Internet addiction disorder (IAD), or, more broadly, Internet overuse, problematic computer use or pathological computer use, is excessive computer use that interferes with daily life. These terms avoid the term addiction and are not limited to any single cause.
IAD was originally proposed as a disorder in a satirical hoax by Ivan Goldberg, M.D., in 1995. He took pathological gambling as diagnosed by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as his model for the description of IAD. It is not, however, included in the current DSM as of 2009. IAD receives coverage in the press, and possible future classification as a psychological disorder continues to be debated and researched.
Online activities which, if done in person, would normally be considered troublesome, such as compulsive gambling, or shopping, are sometimes called net compulsions. Other habits such as reading, playing computer games, or watching a staggering amount of internet videos or movies are all troubling only to the extent that these activities interfere with normal life. Supporters of disorder classification often divide IAD into subtypes by activity, such as excessive, overwhelming, or inappropriate pornography use, gaming, online social networking, blogging, email, or Internet shopping. Opponents note that compulsive behaviors may not themselves be addictive.
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