's like saying Car Wrecks have been happening since the early 20th century. Duh! That's about when it started!
  • I know I am (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Terminal Saint (668751) on Friday September 22, 2006 @05:58PM (#16163703)
    I'm also addicted to my car. Darned if a day goes by that I don't use it to get somewhere too far to walk.

    Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.
    • Re:I know I am (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:07PM (#16163753) Journal
      I'm also addicted to my car. Darned if a day goes by that I don't use it to get somewhere too far to walk.

      Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.
      If not driving causes you anxiety, then you're addicted.

      Ditto for e-mail, browsing fark, /. or whatever other 'thing' on the internet that you just can't live without.

      And you actually can get addicted to something like walking, running, biking or driving. Just because you aren't does not mean that others haven't been addicted.
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:24PM (#16163837)
        Drugs - addictive. People will rob other people for money to buy drugs. People will prostitute themselves for money to buy drugs. People will even kill at times for money to buy drugs.

        The Internet - Guys (since most of you are), how long would you have to go without email before you'd have sex with another guy for $5 so you could use an Internet Cafe? (That's if you wouldn't do it for free, anyway.)

        Okay, so the Internet is NOT addictive the same way as drugs are.

        Cigarettes. Those are addictive. Now, apply the same behavioural process. What would you do for money to buy cigarettes that you would not do for money to buy a CD?

        Would you do the same thing(s) for 30 minutes of Internet access?

        Okay, so the Internet is NOT addictive the same way cigarettes are.

        And so on and so forth. Until you get to the point where the Internet is no more "addictive" than telephones or television or radio.
        • by geekoid (135745)
          "And so on and so forth. Until you get to the point where the Internet is no more "addictive" than telephones or television or radio."

          and you think there not addictive why?

          People watch TV even when it's determental to them, people call peolpe even when it's harmfull to them, and people listen to the radio even when it becomes harmfull to them.

          Same with the Internet.

          If someone feels anxious about not being on the internet, it could mean there expecting an important email, it could also mean there addicted.
          • and you think there not addictive why?

            Because normal, adjusted people do not prostitute themselves so they can watch TV.

            People watch TV even when it's determental to them, people call peolpe even when it's harmfull to them, and people listen to the radio even when it becomes harmfull to them.

            Yes, they do.

            But you're confusing the material being addictive with a person having an obsessive disorder.

            And obsessive person will become "addicted" to anything.

            The question is whether a non-obsessive person can become

            • by geekoid (135745)
              "Because normal, adjusted people do not prostitute themselves so they can watch TV."

              My Attorny/Financial advisor tells many stories where people go bankrupt and they have Sat. AND cable television. That is usually the last thing they want removed from there budget, even when it is the greatest monthly savings.

              "And the answer is "No"."
              actually, it's yes, But you go ahead and live in your little world of delusion.

              American Psychological Association developed the definition of TV addiction as "heavy television
              • by penix1 (722987)
                "American Psychological Association developed the definition of TV addiction as "heavy television watching that is subjectively experienced as being to some extent involuntary, displacing more productive activities, and difficult to stop or curtail.""

                And just who is the one to determine "more productive activities"? The APA? You? The problem the APA has is every slight thing in human behavior to them is a disorder. This is for purpose other than their interest in humanity. When things get called a "disorder
                • by soft_guy (534437)
                  No, the APA does not think every human behavior is a disorder. If you think that, you obviously have a disorder and should seek professional attention from one of our many members.

                  - President of the APA.
        • by TubeSteak (669689)
          As Bob Saget once famously said in the movie Half Baked
          "I've sucked dick for coke.
          And that's an addiction, man.
          You ever suck dick for marijuana?"

          I'd propose to you that there is a direct relationship between the effects of withdrawl and what you're willing to do for a drug.

          However, none of that applies to the discussion at hand, because we're not talking about a physiological addiction. Internet addiction is in your head and like most addictions, is easier to quantify in terms of how it effects your life.

          If
      • If not driving causes you anxiety, then you're addicted.

