For a condition that some don’t believe even exists, internet addiction goes by many names—net compulsions, internet addiction disorder, compulsive surfing, web dependency—none of which holds any official status. In fact, the contrary is true, as no credible medical association has been willing to embrace the condition.
Either way, one might safely regard the term as a catch-all holding company of sorts; a folder with no true meaning of its own, but containing any number of files, or web-related activities which have, according to the scant documentation available, shown some capacity to cause problems in one’s life. One widely quoted estimate suggests that between 5-10% of people online are "web dependent."
Online activities included under the banner of this addiction may include:
- Cyber Sex
- Cyber pornography
- Online Affairs
- Multi-User Role Playing Online Games
- Shopping (including auction sites like Ebay)
- Online Gambling
- Extensive surfing
However, there is a tremendous amount of disagreement and dispute in the medical community regarding internet addiction. In this piece we’ll look at both sides of that dispute, as well as symptoms and treatment models.