The 365 Ways Blog

Michael Norton is author of "365 Ways to Change the World", which provides an issue for each day of the year, interesting facts, inspiring case studies of people doing things to address the issue and ideas for action. Originally published in the UK, versions with local content have been published in Australia, Canada, India, South Africa and the USA. To find out more visit our website:

27 November 2007

Are you addicted to the intenet?

Are you addicted to alcohol… tobacco… heroin… gambling? Of course you’re not. But what about the internet? Compulsive internet use has now been identified as a mental health issue in some countries, including the US and also South Korea where over 90% of homes now have a broadband connection. Internet gaming, on-line gambling, frequenting chat rooms and fantasy worlds such as Second Life, social networking are giving people a "PC bang" which they find hard to do without.

Research in South Korea indicates that around 30% of young people under 18 are at risk of addiction. To address the problem, the South Korean government has built a national network of 140 counselling centres, set up treatment programmes in 100 hospitals and most recently paid for young people to go to a “boot camp” to try to get them to kick the habit. The camp which is called the Jump Up Internet Rescue School lasts for 12 days and has around 5 participants; there is hard physical exercise plus group activities to encourage young people to form real relationships. It seems to be working.

Take the test; find out if you are internet-addicted
Are you addicted to the internet or rapidly going that way? Find out. Take the Internet Addiction Test which has been developed by the Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery.

This 20-item questionnaire is the first validated and reliable measure of addictive use of the Internet. It measures mild, moderate, and severe levels of Internet Addiction.

These are the first 5 questions:
1. How often do you find that you stay on-line longer than you intended?
2. How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time on-line?
3. How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy with your partner?
4. How often do you form new relationships with fellow on-line users?
5. How often do others in your life complain to you about the amount of time you spend on-line?

Answer these and the remaining 15 questions, and see if you are addicted.

Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery:
The Internet Addiction Test:


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