        Putting me in any situation in which I am unaccustomed to will cause me some sort of anxiety. Does this mean I'm addicted to my way of life? Of course I am, but at that point the meaning of addiction becomes watered down and useless because everyone is addicted to their daily habits.
    • by pluther (647209)
      I'm also addicted to my car. Darned if a day goes by that I don't use it to get somewhere too far to walk.

      Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.

      Absolutely!

      I'm not addicted.

      I only use it for legitimate, work-related purposes!

      Certainly I wouldn't be reading slashdot in the middle of the day when I'm supposed to be working or anything!

      I can quit any time I want.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172) *
      Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.

      Just because you use/do something often doesn't imply that there aren't people who become obssesed with that something. Ever talk to a hard core auto racer? Better be conversant about tires and spring rates, because that's likely the only thing in her head.

      On the other hand, you ever start to get the impression that there are people obessesed with labeling every obsession as a clinical addiction? Well, that is to say every obsession they do
    • Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.

      Do you derive great satisfaction solely from driving your car, and increasingly think only of your next opportunity to drive the longer it has been since your last drive? Do you start fidgeting and having nervous fits the longer you are away from your car?

      Do other areas of your life start to suffer because you are out driving your car, for no other reason than to simply be driving?

      Assume you are on vacation, are fully stocked up on supplies

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:32PM (#16163881) Journal
      Dear Slashdot,

      I'm addicted to calling everything and anything that people enjoy doing an addiction. I get wads of cash for treating these so-called addictions, and I have a powerful co-enabler called the pharmaceutical industry telling me it's all okay and I should keep doing it. What should I do?

      Signed,
      I'll take 'The Rapists' for $500, Alex.

      (Please, if there are any psychologists or psychiatrists who read Slashdot, don't have me committed. It's a joke, m'kay?)
    • Re:I know I am (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mark Gordon (14545) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:35PM (#16163893) Homepage
      Consider the more detailed paper, with s/Internet/foo/ applied:

      To be diagnosed as having foo Addiction Disorder, a person must meet certain
      criteria as prescribed by the American Psychiatric Association. Three or more of these
      criteria must be present at any time during a twelve month period:

      2. Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days to one month after
      reduction of foo or cessation of foo (i.e., quitting cold turkey) , and these
      must cause distress or impair social, personal or occupational functioning. These include:
      psychomotor agitation, i.e. trembling, tremors; anxiety; obsessive thinking about what is
      happening with respect to foo; fantasies or dreams about foo; voluntary or involuntary
      imitation of the movements characteristic of foo.

      (the mere act of thinking about foo while not engaged in foo presumably qualifies as "fantasies")

      3. Use of the Internet is engaged in to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

      (if thinking about foo qualifies as withdrawal, then engaging in foo qualifies as relief of withdrawal)

      5. A significant amount of time is spent in activities related to foo.

      By this standard of addiction, any activity which one both considers ("fantasies") and practices, and which occupies a significant amount of time (even if it's simply liesure time), qualifies as an addiction.

      Seems like a pretty broken definition to me.
      • by eln (21727) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @07:03PM (#16164036) Homepage
        Your post has made me realize that I am addicted to foo. Where can I find information about Fooaholics Anonymous groups in my area?
      • by geekoid (135745)
        It's a very accurate definition.

        Guess what? most addiction create the same set(or subset) of problems.

        Almost all addictions have the same indicators.

      • by mmeister (862972)
        I like Dr. Drew Pinsky's definition. Dr. Drew is a board-certified addiction specialist, as well as the host of Loveline. He defines addiction as the continued practice of something despite growing consequences.

        That can be a substance (drugs, alcohol) or a behavior (internet, video games).
        If it starts having serious consequences in your life, and you continue doing it anyway --
        then you're probably addicted.
      • I kept reading "foo" as "food". That, well, also leads to the conclusion that the definition is broken.
    • I'm addicted to Web 2.0. It's when you write something and expect someone to write back that they read it.

