Internet addiction is prevalent in every corner of the world but it is as high as 10% in the Middle East, which is considered a conflict zone and less at 2.6% in Northern and Western europe, which are relatively peaceful regions in the world. In all, 6 percent of the world population is addicted to Internet, said a study conducted by Hong Kong researchers.
Internet Addiction is emerging as an impulse-control problem that can adversely impact a person’s life, including their health and interpersonal relationships and its prevalence varies from region to region, according to data collected from more than 89,000 individuals in 31 countries.
The study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal was conducted by Cecelia Cheng and Angel Yee-lam Li of the University of Hong Kong. They have presented 164 Internet addiction prevalence figures, with an overall global prevalence estimate of 6.0%.
Prevalence ranged from a low of 2.6% in Northern and Western Europe to a high of 10.9% in the Middle East. The researchers said factors associated with higher Internet addiction prevalence show how it relates to individuals’ quality of life. While the Middle East comes under high political risk region, the developed regions of Northern and Western Europe show less prevalence of Internet addiction.
Another finding of the study is that the internet addiction is not related to internet penetration. In fact, northern and western Europe have a very high penetration of internet connectivity but their addiction rates are one of the lowest observed in the study, whereas in the Middle East the addiction is high despite a relatively less access to Internet, noted the study.
“This study provides initial support for the inverse relationship between quality of life and Internet Addiction (IA). It, however, finds no support for the hypothesis that high Internet accessibility (such as the high penetration rates in northern and western Europe), promote IA,” says Editor-in-Chief Brenda Wiederhold of the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California.