Computer addiction

Computer addiction  can be described as the excessive or compulsive use of the computer which persists despite serious negative consequences for personal, social, or occupational function.  [1]  Another clear conceptualization is made by Block, who stated that “The diagnosis is a compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorder that involves both excessive gambling, sexual preoccupations, and e-mail / text messaging “.  [2]  While it was expected that this new type of addiction would be a problem in the DSM-5 , the current edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  , it is still counted as an unofficial disorder.  [3]  The concept of computer addiction is broadly divided into two types, namely  offline computer addiction  and  online computer addiction  . The term offline computer addiction is normally used when talking about excessive gaming behavior, which can be practiced both offline and online.  [4]  Online computer addiction, also known as Internet addiction , is one of the most important additions to the Internet.  [1]

Although addiction is usually used to describe dependence on substances, addiction can also be used to describe pathological Internet use. Experts on the Internet addiction has described this syndrome as an individual being intensely working on the Internet, the use of the Internet, uncontrollable use of the Internet, unable to use the Internet with efficient time, not being interested in the outside world, not spending time with people from the outside world, and an increase in their loneliness and dejection.  [5]  However, just working is not necessary.  [6]


  • Being drawn by the computer as soon as one wakes up and one goes to bed.
  • Replacing old hobbies with excessive use of the computer and using the computer as a primary source of entertainment and procrastination
  • Lacking physical exercise and / or outdoor exposure because of the use of the computer, which could lead to


Excessive computer use may result in, or occur with:

  • Lack of face to face social interaction
  • Computer vision syndrome


Kimberly Young  [7]  indicates that previous research links internet / computer addiction with existing mental health issues, most notably depression. She states that computer addiction has significant effects as well as low self-esteem, psychologically and occupationally which led many subjects to academic failure.

According to a Korean study on the Internet / computer addiction, pathological use of the Internet results in negative life impacts such as job loss, marriage breakdown, financial debt, and academic failure. 70% of internet users in Korea are reported to play online games, 18% of which are diagnosed as game addicts which relates to internet / computer addiction. The authors of the article conducted a study using Kimberly Young’s questionnaire. The study shows that the majority of those who put the requirements of the Internet / computer addiction suffered from interpersonal difficulties and that they addicted to online games that they hoped to avoid reality.  [8]


Computers nowadays rely almost entirely on the internet and thus addiction may also be relevant to computer addiction.

  • Gaming addiction:  a hypothetical behavioral addiction characterized by excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games , which interferes with a person’s everyday life .  [9]  Video game addiction can present itself as compulsive gaming, social isolation , mood swings , diminished imagination , and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events in life.  [10]  [11]
  • Social media addiction:  Data suggest that participants use social media to fulfill their social needs, but are typically dissatisfied.  [12] Lonely individuals are drawn to the Internet for emotional support. This could interfere with “real life socializing” by reducing face-to-face relationships.  [13]  Some of these views are summed up in an Atlantic article by Stephen March entitled  Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?  In this article, the author argues that social media provides more breadth, but not the depth of relationships that humans require. are formed through social media. [14]

Diagnostic Test

A lot of studies and surveys are made to measure the extent of this type of addiction. Dr. Kimberly S. Young has created a questionnaire based on other conditions to assess the level of addiction. It is called the Internet Addict Diagnostic Questionnaire or IADQ. Answering positively to five out of the eight questions may be indicative of an online addiction.

Origin of the term and history

Observations on the addictiveness of computers and more specifically computer games date back at least to the mid 1970s. Addiction and addictive behavior was common among PLATO system users at the University of Illinois .  [15]  British e-learning academic Nicholas Rushby suggests in his 1979 book,  An Introduction to Educational Computing  , that people can be addicted to computers and suffering symptoms . The term was also used by M. Shotton in 1989 in her book  Computer Addiction . However, Shotton concludes that the ‘addicts’ are not truly addicted. Dependency on computers, she argues, is better understood as a challenge and can not be better. Computers do not turn gregarious, extroverted people into recluses; they offer introvert a source of inspiration, excitement and intellectual stimulation. Shotton’s work seriously questions the legitimacy of the claim that causes computer addiction.

