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While novel means of communication enable us to stay in constant contact, email, twitter and facebook can also result in compulsive use and negative consequences.

Interpersonal communication has evolved on the back of changes in internet technology. Only a couple of years ago, very few people engaged in social networking. Now, Facebook and Twitter are normal means of everyday communication.

While many people enjoy social networking as an easy and fun way to communicate beyond an immediate social circle, others become seduced by the temptations and allure of constant communication, and become compulsive users, spending many hours a day checking and rechecking networking accounts.

The symptoms and warning signs of a Facebook or Twitter addiction are similar to those for internet addiction.

Who Is at Greatest Risk of an Internet Addiction?

People who suffer from a primary mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, seem at greatest risk of compulsive internet use. Newly published research out of Asia indicates that kids and teens with ADHD and other behavior disorders may be at an increased risk as well.

Internet Addiction Treatment

Although a person can abstain from alcohol, drugs or gambling, it is now virtually impossible to live and work without accessing computers and the internet. Treatment therefore generally focuses on teaching people to use with moderation and avoid compulsive use.

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Page last updated Feb 07, 2011

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