Internet Addiction in Adults – Common Causes

As is the case with most addictions, most instances of Internet addiction develop gradually over time. In fact, such addiction could be especially difficult to both identify and treat in a world where 24/7 connectivity is the standard norm. In the case of people suffering from genuine Internet addiction, it is usually a case of casual use snowballing over time into something much more grave. Sadly, it is often not until the situation becomes relatively serious that the issue is realised and action taken.

According to the professionals at, the answer to avoiding Internet addiction could be found in better understanding of what causes the addiction in the first place. Exactly what leads any person into developing addiction would to a large extent vary – as is the norm with all addictions. Nonetheless, there are a few identifiable causes which if acknowledged could be helpful in avoiding such behaviour.

Easy Availability

According to a recent study carried out by ABC News in the US, more than 5% of adults in fact suffer from Internet addiction – some of course more severely than others. Explaining why such vast numbers of the population are now dealing with the real problem of Internet addiction, the experts declare that the most important cause of all is the easy availability. The Internet is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and it has become so simple to spend long periods of time online. And that is in fact what millions of people are doing – technically falling into addiction without realising it.

Protection from the Real World

For many people Internet addiction is the result of going online as something of a protection from the real world. Naturally, why these people would want to escape the real world would vary from one individual to the next, but in all cases the web has become an accessible “second reality” for anybody in any way unhappy with their lives. Some for instance would turn to the Internet as a way to feel less lonely, others to avoid social interaction and some to find consolation in a case of bereavement. In all such cases, the web could especially beneficial and helpful, though when used excessively and compulsively can lead to addiction.

Anxiety and Depression

People with a history of anxiety or depression tend to be more prone to falling into Internet addiction than others. In such cases, seeking and finding relief and entertainment online could lead to a situation where the web becomes the only source of happiness. Over time, this type of compulsiveness and dependence could make connecting with the real world very difficult, in some cases intensifying the problems with anxiety and depression.

Computer Games

Online computer gaming has often been singled out by many experts as one of the causes of Internet addiction. With the enormous availability and choice of games and access to a huge global community of gamers, it has become possible to play a game at any time with anyone else on the face of the planet, often free of charge. Therefore, it is largely natural that a large proportion of the gaming community will face issues with some severity of gaming addiction – complete availability being the root cause.


Once a niche market with a modest global clientele, the web has transformed the modern face of pornography in ways not many could have imagines. Pornography addiction is becoming one of the most life-affecting and common addictions associated with the web. As in the cases already discussed, it is the way infinite volumes of pornography could be accessed instantly at any time and free of charge that is leading to what could be a healthy interest turning into something much more detrimental, reinforcing the value of knowing exactly where to draw the line and maintaining control.

Seeking Professional Help

As each instance of Internet addiction is as unique as the person in question, there is no such thing as wrong or right time to seek professional help. Even if it is simply to receive advice about the various ways Internet addiction could be avoided, it is always worth consulting with a professional to discuss one of the 21st century’s most important subjects.