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Friday, January 2, 2015

6 Percent Worldwide are Affected by Internet Addiction

We live in a digital age, where our lives are consumed with technology. Desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are as much a part of everyday life as air and water. However, for some people reliance on the internet can be unhealthy, leading to addiction. In fact, new research has found that 6 percent of people worldwide are affected by internet addiction, Medical News Today reports.

Internet addiction is characterized by an impulse-control problem, where users are unable to inhibit Internet use. This behavior can be detrimental to a person's life, affecting their health and interpersonal relationships, according to the article. A study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal; found that Internet addiction varies among regions around the world.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 89,000 individuals in 31 countries. Cecelia Cheng and Angel Yee-lam Li, of The University of Hong Kong, present 164 Internet addiction prevalence figures - ranging from a low of 2.6% in Northern and Western Europe to a high of 10.9% in the Middle East. They found that Internet addiction had an overall global prevalence estimate of 6.0%

"This study provides initial support for the inverse relationship between quality of life and Internet Addiction (IA). It, however, finds no support for the hypothesis that high Internet accessibility (such as the high penetration rates in northern and western Europe), promote IA," says Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCB, BCN, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

The article, "Internet Addiction Prevalence and Quality of (Real) Life: A Meta-Analysis of 31 Nations Across Seven World Regions” is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website until January 18, 2015.

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