Internet Addiction Might Be Genetic
Same mutation associated with nicotine addiction
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 30, 2012 5:00 PM CDT
Internet addiction 'isn't a figment of our imagination,' says a researcher.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Internet addiction may be in our genes—just like nicotine addiction. In a study of 843 people, researchers found that 132 suffered "problematic" online behavior: "All their thoughts revolve around the Internet during the day, and they feel their well-being is severely impacted if they have to go without it." Members of this group were more likely than their peers to have a genetic variation associated with nicotine addiction.

For those with the variation, nicotine links to a receptor to fuel the brain's reward system; something similar may be going on with the Internet. Interestingly, the phenomenon is more pronounced in women, CNET reports. "Internet addiction is not a figment of our imagination," says the study's lead author. "The current data already shows that there are clear indications for genetic causes of Internet addiction." And "if such connections are better understood, this will also result in important indications for better therapies."

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
Chelsea_James
Sep 2, 2012 9:52 AM CDT
Guys, it's not an issue of if your parents were addicted to the internet. It's an issue of, some people are more genetically prone to addiction of all types than others. Anything that is pleasurable is also addictive. That's the nature of addiction: when something feels so good you can't stop doing it and eventually your life begins to revolve around it. If you have a genetic makeup that makes you prone to addiction, you're more likely to be addicted to something. And the internet is much more common than heroin...
Tology
Aug 31, 2012 1:25 PM CDT
Yeah, I inherited the internet addiction gene from my parents for sure, they were both born before television was invented, magnetic recording tape and FM radio.
DougMasters
Aug 31, 2012 5:34 AM CDT
....... Ok so everything may be genetic, we still have free will to say no, or try to say no.