A hoax turns true
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.