Internet Addiction and COVID-19

Document Type : Letter to Editor


Department of Health Information Technology & Management, School of Public Health, Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences, Yazd, Iran.


Internet addiction is has been introduced as one of the fastest-growing addictive behavior which resulted in significant public health problems in a large number of people worldwide. Ivan Golberg, the psychiatrist, first used this term in an article in 1995. It defines as the excessive and repeated use of the internet in all areas of life (1).
During the outbreak of COVID-19 in the world, information technology played an important role in responding to this epidemic. Since government social distancing guidelines are one of the most efficient methods for the suppression of coronavirus, the use of smart technologies as an efficient tool is inevitable (2).
Also, the current situation has caused the researchers to focus on developing phone applications from the perspective of patients and healthcare workers to achieve better health self-management, provide timely and proper healthcare services, reduce costs, and improve the patient's medical experience (3).
A variety of emerging Web-based technologies can be used for epidemic prevention and control [2, 3]. By applying these technologies, people will be less likely to seek outside their medical and non-medical needs and become infected with this dangerous virus, and more likely to stay at home and maintain social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic (4).
In a study, it was mentioned that "Internet addiction is a disorder that should have been considered in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) since it is an impulsive-compulsive spectrum disorder" (5).
In the COVID-19 crisis, with constantly emerging new mutations, people must use the Internet to provide their healthcare, education, and daily shopping needs. However, can be considered the excessive and repeated use of the Internet as a disorder or not?


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