What is Addiction to the Internet?

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An addiction to the Internet is when someone cannot carry out a satisfactory life due to the excessive and uncontrolled use of the Internet, whether it may be online games, social networks, shopping, watching all kinds of videos, or surfing.

As happens with other types of addictions, people with this addiction show:

Person who does not have wifi and is angry

Irritability and unease when they are unable to access the Internet, a state that is known as withdrawal.

Mobile with an up arrow indicating increased use

A need to keep on increasing the time connected in order to feel satisfied, a process that is known as tolerance.

Girl running crossed out

Difficulties in maintaining normal activities, such as family relationships, academic performance, and pleasure or sports activities with friends.

How many people does Internet Addiction affect?

According to a study in Spain, 1.5% of boys between 12 and 17 years have an addiction to the Internet. This figure is lower than that of countries like China, Taiwan or Korea, where the percentage of people with this problem is around 30%. 

Types of Internet Addiction

More than a single disorder, “addiction to the Internet” includes different problems:

Video game controller

Addiction to video games. Excessive use of video games and computer games. Games such as World of Warcraft (WoW), League of Legends (LoL), Fortnite, Minecraft, Pokemon Go, Mario Kart, or Candy Crush, are those that are ultimately more addictive for adolescents.

Person with social media icons

Addiction to social networks: Excessive use of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. The individuals with this problem review the “wall”, publish updates, comment on photos, or read updates of others constantly. Social interactions through the Internet can become more common and important than relationships in person.

Mobile with euro sign

Addiction to betting games. Unlike that of videogames, the main reason for individuals with addiction to betting games is to win money.

Mobile with a play

Addiction to online entertainment. It is defined as excessive visits to web pages or watching videos online (YouTube). It can often be seen as a way of occupying free time or delaying obligations.

Screen with a naked body

Addiction to pornography or cybersex. It involves the compulsive watching and collecting of pornography online or excess use of chat or video services for adults.

Información general de Mental Health in Children and Adolescents

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Substantiated information by:

Eva Varela

Published: 16 October 2019
Updated: 16 October 2019


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