Washington, Dec 19: As many as 6 per cent people in the world are addicted to the internet which may be adversely affecting their lives, including their health and interpersonal relationships, according to a new global study which included data from India.
Internet addiction is an impulse-control problem marked by an inability to inhibit Internet use, which can negatively impact a person's life, health and interpersonal relationships, researchers said.
The prevalence of Internet addiction varies among regions around the world, according to data from more than 89,000 individuals in 31 countries. Researchers Cecelia Cheng and Angel Yee-lam Li, from The University of Hong Kong, found that internet addiction affects 6 per cent of people worldwide.
Prevalence ranged from a low of 2.6 per cent in Northern and Western Europe to a high of 10.9 per cent in the Middle East.
In Asia, which included data from China, Hong Kong, India, South Korea and Taiwan, 7.1 per cent people were found to be addicted to the internet.
"This study provides initial support for the inverse relationship between quality of life and Internet Addiction (IA)," according to the research published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
"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," said Editor-in-Chief Brenda K Wiederhold, Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.