Author(s): Leung L
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Abstract Born between 1977 and 1997, Net-generation is the first generation to grow up surrounded by home computers, video games, and the Internet. As children of the Baby Boomers, the Internet is the medium of choice for the Net-geners. Based on the assumption that Net-generation has unique characteristics, this study examined (1) how Net-geners addicted to the Internet differ from the non-addicted and (2) how these attributes, together with the seductive properties of the Internet, are related to Internet addiction. Data were gathered from a probability sample of 699 Net-geners between the ages of 16 and 24. Results show that Net-geners addicted to the Internet tend to be young female students. Being emotionally open on the Net and a heavy user of ICQ were most influential in predicting Net-geners' problematic use of the Internet. Addicted Net-geners are also strongly linked to the pleasure of being able to control the simulated world in online games. The finding reinforces previous research that "dependents" of the Internet spend most of their time in the synchronous communication environment engaging in interactive online games, chat rooms, and ICQ for pleasure-seeking or escape, while "non-dependents" use information-gathering functions available on the Internet. Furthermore, Internet addicts tend to watch television significantly less, indicating a displacement effect on traditional media use for the Net-generation.
This article was published in Cyberpsychol Behav
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy