IDG Answers is a community of experts who are passionate about technology. Ask a question or answer one below.
I agree that there is a difference is substance dependency and behavioral “addiction.” However, I’m not sure that I agree that the divide is quite as rigid as you make it sound. Some behaviors can cause verifiable chemical changes in the brain, and the effect is not all that different that taking a drug.
I think it is fair to compare internet addiction with gambling, especially when you are talking about online gaming. The consensus view through the early 80s was to look at uncontrolled gambling as a compulsion or impulse control disorder rather than an addiction. This has changed, and starting with DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), compulsive gambling is classified as an addiction. This change didn’t happen overnight, and reflects serious academic research and debate.
The same chemical, dopamine, is released into the brain during gambling (or online gaming, one would presume) as is released when taking drugs like amphetamines or cocaine. Dopamine pushes pretty much all of the human “pleasure buttons” so that someone addicted to a behavior experiences nearly the same “high” as someone using those drugs. When another dopamine rush is only one bet or Zerg Rush away, that is a powerful incentive to have another go. At that point, how different is a gaming addiction different from a drug addiction? It’s really only the matter of achieving the high that is different.
Now when you are talking about just surfing the web, I’m not so sure that I would call that an addiction. There isn’t an obvious stimulant that would cause dopamine to be released by just reading an article or looking at kitty photos. In that case, my off the cuff reaction would be to look at that as poor impulse control because it’s more fun to look at teh kitteh than it is to get your work done. There could be an underlying factor at work though, such as ADD or ADHD.
If you are using or woking as professionally than it will be not addiction. But if you are using it for chating and dating, gaming or other these kinds of activity. people or user can't live one day using internet for doing these activity, actually they are adicted.