I just read the psychology news brief in my sidebar: Chinese Issue First Definition of Internet Addiction. “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”
Who? Me? Do nights count? Well….I’ve never counted how many hours a day I spend online. But its a lot. I blog, read others’ blogs, go online for news, weather, telephone numbers, to shop, bid on my ebay beads, and find out lots of other information or research that interests me. I also email lots of friends, and belong to various professional listservs that I read to stay current in my field. The internet has replaced magazines as a source of leisure reading, and most of the major newspapers are now online.
I definitely get irritated when I can’t get at my computer when I want to, and I sometimes yearn to get back to it when I’m in a boring social situation. I doubt its 6 hours a day, but maybe I’m in denial. Maybe my family will shock me with a group intervention. Though I don’t know where they’d find time since they’re all online too…
What amazes me about this news article is that they were able to tear the people away from their computers and into psychiatric units. Unless…ew…they were taken involuntarily?
What do you think of this definition? And where do you fall according to these guidelines?