Internet addiction research ‘lacks insight’

Researchers at Swansea University and other institutions who claim links between the Internet and ill-health lack “insight” an expert has said.

LACKS INSIGHT: Professor Phil Reed’s research lacks insight, a digital addiction expert has said. Courtesy: PHIRE Scientists.

Swansea University researchers, Professor Phil Reed and Rebecca Vile, made the claims in a study in collaboration with Dr Lisa A Osborne from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) health board and Dr Michela Romano and Professor Roberto Truzoli from the University of Milan.

Jonathan Bishop is the CEO of Action on Digital Addiction and Cyberstalking. “My recent research on ‘digital addiction,’ and studies from the 1990s, show they do not know what they are talking about,” he said. “People with ill-health, whether they have social phobia or other anxiety disorders, turn to the Internet and social media like a comfort blanket.
Once called ‘crackberries’ when Blackberries were the leading smartphone, people with digital addiction use their digital devices as a distraction, when in the past they might have used chewing gum, cigarettes or similar.
Instead of blaming people for using their devices to access the Internet, the researchers at Swansea University, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board and the University of Milan, should be finding new ways to help people deal with their underlying health problems.

Jonathan Bishop’s book, Psychological and Social Implications Surrounding Internet and Gaming Addiction, is published by IGI Global.