Internet Addiction: A Multi- Faceted Disorder
The current paper is a critical commentary on the existing conceptualization of Internet Addiction. Specifically, the paper highlights fallacies in perceiving Internet Addiction as a ‘traditional’ addiction disorder, as presented in the DSM-5. Instead, it is proposed that, akin to the nature of the Internet, this disorder is also multi-faceted and that individuals are not addicted to the Internet per se, but rather to what the Internet may offer. Further, the paper discusses the need to distinguish between clinical addiction and subclinical Internet usage. In particular, it is argued that excessive Internet use can enhance and facilitate productivity, and that a distinction must be made between essential and non-essential uses of the Internet, as well as the proportion of time spent on these two types of activities. Last, the paper questions the validity of existing measures of Internet Addiction. It is suggested that it may be beneficial for the understanding and conceptualization of Internet Addiction to move away from existing addiction and impulsecontrol models, and instead be framed independently.