The term has become more widespread with the explosive growth of the Internet, as the availability of the personal computer .  [16]  Computers and the Internet both started to take shape and could be used by anyone. With that explosive growth of individuals making use of PCs and the Internet, the question of whether or not to misuse these technologies may be possible. It has been hypothesized that, in fact, it does not have the same effect as that of human consumption and that it can not be used for long periods of time.  [17] In the late nineties people who made use of PCs and the internet where already referred to the term webaholics or cyberholics. Pratarelli et al. suggests that it has already been labeled “a cluster of behaviors as well as problems” as computer or Internet addiction.  [16]

There are other examples of computer games that date back to the earliest computer games . Press-have furthermore carry Noted That Some Finnish Defense Forces conscripts Were not mature enough to meet the demands of military life, and Were required to interrupt or postpone military services for a year. One reported source of the lack of social skills is overuse of computer games or the Internet. Forbes termed this overuse “Web fasteners”, and stated that they were responsible for 12 such interrupts or deferrals over the 5 years from 2000-2005.  dead link  ]  [18]  [19]

See also

  • Computer rage
  • Digital addict
  • Underearners Anonymous
  • Video game addiction


  1. ^ Jump up to: b   Pies, R (2009). “Should DSM-V Designate” Internet Addiction “have Mental Disorder?” .  Psychiatry  .  6  (2): 31-37. PMC  2719452  . PMID  19724746 .
  2. Jump up^   Block, JJ (March 1, 2008). “Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction”.  American Journal of Psychiatry  .  165  (3): 306-7. doi : 10.1176 / appi.ajp.2007.07101556 . PMID  18316427 .
  3. Jump up^   Răşcanu, Ruxandra; Marineanu, Corina; Marineanu, Vasile; Sumedrea, Cristian Mihai; Chitu, Alexandru (May 2013). “Teenagers and their Addiction to Computer”.  Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences  .  78  : 225-229. doi : 10.1016 / j.sbspro.2013.04.284 .
  4. Jump up^   Lemmens, Jeroen S .; Valkenburg, Patti M .; Peter, Jochen (26 February 2009). “Development and Validation of a Game Addiction Scale for Adolescents”.  Media Psychology  .  12  (1): 77-95. doi : 10.1080 / 15213260802669458 .
  5. Jump up^   Yellowlees, Peter; Marks (May 2007). “Problematic Internet use or Internet addiction?” .  ScienceDirect  .  23  (3): 1447-1453. doi : 10.1016 / j.chb.2005.05.004 . Retrieved 13 February 2014 .
  6. Jump up^  “Computer Addiction” . ADDICTIONS.COM . Retrieved 5 December2013 .
  7. Jump up^   Young, Kimberly S .; Rogers, Robert C. (1998). “The Relationship Between Depression and Internet Addiction”.  CyberPsychology & Behavior 1  : 25. doi : 10.1089 / cpb.1998.1.25 .
  8. Jump up^   Whang, Leo Sang-Min; Lee, Sujin; Chang, Geunyoung (2003). Internet Over-Users Psychological Profiles: A Behavior Sampling Analysis on Internet Addiction.  CyberPsychology & Behavior  .  6  (2): 143. doi : 10.1089 / 109493103321640338 .
  9. Jump up^  “Computer Game Addiction” .  Berkeley Parents Network  . Retrieved 25 June 2007 .
  10. Jump up^   Hauge, Marney R. and Robert James ‘Paynee’ (April 2003). “Video game addiction among teenagers: Associations with academic performance and aggression” (PDF) . Retrieved 25 June 2007 .  Paper presented at a Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Tampa Florida
  11. Jump up^   Tanner, Lindsey (22 June 2007). “Is video-game addiction to mental disorder?” . Associated Press . Retrieved 2009-05-09 .
  12. Jump up^   Wang, Z .; Chernev, JM; Solloway, T. (2012). “A dynamic longitudinal examination of social media use, needs, and gratifications among college students”.  Computers in Human Behavior  .  28  (5): 1829-1839. doi :10.1016 / j.chb.2012.05.001 .
  13. Jump up^   Morahan-Martin, J .; Schumacher, P. (2003). “Loneliness and social uses of the internet”.  Computers in Human Behavior  .  19  (6): 659-671. doi: 10.1016 / S0747-5632 (03) 00040-2 .
  14. Jump up^   Walk, Stephen (2012). “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” . The Atlantic . Retrieved July 12, 2013 .
  15. Jump up^  Brian Dear, Chapter 21 – Coming of Age,The Friendly Orange Glow, Pantheon Books, New York, 2017; see pages 381-387 for a discussion of addiction on PLATO, page 382 quotes to 1975 article fromThe Daily Illinithat discusses the subject.
  16. ^ Jump up to: b   Pratarelli, Mark E .; Browne, Blaine L .; Johnson, Kimberly (June 1999). “The bits and bytes of computer / internet addiction: A factor analytic approach”.  Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers  .  31  (2): 305-314. doi : 10.3758 / BF03207725 .
  17. Jump up^   Robert H. Anderson Analysis Center for Information Revolution (1995).  Universal access to e-mail: feasibility and societal implications  . Santa Monica, Calif .: Rand. ISBN  9780833023315 .
  18. Jump up^  “WHO Study Shows Finnish Teenage Boys As Heavy Computer Users” . Helsingin Sanomat . Retrieved 2007-07-17 .
  19. Jump up^   Lea Goldman (2005-09-05). “This Is Your Brain on Clicks” . Forbes . Retrieved 2007-07-17 .

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