We’ve probably all experienced it at some point – you really have no reason to stay online… but you do so nonetheless. But six percent of the global population actually suffers from internet addiction (IA).

Internet addiction affects over 400 million people, study finds.

Addiction is defined as a substance or activity which is initially pleasurable, but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Does that sound familiar? If yes, then you just might have a case of internet addiction.

“The IA prevalence rate was more than threefold higher than that of pathological gambling (0.2% to 2.1%), another impulse control disorder”, researchers explain.

Upon reading this study, you either be shocked that over 400 million people in the world are addicted to the internet, or be surprised that only six percent are. However, you have to keep in mind that only an estimated 39% of people in the world actually have access to internet, and out of them, only a fraction can afford smartphones and can be connected at all times.

“Internet addiction (IA) has emerged as a universal issue, but its international estimates vary vastly”, the paper writes.

However, what’s perhaps even more surprising is that the prevalence of internet addiction ranges from “only” 2.6% in Northern and Western Europe to a high of 10.9% in the Middle East. You’d maybe expect people from the most developed areas in the world to have a high prevalence, but this isn’t the case apparently.

However, the actual global figure may be different; researchers didn’t have any data available from Africa so the present findings may not necessarily be applicable to African nations, which have a far lower Internet penetration rate (16%) than the rest of the world.

Journal Reference.

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