      Actually that just sounds like I'm addicted to social interaction. Never mind. Oh wait, write back. ;-)
    • The machine of a dream
      Such a clean machine
      With the pistons a pumpin'
      And the hub caps all gleam

      When I'm holdin your wheel
      All I hear is your gear
      When my hands on your grease gun
      Oh its like a disease son

      I'm in love with my car
      Gotta feel for my automobile
      Get a grip on my boy racer rollbar
      Such a thrill when your radials squeal

      Told my girl I'll have to forget her
      Rather buy me a new carburetor
      So she made tracks sayin'
      This is the end now
      Cars don't talk back
      Theyre just four wheeled friends now

      When I'm holdin your wh

    • by lahvak (69490)
      I'm also addicted to my car. Darned if a day goes by that I don't use it to get somewhere too far to walk.

      That's nothing! I am seriously addicted to food. I absolutely can't imagine living without it!
    • by Carnildo (712617)
      Just because you use something often doesn't mean it's an addiction.


      Exactly, which is why two of the seven proposed criteria are related to withdrawl, and four out of the seven are related to the consequences of internet use. If you don't experience withdrawl if you aren't using the internet, and you're not experiencing any of the listed consequences of using the internet, you aren't addicted.
  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:00PM (#16163709) Homepage Journal
    Really, it's pretty pitiful. It looks like all the "research" entailed was to substitute the word "internet" for "alcohol". Here are just a few of their "symptoms":
    * 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.

    Isn't that last one just teh stupid? It's cribbed word-for-word from a typical symptom of alcholism, as are the rest.

    Even if there are still ISPs in the world that charge by the MB, it just doesn't fly. Now, if they were talking about "unexpected" credit card charges, maybe... but pr0n addiction .NE. internet "addiction".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cowscows (103644)
      I couldn't stand the thought of being without internet in any part of my house, so I had a seperate DSL line hooked up to every room in the place. A short time later, a friend tried to explain to me the concept of hubs and switches, but I was too drunk on the internet to understand.

      The $400 per month fees are terrible, but at least I have plenty of bandwidth.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Xtravar (725372)
      I have three possible counter arguments.

      1. Let's say you're addicted to a certain facet of the internet, such as porn, MMORPG, ebay, whatever. If you're an alcohol addict but you primarily spend all of your money on Bacardi Rum, does that make you a Bacardi addict?

      2. I think the root of the issue is that people are addicted to the interconnectedness, the constant flow of information, the need to be 'in' on something because you feel like you'd be missing out, whether it's a WoW raid or usenet discussion, i
    • by geekoid (135745)
      really? there are people where 40 bucks a month is a hardship.
      Some who signs up for a annual contract they can't afford would also qualify.

      Quess what superstar? many addiction cause the same financial problems.
  • by kclittle (625128) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:00PM (#16163715)
    Maybe I'm addicted to the Internet, maybe not. But it sure has eliminated my TV and newspaper habit...
  • by tlambert (566799) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:02PM (#16163724)
    I think there's also an as yet undiscussed "Fetal Internet Syndrome"...

    My friends new Windows box is addicted, and it was never exposed, new from the store... computers with this syndrome have serious mental lapses if they can't get on the Internet to chat with Microsoft in the first thiry days after being turned on, and on a regular basis after that.

    -- Terry
  • by Eightyford (893696) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:02PM (#16163728) Homepage
    If you refresh your Slashdot user page every 30 seconds to see if you have received any replies, you might be addicted to the internet.
  • I'm addicted to talking to people. I do it every freaking day, no matter how hard I try to give up! If I go a whole day without talking to someone, I feel bad about life. It's crippling my ability to get anything done. ...

    On the other hand, where there's a problem there's money to be made prolonging the solution.

    Dr R.D. MD, BA, MIEEE
    Internet Councilor
    Book now, only $932,377 per session!
  • by starseeker (141897) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:04PM (#16163739) Homepage
    I'm not a medical person so perhaps there is some criteria I'm not familiar with, but isn't addictive behavior pretty much the same regardless of what someone is addicted to? Is the question whether the "addiction" is chemically based vs. simply being socially based? (For example, if a nerd likes playing Quake for 16 hours a day instead of interacting normally with the human race, does that constitute addiction or just different mental software?)

