While “Internet Addiction” isn’t, technically, an accepted clinical diagnosis, there are plenty of anecdotal cases of obsessive and compulsive use of the Internet that becomes socially deletirious. And people toting around wifi laptops and web-enabled cell phones would likely be considered at particular risk. Catherine Holohan of BusinessWeek wrote a good article about the issue today.
“It’s not surprising that it is not defined yet, because these things change very slowly,” says Greenfield. “But when you are in clinical practice and you are dealing with people’s lives, you can’t wait for those issues to be addressed. There is a huge problem with Internet abuse in the workplace, and you can’t pretend that they don’t exist because there isn’t a label.”
So where do you draw the line between “use” and “abuse,” especially when being online all the time is considered a professional requirement?