Richard Davis believes that people are not addicted to the internet, however some exhibit pathological behaviors so he believes a better term for over use of the internet is pathological internet use. He does use the term internet addiction for the sake of simplicity.
He describes the internet a s a tool for communication. We can use it at the office, at school, and at home to communicate with people, find information for work and school, find research for projects or just simply use it for entertainment. People can find jokes on the internet, use instant messenger to quickly relay messages to friends or co-workers or simply play games at work, school or in our home. He describes being online for the most part an enjoyable experience.
Richard Davis describes many symptoms of intenet addiction. Some include "academic/work or interpersonal problems, neglecting friends, family, and job or personal responsibilities, withdrawal when away from the internet, irritability when attempting to stop using the internet, staying online more than originally intended, lying or concealing how much time you spend online, and a general decrease in physical activity.".
Richard believes that people with internet addiction behave and think differently. At times they feel as though the internet is their only friend and they have obsessive thoughts about it. Sometimes the individual my isolate themselves from their friends and family and only feel comfortable with the friends they have made online. At the end of the article he advises anyone with these symptoms to go see a doctor or psychologist who can help them.
Jupitor Communications, Inc., a New York based research firm indicates that there will be 116 million Americans online by 2002. Some researchers say 5% to 10% of Internet users have the potential for and internet addiction. This is not an addiction like one would have towards drugs or alcohol, however it does have some characteristics.