    I mean really, if addiction is defined as depending on the chemicals that are generated when we feel "good" wouldn't an excess of ANYTHING that makes us feel "good" be a candidate for a cause? And wouldn't it be expected that potential causes of addiction depend on the individual? Some are obvious and would impact virtually anyone (chemical manipulation) but other behaviors which don't directly alter mood via chemical means I would intuitively expect to be more subtle.

    Heh, maybe anti-social people (not the angry, dangerous wackos but those who are just indifferent to and/or dislike social situations) would argue that the rest of us are addicted to social interaction. ;-) The rest of us would probably take issue with that, but really what objective criteria would be used to have the argument?

    Anybody with a medical degree around here that can point to some definitive definition of the word "addiction" and what it means, medically?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by nizo (81281) *
      I can think of a few things that can't possibly be very addictive:


      - Jumping off of very tall cliffs
      - Swimming with hungry sharks
      - Watching "Dancing with the Stars"


      Especially the last one; eventually I would have no choice but to poke out my eyeballs or go swim with some hungry sharks or something.

      • Corrections (Score:3, Interesting)

        by LunaticTippy (872397)
        - Jumping off of very tall cliffs
        Bungee jumpers. Hang gliders. Base jumpers.

        - Swimming with hungry sharks
        Jacques Cousteau, Steve Irwin (RIP), etc.

        - Watching "Dancing with the Stars"
        Somebody's watching it. Otherwise, they're wasting the cable!!!
      • by metlin (258108)
        > - Jumping off of very tall cliffs

        It's called Cliff jumping [google.com] and is a lot of fun! :)
    • by mattmacf (901678)

      Anybody with a medical degree around here that can point to some definitive definition of the word "addiction" and what it means, medically?

      I have no medical degree, but from what I gather, there is no universally medically accepted definition of "addiction." I believe practitioners prefer to use terms such as "habituation" "tolerance" and "dependence." Our friend Wikipedia outlines some of the different models and medical definition of addiction [wikipedia.org] and drug addiction [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RsG (809189)
      The general terms you are looking for are physiological and psychological addiction - the former meaning there is some physical componant (like alcohol or nicotine), and the later meaning there is only a mental componant. It's generally assumed that all physical addiction entails some degree of psychological dependancy as well, whereas not all psychological addictions require an external chemical componant.

      Yes it is completely possible to become addicted to damn near anything even remotely enjoyable. You
    • I think anything that makes you happy that you can repeatedly do can be addictive. So the example of jumping off a cliff without a parachute doesn't count.
    • by pilkul (667659)
      anti-social people (not the angry, dangerous wackos but those who are just indifferent to and/or dislike social situations)

      The word you want is "asocial".

  • 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.

    As my work gets more and more complicated, and my programs longer and longer, I end up only achieving satisfaction when I've spent more than the usual amount of time in front of the computer.

    Two or more withdrawal symptoms developing within days, weeks, or up to a month after a reduction or cessation of internet use. These include

    • by geekoid (135745)
      A clinical problem can cause lack of motivation.

      "Your life is the way it is because you made it the way it is, not because something beyond your control led you to where you are now"

      not always. Depression or low serotonin can cause issues and be caused by no fault of the person experiencing them.

      I used to believe like you.
      I used to be highly motivated to gt things done. as time went on I had less and less motivation. To the point where I would be lying down, want to go do something(say mow the lawn) but phy
  • I'm in the process of moving to a new house out in the boondocks. The amazing thing is that broadband is available there, in the form of DSL. The annoying thing is that the bandwidth is badly restricted, 512Kbps downstream max. I'll become so annoyed with performance there that I come back to my place in the city and do my multimedia surfing there.

