Is the Internet invading your life?


A Definition

'Internet addiction is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges or behaviours regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress.'

Is Internet Addiction a Mental Disorder?

Internet addiction is described as an impulse control disorder, which does not involve the use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling.

Some Internet users may develop an emotional attachment to online friends and activities they create on their computer screens. Internet users may enjoy aspects of the Internet that allow them to meet, socialize, and exchange ideas through the use of chat rooms, social networking websites, or "virtual communities."

Other Internet users spend endless hours researching topics of interest online or "blogging".

Warning Signs to look out for:

  • Preoccupation with the Internet. (Thoughts about previous online activity or anticipation of the next online session.)
  • Use of the Internet in increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction.
  • Repeated, unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Internet use.
  • Feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression, or irritability when attempting to cut down use of the Internet.
  • Online longer than originally intended.
  • Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Internet use.
  • Lies to family members, therapists, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
  • Use of the Internet is a way to escape from problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood. (e.g. Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, depression.)

How can someone get help?

The first step is to determine if there is a problem. A Certified Addictions Counsellor trained in identification and treatment of Internet addiction can effectively perform an assessment to determine what level of care is most appropriate. If you live in America and want a free confidential assessment, call the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at (800) 522-3784. An assessment can be completed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

7 Signs You're Addicted to the Internet
"#Hashtag" with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake


The above video is a prime example of how the Internet and internet addiction can invade your everyday life. Granted it is an exaggerated case of internet addiction but it shows just how bad the addiction can get.

Get the Facts!

Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report in July last year saying "94 per cent of Australians are internet users", and according research carried out by The Australian Direct Marketing Association this figure will only increase.

According to industry report “Digital Down Under”, 13.4 million Australians spend a whopping 18.8 hours a day online.

New South Wales men and women lead the charge with 32 per cent and spend 18.1 hours a day online.

Victorians are in second place with 25 per cent and spend the least amount of time online with 18 hours.

Queenslanders only make up 20 per cent of the internet population, but are spending on average a massive 19.7 hours on their internet habits.

West Australians make up only 10 per cent of the internet population but spend 19.7 hours a day online.

South Australians are a meagre 7 per cent of the internet population, spending an enormous 19.9 hours a day online.

Residents of the Northern Territory make up 4 per cent and are connected an average of 18.6 hours a day.

That's almost two-thirds of our day.


"How to Avoid Internet Addiction." WikiHow. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <>.

"Internet Addiction Facts |" Internet Addiction Facts | N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2013. <>.

"Internet Addiction Test" 2000-2012, Healthy Place. N.p., n.d. Web 05 Nov.2013

"Internet Addiction." : The Impact of Internet on Academic Performance. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2013.



Abbey Plannegger and Stephanie McGowan