Science boffins are telling us that they have compared brain scans of young people with “internet addiction disorder” with their peers and found damage to the white matter fibres connecting emotional processing, attention and decision making parts. Similar impairments have been found in research into other addictions including alcohol and cocaine. It comes after researchers at the University of Worcesters found that smartphones are so addictive many users now hear “phantom vibrations” because they are desperate to receive new messages.
Up to one in 10 internet users are thought to be addicted, becoming so absorbed in web use that they forgo food or drink for prolonged periods.
The head psychiatrist who runs Britain’s only NHS clinic for internet addicts says that ‘The majority of people we see with serious internet addiction are gamers – people who spend long hours in roles in various games that cause them to disregard their obligations’.
So do you agree with this evidence? Do you think our next generation of online gamers could be our next generation of addicts?