Monday, August 25, 2014

What's in a Name: Compulsive Use of the Internet, Internet Addiction, etc?

Although the term “Internet Addiction” is commonly used in mainstream literature, education forums online, and awareness materials, the term is not officially recognized as an addiction or medical diagnosis, yet. There are two reasons for this: 1) Addiction (or disorder) is a term reserved for an bona fide medical condition included in psychiatric, medical, and other diagnostic guides and manuals, and 2) the term has historically been used to describe dozens of different related syndromes associated with the compulsive use of technology in general that are important to distinguish. The preferred term is “compulsive internet use”. Other forms of compulsive use of technology include Facebook and social media use, gambling online, gaming, viewing pornography, online shopping, and financial trading. Any of these may impact and reduce workplace productivity, also known as “time theft”. Beyond electronic discovery of time consumed online, the most common productivity issue is work assignments not delivered on time, lying about use of time on the job, or lying about use the Internet for important business purposes. To document productivity issues, assign your employee measurable goals like a certain number of widgets or tasks that must be completed on time, very week.