Research Paper Theme: Social Impact of the Internet 8 October 1997 ABSTRACT The Internet is the largest source of information in the world today. With its web sites and chat rooms, it is a means of communicating with people in places all over the face of the earth. Since its conception in 1973, the Internet has grown at a whirlwind rate. 51 million adults, were on-line as of the second quarter 1997 in the United States alone. Some say that the Internet is so enjoyable that it is almost addictive. The problem is that researchers are beginning to agree with them. Studies are revealing that there may be an actual form of addiction involved with over-use of the Internet. Identifying which category of addiction the Internet falls into is the problem. There are no real answers yet because research in this area is at the beginning stages. While lost in this so called "Cyber Community" for long periods of time, people are neglecting other important activities like; time with the family, socializing, work and health concerns. One of the most extensive studies on Internet Addiction to date was conducted by Dr. Kimberly S. Young of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. In her study, she revealed concrete evidence supporting the Internet Addiction claim. However, help for web addicts is available. There are several web sites available for the treatment of Internet addiction, as well as counseling centers and clinics. Is it Live, or is it Internet? Internet Addiction The Internet is the largest most versatile source of information in the world today. With its web sites and chat rooms, it is a means of communicating with people in places all over the face of the earth. But with all this power at our fingertips, are there any negative impacts of using this interface? Are we as "simple humans" capable of interacting with such a powerful communication source. Recent studies are beginning to uncover evidence that would suggest that maybe some of us are not so capable of dealing with this technology.