Nov 14
5:16 PM

Focus on Internet Addiction

Do you wake up early, turn on your laptop and chat on Internet dating sites and instant-messaging programs all day long — leaving your bed for only brief intervals? Are your outlines left undone, household bills piled up, along with the dishes and dirty laundry, because you cannot get off the Internet?  Houston, we have a problem.

A growing number of researchers — including a team from Stanford University that published a study last month in CNS Spectrums — are looking seriously at the disruptive effects of excessive Web use. In the Stanford team’s survey, about 6 percent of respondents said their relationships suffered because of overuse of the Net, and about 9 percent of Web surfers said they had attempted to hide "nonessential Internet use." For years psychiatrists have debated whether to classify Internet addiction as a distinct affliction, and it appears an official determination may be on the horizon. The American Psychiatric Association may consider listing Internet addiction in the next edition of its diagnostic manual, reports The Washington Post. –Brock Read  Copyright © 2006 The Chronicle of Higher Education

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