Monday, 2 February 2015

Smartphone addiction time-bomb 'ready to explode' - Independent.ie

Smartphone addiction time-bomb 'ready to explode' - Independent.ie

A third of internet users now access online content on mobile phones - up from just 10pc two years ago - and internet users are expected to surpass PC users by next year, according to the latest research by Dublin-based Statcounter.

Counsellors now fear internet addiction, fuelled by 24/7 access via mobile phones, will be the next wave of compulsive disorders that they will be treating.

Gerry Cooney, an addiction counsellor at the Rutland Centre, said they are already seeing a massive surge in the number of people - typically young men under the age of 30 - who are seeking treatment for online gambling and pornography addiction, which is exacerbated by 24-hour access through smartphones and other mobile devices.

And while the people he is currently treating at the centre's residential treatment programme have sought help for gambling and other impulse control disorders, he believes smartphone addiction will be the next wave of illness due to the "mood-altering and compulsive" nature of social media, gaming and other forms of online entertainment.

"It's not necessarily a young person's issue," Mr Cooney told the Sunday Independent.

"Facebook is something that a lot of people are now struggling with, the constant need to stay in touch."...
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