    I think part of the addictive effect the article describes is simply because of the volume and quantity of information available, as well as the interactivity
  • by iamacat (583406) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:11PM (#16163782)
    How many people spend all their spare time glued to TV? Internet and even MMORG addicts lead comparatively more productive lives by staying in touch with friends, creating new content and reading/watching stuff way more meaningful than TV programming. Unless one actually gets out of all manmade stuff and takes a walk in the woods, is living in virtual reality really any worse than how most people spend time?
  • by Buzz_Litebeer (539463) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:15PM (#16163801) Journal
    I can stop if I want to.

    I just dont want to, and you arent going to convince me to stop. :-)
  • and the reason is, internet provides me with the limitless possibility of socialization without the burden of spending too much time seeking out who to socialize with, and also prevents the danger of getting into dangerous places while socializing. AND without barring, hampering my daily life.

    If this is an addiction, we need more addiction in this world.
  • Apparently this has been around since at least 1995 and there are those lobbying for it to be included in the DSM-IV.

    Wonderful. Is there any recent drug patent for treating Internet addiction?

    I mean, now there are drugs for treating "social anxiety disorder" -- apparantly now being shy or introverted is a disorder in ther DSM-IV, right? And that disorder requires treatment by expensive prescription drugs (the R&D of which was probably paid for by your tax dollars to boot). That and other so-called "dis

    • by geekoid (135745)
      your not cynical, just ignorant.

      "Depressed? Get over it. Stop sitting around inside in a dark room all day. Go hiking! Skiing! Swimming! Skydiving! Work out!
      "

      It doesn't work that way. You loose all motivation, so you can not do anything.
      depression is serious.

      "Addicted to the Internet? Put down the cheetos and mountain dew, go outside! Get out there and Live! Smell the air! Sniff a dog!"

      addiction does not work that way. Some part of your brain is telling you to do something, even to the point of harm.

      Now you
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rblum (211213)
      Depressed? Get over it. Stop sitting around inside in a dark room all day. Go hiking! Skiing! Swimming! Skydiving! Work out!


      That might work for a lot of people who just think they're depressed because it's the new thing on TV. If somebody truly is clinically depressed, they *can't* leave that dark room. It's not for lack of wanting - but the depression just prevents them from doing anything.

      • Some of us are actually happy in our dark rooms. It's the rest of the world that makes me depressed.
  • Can you really be addicted to something as diverse as the internet? I assume you could get addicted to porn, games, or what not, but the internet as a whole? What this sounds like is someone noticed that some people spend a lot of time on computers, figured that this abnormal behavior must be the result of an addiction and worked backwards from there. As for withdrawl, I'd say almost anyone would experience similar symptoms if you took away their primary method of socialization, research, and entertainme
  • 1. Tolerance, as defined by either of the following: * A need for markedly increased amounts of time on Internet to achieve satisfaction. * Markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of time on Internet.

    No major changes.

    2. Withdrawal, as manifested by either A or B below: * (A) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome, 1, 2 and 3 below 1. Cessation of (or reduction in) Internet use that has been heavy and prolonged. 2.

    • by geekoid (135745)
      You dance around the difficulty on some addictions. The 'dangerous' portions are dependent on the person.

      Do you go onto the internet when you know you could get in trouble? put off neccessary chores? after getting off the internet do you wish you ahd spent that time doing something else? do you find yourself on the internet when you didn't intend to be? like a time you told yourself was time for you and your son?

      all those are indicators of addiction and should be thought about seriously. If they are all tr
  • Though the 16 hours I spent surfing yesterday where even more boring than the 14 I spent the day before.
  • How the hell can they miss spell "slashdot"? I-n-t-e-r-n-e-t isn't even close!

    And yess, I am addicted to /..
  • except the internet.

    If this absurd concept of "addiction" about the internet can be taken as true, then we have to label normal types of office work as "poison", since they do make you money, you dont get addicted to it and you do them unwillingly.
  • No. (Score:4, Informative)

    by ph0rk (118461) on Friday September 22, 2006 @06:52PM (#16163982)
    IAD is a sham. The original test instruments 'developed' by young inclided items lifted right from similar instruments for gambling and substance abuse, with such gems as (paraphrase, I don't have the original measure handy) 'do you often use the internet by yourself?' and more than 10 hours a week as unhealthy. The criteria listed here http://www.psycom.net/iadcriteria.html [psycom.net] are similarly laughable: "(e) voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers".

