Opinion: Internet Addiction: A Public Health Crisis? by Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W.

by Michael Friedman, L.M.S.W., Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University’s schools of social work and public healthThe growing use of the Internet in everyday life has raised concerns that large numbers of people have become “Internet addicts” and that the Internet is dehumanizing us. Despite the credibility of some of the people who raise these concerns, the evidence is anything but conclusive.For example, Elias Aboujaoude, the psychiatrist who heads the OCD clinic at Stanford University, claims in a book published earlier this year that there are “alarming rates of online pathological behavior … while the Internet is a force for good in many arenas, it also has the power to interfere with our home lives, our romantic relationships, our careers, our parenting abilities–and our very concept of who we are.”

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