A hoax turns true

Down to Earth - - HEALTH -

In 1995, the In­ter­net Ad­dic­tion Disorder (IAD) be­gan as a hoax when a New York-based psy­chi­a­trist Ivan Gold­berg posted a memo on psy­com.net, an on­line psy­chi­a­try bulletin board. It was a prank, mak­ing fun of the coun­try's Di­ag­nos­tic and Sta­tis­ti­cal Man­ual of Men­tal Disorder (DSM), the lead­ing ref­er­ence for psy­chi­atric re­search and di­ag­no­sis world­wide, and was try­ing to high­light the grow­ing trend of over-di­ag­no­sis among psy­chi­a­trists. Sur­pris­ingly, a good num­ber of In­ter­net users re­sponded to it, doubt­ing them­selves as In­ter­net ad­dicts.

The next chap­ter in the his­tory of IAD was writ­ten when Kimberly Young, a psy­chi­a­trist, pre­sented her re­search find­ing in the meet­ing of Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion (APA), the world's largest psy­chi­atric or­gan­i­sa­tion in 1996, and claimed that more than half of the peo­ple she had stud­ied were de­pen­dent on the In­ter­net. Since then, with the ex­pand­ing use of the In­ter­net, sev­eral coun­tries are re­port­ing ad­dic­tion to this ubiq­ui­tous tech­nol­ogy.

As per in­ter­netlives­tats.com, a web­site pro­vid­ing data of In­ter­net users, around 40 per cent of the world pop­u­la­tion has an In­ter­net con­nec­tion. In 1995, it was less than 1 per cent. The num­ber in­creased 10-fold be­tween 1999 and 2013.

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