I had been the first person on earth to print a academic paper on internet dependence back in November 1996, so it is very good to realize that the amount of research into this topic has grown considerably over the previous twenty decades, exploring the disease in a number of distinct ways. However, in spite of growing academic penetration to state that somebody is “addicted” to the world wide web isn’t quite as straightforward as you might think.
The recently published study is one of several in the area which has conducted experiments to online dependence, instead of studying participants or analyzing what happens within the minds of people who spend excessive amount of time on the internet.
Reed’s study, printed in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, included 100 adult volunteers that had been deprived of online access for just four hours.
The group tracked each of the websites that the participants seen, and following another 15-minute interval they were asked to think about their first colour that came to mind. The participants were asked to complete different psychometric surveys such as the online Addiction Test (IAT).
In preceding IAT studies, people who scored 80 or over (out of 100) are usually defined as having a likely addiction to the web.
Those called as “high-problem [net] consumers” on the basis of IAT scores in this study were far more likely to select a color that was notable on the sites they visited throughout the 15-minute interval after net deprivation. This was not seen in those not known as net addicts.
Based on Reed: “The net addicts picked a color linked to the sites they’d only visited [and this] indicates that aspects of those sites seen after a period with no internet became positively appreciated.
He added : “Similar findings are seen with individuals who abuse substances, together with past studies demonstrating a cue related to any medication that alleviates withdrawal gets positively appreciated itself. This is actually the first time however that this effect was seen to get a behavioural dependence like debatable online use”.
The Issue With ‘Dependence’
The amount of high difficulty internet users which were deprived net access for four hours included only 12 people so the sample size has been unbelievably low. The people classed as large difficulty net users’d IAT scores ranging from 40 to 72, therefore it’s exceedingly improbable that any of those participants were really hooked on the web.
And even though the IAT is potentially the most used monitor within the specialty, it’s questionable validity and reliability, and because it was invented in 1998, is currently quite obsolete. Utilizing more recently developed tools like our own Web Presence Scale rather than the IAT could have possibly overcome a number of those issues, as the standards used to evaluate internet addiction are directly modelled over the nine utilized from the DSM-5.
Additionally, there are considerably wider issues by means of the expression “internet addiction”: although the amount of research within the area of online addiction has grown, many have investigated addictions on that the world wide web instead of to the world wide web. For example, people addicted to internet gambling, online gaming or online shopping aren’t net addicts. They’re gambling addicts, gambling enthusiasts or shopping addicts which are using the medium of the world wide web to participate in their addictive behavior.
There are obviously a few actions — for example social media — which could be claimed to be a real kind of online addiction as such actions only occur online. On the other hand, the dependence is to a application in place of the net itself and this ought to be termed social media dependence as opposed to an online addiction.
In a nutshell, the overwhelming bulk of so-called net addicts aren’t any more hooked on the net than alcoholics are addicted to the real bottle.