University of Florida researchers say that high internet use may be harmful to your health and emotional state, as well as may be an indicator of mental problems. Tell Gothamist something we don't already know. "Web surfing, e-mailing, instant messaging, gaming, shopping, downloading music and visiting chat rooms become troublesome when they interfere with someone's job or social life" according to the CNN article that we'll be forwarding to our friends and colleagues as Exhibit 2953 in "The Cafe For Gothamist's Insanity." Also, high Internet use might not just be dysfunctional - it could be a "byproduct" of something like manic depression. No joke - that study had a sample size of 37.
And here are five areas that doctors can probe, in order to gauge their patients' internet use:
More than intended time spent online
Other responsibilities neglected
Unsuccessful attempts to cut down
Significant relationship discord because of use
Excessive thoughts or anxiety when not online.
Yeah, "MOUSE." Jeffrey Cole, director of the UCLA Center for Communications Policy, says "Its very useful for some people to spend high amounts of time on the Internet for work, school and recreation." Indeed: For shut-ins and nerds.
Time and more findings will tell whether Internet addiction will get a separate listing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or whether "problematic Internet use" should just be classified with all other impulse control disorders (ex. pathological gambling).