    And, perhaps the crux: "(VII) Internet use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical, family, social, occupational, or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Internet use (e.g., sleep deprivation, marital difficulties, lateness for early morning appointments, neglect of occupational duties, or feelings of abandonment in significant others)"

    I'm not saying there aren't people out there with problems, but you don't create a new disorder for every new communication/information tool. Do we have telephone addiction disorder? fax machine addiction disorder? television addiction disorder? Hey, I know, lets make a myspace addiction disorder and a friendster addiction disorder and a slash-- er wait.

    sleep dep, maritial difficulties and the like are signs of other disorders, like depression. (or just a general state of distress).

    The 'article' linked by the submitter is fluff, there is nothing empirical in it. It is also missing nearly 9 years of critiques of IAD. Why did this submission happen?

  • It's my primary lifeline to what goes in within the industry. How could I live without it ?

    A life without the Internet would be like solitary confinement ...

    /John

  • Borderline (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Webomatica (1002011)

    A lot of people are addicted to television [sfgate.com].

    I think we all have addictions, but some are dangerous. That line is crossed when it starts affecting other areas of your life in negative ways, like your work suffers, you ignore other pressing needs to feed the addiction, such as socializing, or paying rent.

    That said I think I'm mildly addicted to the web, however, I have gone cold turkey from even email during vacations and didn't get the shakes. The big problem however is that I rely on the net for my job,

  • Anything can be addictive if you have the right ( or would that be wrong? ) personality.

    As long as they dont start calling this a crisis or something its plausible
  • The Internet is not a substance, does not induce physiological dependence, does not have a characteristic withdrawal syndrome, does not produce intoxication, does not induce tolerance requiring increasing dosages, and in general does not meet any of the criteria for what used to be the standard definition of the word "addiction."

    To talk about addiction to the Internet, or to sex, or to chocolate, or to breathing, is nonsense. If these things are to be called "addictions" then we are using the same word to d
    • by geekoid (135745)
      Man, you have no clue about addictions, do you?

      Clue:
      The brain can cause the release of chemicals that cause addiction.

      Please study up befor spouting off.
  • I think it's quite a shady list to tag something as "addiction":

    • 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.

      - QUICK! Americans watch over 3 hours of TV a day! And want more "time for themselves" to watch more and more! They even drop good eatinghabits to gain time, they stop spending time and attention to their kids in favour for tv-time!

    • Two or more withdrawal symptoms developin
    • by geekoid (135745)
      But nothing you said doesn't mean it's not addictive to some.

      "Internet engagement to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms."

      the context is the internet, so obviously they are talking about avoiding withdrawal symptons cause by not being on the internet.

      " It doesn't mean the time spend online equals the time wasted online."

      who said it was? Just because it's not 'wasted time' doesn't mean your not addicted. Not that you are, only that those two things don't corolate.
      Example:
      Using the internet connection at wor
  • by 1310nm (687270) on Friday September 22, 2006 @07:31PM (#16164157)
    I learned it from watching you! :(
  • Adding it to the DSM, yes - IV is just a volume number (III-R, IV, IV-TR). Most likely they're trying to add it to the DSM-V, which is due out in a few years.
  • ...to making up addictions to justify my shortcomings.
  • I wish people would bother to learn what addiction is, and what types there are befor spouting opinions on addiction.

    Gah, you people should know better.
  • This time let's learn from Slashdot's history and let's avoid arguing about the same things over again when it comes to addictions.

    Maybe we are addicted to the Internet, but it doesn't matter because it's not because we are addicted that it's nocive (example : sex). Also, when people think we are too much into something, they say we're addicted. If we went to the hypothetical barefoot-hippie-land we'd be told that we're addicted to our shoes.

    Now thank me for avoiding you to argue about this over again and g

  • I am NOT addicted to the Internet...

    ...but I may be addicted to /.

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