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Ready for Internet Rehab? Majority of Americans Addicted to Web

Woman addicted to Internet   / Credit: Internet addiction image via Shutterstock

Here's the good news — sort of. If you're already addicted to cigarettes or drinking, you're less likely to be addicted to the Internet, a new public opinion poll shows. But the bad news is that 61 percent of us still feel like we're addicted to the Internet.

But for those who feel they are too wed to the Web, this is where denial kicks in: 39 percent of people who said they were addicted to the Internet said they could quit if they wanted to, according to a new poll on Sodahead.com, an online opinion-based social community.

Internet addiction has actually been recognized as a "clinical disorder" since 1996, when a study on it was published in the journal Cyberpsychology and Behavior, the folks at Sodahead.com said.

[Not Tonight, Honey, I'm on My Smartphone]

Though some studies have shown that Internet addiction can have as powerful a hold on people as substance abuse, voters in the poll who admitted to using other substances were less likely to claim Internet addiction. Only 48 percent of smokers said they were also addicted to the Internet while 65 percent of their nicotine-free brethren owned up to digital dependency.

But there appeared to be a stronger link between drinking and an Internet addiction than there is for smoking, according to the poll. While 64 percent of teetotalers claimed to be addicted to the Web — roughly the same percentage as for nonsmokers claiming Internet addiction —nearly as many (57 percent) drinkers confessed to dual addictions.

Internet addiction is far from being a boys' club, the poll shows. In fact, female respondents were more likely to feel addicted (64 percent) than males (55 percent).

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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