What Counts As Internet Addiction?


A recent survey by Retrevo.com found that some Internet users admit to stopping other activities in order to check Facebook and Twitter--even when it comes to sex.

The Survey

Retrevo.com, a consumer electronics website, surveyed 1,000 Internet users about their Facebook and Twitter habits. The survey didn't follow scientific methodology so no real conclusions can be drawn, but the results are certainly interesting:

  • 40% don't mind being interrupted by Twitter and Facebook updates while they're doing other things.
  • 48% check Twitter and Facebook after they've gone to bed for the night.
  • 42% check and/or update their profiles as soon as they get up in the morning; 8% of those over 25 do so before getting out of bed.
  • 32% are fine with receiving updates during a meal.
  • 7% of respondents admitted they would stop having sex to look at an update.
  • Still, 62% if those over 25 prefer not to be interrupted by social media updates under any circumstances.

What Does This Mean?

Since surveys must meet certain guidelines in order for the results to accurately measure the general population, we can't draw any direct conclusions from Retrevo's informal survey. Still, it is interesting to see that social media websites seem to be a large part of many people's lives. One has to wonder if getting to the point where you will interrupt any activity to check Facebook--even activities like sex--isn't a sign of an addiction. Internet addiction is still not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a formal diagnosis, but anecdotal evidence certainly seems to indicate that Internet use and social media websites have addictive properties. If you suffer from Internet addiction, you know how habit-forming surfing the web can be. The APA acknowledges that Internet addiction needs further study, and hopefully much more will be known about the problem in the near future.


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