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Students, are you addicted to the internet?

By Editor
Students, are you addicted to the internet?

We've all done it: woken up bleary eyed, grabbed our phones and read the latest goings on. We've then gone into uni and spent 8 hours staring at our screens before a long bus journey home gawping at our smart phones again. And we top the night off with a few hours chilling out with our laptops.

Whilst this may seem like the norm these days, we might not realise, though, is that we could be addicted to the internet.

In a new study undergone by Digital Clarity, a specialist digital marketing agency, it was found that 16% of the participants (aged between 18 and 25) that were tested exhibited signs of internet addition disorder (IAD).

Some of these symptoms of IAD include:

• Losing track of time while on the net and spending hours instead of minutes online.

• Becoming irritable when interrupted during web use.

• Feeling guilty about how much time you spend online.

• Isolation from family and friends due to excessive online activity

• A sense of euphoria when online and panic when offline
.

91% of those who appeared to be suffering with the disorder confessed to spending 15 hours per day on an internet accessible device.

A student, Malissa Scott, who took part in the study, said, “I’m online for most of my waking hours and feel sick and depressed if I lose access to the web. I know it has spiraled out of control in the last 12 months and it has definitely affected my relationship with my friends and family members.”

'Web junkies', as they are often called, have a rush of dopamine when they are surfing, which is akin to what happens in drug or alcohol addicts.

Speaking on the findings, Digital Clarity founder, Reggie James, said: “For most kids and teens their online use is relatively well managed as they balance media use with school, sports, friends, and other commitments. Yet for a small percentage of youth the need to be online can become compulsive, uncontrolled, or pathological.”

“While time spent online can be hugely productive, compulsive Internet use will interfere with daily life, work, and relationships. When you feel more comfortable with your online friends than your real ones, or you can’t stop yourself from playing games, gambling, or compulsively checking your smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device—even when it has negative consequences in your life.”

How do you feel when you haven't checked your Twitter or Facebook feed in a while? Let us know via Twitter or Facebook.

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