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Computer addiction, a loosely used term with Internet Addiction, or Video game addiction, is the excessive or compulsive use of computers to the extent that it interferes with daily life. This disorder may affect the following: social interaction, mood, personality, work ethic, relationships, thought process. It may also cause social disorders or possibly sleep deprivation. It is important to note that as of now, psychologists are not sure how to label this disorder. Many refer to it as Internet Addiction Disorder; however, computer addiction originated long before internet use is as common as it is today. In addition, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has yet to recognize this exact disorder, and are more likely to include a more specific term of addiction, such as Internet Addiction, or Video game addiction.
Some people develop bad habits in their computer use that cause them significant problems in their lives. The types of behavior and negative consequences are similar to those of known addictive disorders; therefore, the term Computer or Internet Addiction has come into use. While anyone who uses a computer could be vulnerable, those people who are lonely, shy, easily bored, or suffering from another addiction or impulse control disorder as especially vulnerable to computer abuse.
Computer abuse can result from people using it repeatedly as their main stress reliever, instead of having a variety of ways to cope with negative events and feelings. Other misuses can include procrastination from undesirable responsibilities, distraction from being upset, and attempts to meet needs for companionship and belonging.
Here are a list of symptoms one may encounter while suffering from computer addiciton:
- Using the computer for pleasure, gratification, or relief from stress.
- Feeling irritable and out of control or depressed when not using it.
- Spending increasing amounts of time and money on hardware, software, magazines, and computer-related activities.
- Neglecting work, school, or family obligations.
- Lying about the amount of time spent on computer activities.
- Risking loss of career goals, educational objectives, and personal relationships.
- Failing at repeated efforts to control computer use.
Origin of the term
British e-Learning academic Nicholas Rushby suggested in his 1979 book, An Introduction to Educational Computing, that people can be addicted to computers and suffer withdrawal symptoms. The term was also used by M. Shotton in 1989 in her book Computer Addiction..
Press reports have noted that some Finnish Defence Forces conscripts were not mature enough to meet the demands of military life, and were required to interrupt or postpone military service for a year. One reported source of the lack of needed social skills is overuse of computer games or the Internet. Forbes termed this overuse "Web fixations", and stated that they were responsible for 12 such interruptions or deferrals over the 5 years from 2000-2005. 
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- Lea Goldman (2005-09-05). "This Is Your Brain on Clicks". Forbes. http://members.forbes.com/forbes/2005/0509/054.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
- Dawn Heron. "Time To Log Off: New Diagnostic Criteria For Problematic Internet Use", University of Florida, Gainesville, published in Current Psychology, April 2003  (Identifies incessant posting in chat rooms as a form of emotional disorder).
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- Shotton, MA (1989), Computer Addiction? A study of computer dependency. New York: Taylor & Francis.
- Cromie, William J. Computer Addiction Is Coming On-line. HPAC - Harvard Public Affairs & Communications. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.  (Explains symptoms and other various attributes of the new disease).
- UTD Counseling Center: Self-Help:Computer Addiction. Home Page - The University of Texas at Dallas. Web. 20 Oct. 2010. .