The results come from a 2010 government survey investigating the effects of Internet use on the South Korean population.
Although developed nations, including the U.S and UK, are rushing to catch up with South Korea’s advanced technology, experts question whether being constantly connected to our gadgets is really such a good thing after all.
Internet and gaming addiction are not currently listed in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the generally accepted manual for all medically accepted mental health disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association has revealed that the next DSM revision will include ‘Internet Use Disorder’ as an area warranting further research.
Here in Britain we clearly love our gaming and social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to avoid such websites as businesses rely more and more on these platforms for marketing and networking purposes.
So how can you tell the difference between a love for all things online, and an actual ‘Internet addiction’?
Dr. Han Doug-hyun, who runs a research lab in Chung-Ang University Hospital in South Korea, has compiled a list of five warning signs to look out for:
1. Your everyday life pattern is disrupted – you stay up all night and sleep late into the day.
2. You begin neglecting your responsibilities, such as going to work or school, in order to stay at home to play games or browse the net.
3. You feel an increasing need to spend longer and longer on the computer in order to gain the same amount of enjoyment.
4. You feel irritable or anxious when you disconnect from the computer (i.e. when made by parents, friends, colleagues etc. to log off).
5. You feel a craving creep in when you haven’t been on the computer for a while – you feel like you’re missing out on something, and have a powerful urge to go home and log back in.
Some counsellors specialise in Internet addiction. To find out more about what this is and how it could be treated by a counsellor, please visit our page on Internet Addiction.
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