The United States could be full of Internet addicts as clinically ill as alcoholics, a study released last Tuesday suggested.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, said their telephone survey showed that more than one in eight US residents showed at least one sign of “problematic Internet use.”
The findings backed those of previous, less rigorous studies, according to the Stanford researchers.
Most disturbing was the discovery that some people hid their Internet surfing, or went online to cure foul moods in ways that are very similar to how alcoholics use alcohol, according to the study's lead author, Elias Aboujaoude.
“In a sense, they're using the Internet to self-medicate,” Aboujaoude said. “And obviously something is wrong when people go out of their way to hide their Internet activity.”
According to research, the typical Internet addict is a single, college-educated white male in his 30s, who spends approximately 30 hours a week on non-essential computer use.
Stanford researchers interviewed 2,513 adults in a nationwide household survey. Because Internet addiction has not been clinically defined as a medical condition, study questions were based on established addiction disorders.
Research indicated that nearly 14 percent of the respondents found it difficult to stay away from the Internet for several days and that slightly more than 12 percent often remained online longer than expected.
More than eight percent of the people surveyed said they hid “non-essential” Internet use from family, friends or employers and nearly the same number went online to flee from real-world problems.
Nearly six percent of the respondents felt that their personal relationships suffered due to their excessive Internet use.(AFP)
1. clinically adv.
臨床上地 (lin2 chuang2 shang4 di5)
例: My friend was in the hospital because she was clinically depressed.
2. problematic adj.
有問題的 (you3 wen4 ti2 de5)
例: Don't you find the fact that women still earn far less money than men to be problematic?
3. rigorous adj.
嚴格的 (yan2 ge2 de5)，嚴密的 (yan2 mi4 de5)
例: I hope you're prepared for the army's rigorous training.
4. excessive adj.
過度的 (guo4 du4 de5)
例: Isn't three presents for your boyfriend a little excessive?