Investigative Report Of Internet Addiction


Prepared for
Dr. Jere Mitchum
By
Marwan
November 4 , 1996

TABLE OF CONTENT

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ...............................................iv
ABSTRACT.............................................................v
INTRODUCTION ........................................................1
Purpose .............................................................1
Growth Of The Internet ..............................................1
THE ADDICTION .......................................................2
What causes it ......................................................2
Symptoms ............................................................3
How To Overcome The Addiction........................................4
The elements of any addiction........................................4
CONCLUSION ..........................................................8
One Last Interesting Question .......................................9
REFERENCES ..........................................................10

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Figures

1. The number of networks connected to the Internet vs. Time.
2. The percentage of the Internet domains
3. Will the equation people = Internet Users be true in 2001?

ABSTRACT

The problem of Internet addiction is not very noticeable now and that\'s why not
many people are taking it seriously, but what these people are failing to see is
the connection between the very rapid growth of the Internet and the addiction
problem. It is really simple logic the bigger the Internet get the more users
will be which will lead to a bigger number of addicts that can have their lives
as well as others corrupted by this behavior. The main objective of this paper
is to make sure that all reader know and understand what Internet addiction is
and how it can be solved or avoided. I can not offer a professional psychiatric
solution but I believe if a person knows more about the addiction, the better
chance they have to help themselves as well as others; that\'s why I have
included a short summary of the elements of addiction.

I hope that by the time you read my paper you will have a better understanding
about this issue to keep yourself as well as others of taking Internet addiction
lightly.

INTRODUCTION

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to make you, the reader, alert and more aware of
the newest type of addiction, Internet addiction. Many people would call it
exaggeration to classify spending a lot of time on the Internet as an addiction,
but since the subject is a fairly new not everybody is taking it as serious as
they should be.

Growth of the Internet

I am sure that everybody knows what the Internet and used it at least a couple
of times so there is no need for me to tell you what the Internet is. However,
the incredible growth of the size and technology of the Internet is a fact well
worth mentioning.

Ever since the Internet was commercially introduced to the public late in 1989
the number of the networks that form the Internet have been increasing
exponentially. As you can see in figure 1 in the United States there is a new
network connected to the Internet every 30 minutes.

Figure 1 Number of Networks connected (Source:
ftp://nic.merit.edu/statistics/nsfnet)

Not all these networks are commercial, some are educational some are for
organizations and some are simply networks that provide Internet services. All
these different kind of networks can be identified on the Internet by their
domain extension, or in other words the last three letters in the address -e.g.
http://www.arabia.com is a commercial site because of the .com- in figure 2 the
percentage of all four major domains is shown, and it is obvious that the big
share goes to the commercial domains. It does not take a genius to figure out
that since the Internet attracted that much commercial interest that means that
more and more people are using the Internet, and even more are willing to spend
time and money on it.

Figure 2 (Source of data: http://www.nw.com)

THE ADDICTION

With such vast growth of the Internet what is considered as a small problem can
grow along with the Internet to cause an even bigger problem. In a recent
publication in the Los Angeles Times Mathew McAlleseter reported on a survey
conducted on the Internet by Victor Brenner who came up with the following
results: "17% said that they spend more than 40 hours a week online, 31% said
that their work performance had deteriorated since they started using the
Internet, 7% got "into hot water" with their employers or schools for Internet
related activities" (LA Times, 5/5/1996, pp A-18).However, Brenner acknowledges
that his survey is unscientific in many ways; respondents are self-selected and
many may be Internet researchers. On the other hand, Dr. Kimberly Young from the
University of Pittsgurg-Bradford conducted a more accurate survey that included
396 men and women. In her point of view heavy on-line users in her study all met
psychiatric criteria for clinical dependence applied to alcoholics and drug
addicts. They had lost control over their Net usage and couldn\'t end it despite
harmful effects on their personal and professional lives. What Causes It

Finding a reason for Internet addiction can be as hard as finding