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Internet Addiction Test

How do you know if you're already addicted to the Internet or rapidly tumbling toward trouble? Everyone's situation is different, and it's not simply a matter of time spent online. Some people indicate they are addicted with only twenty hours of Internet use, while others who spent forty hours on-line insist it is not a problem to them. It's more important to measure the damage your Internet use causes in your life. What conflicts have emerged in family, relationships, work, or school?

Let's find out. Parts of the following guide are contained in my book, Caught in the Net. This is a simple exercise to help you in two ways: (1) If you already know or strongly believe you are addicted to the Internet, this guide will assist you in identifying the areas in your life most impacted by your excessive Net use; and (2) If you're not sure whether you're addicted or not, this will help determine the answer and begin to assess the damage done. Remember when answering, only consider the time you spent on-line for non-academic or non-job related purposes.

To assess your level of addiction, answer the following questions using this scale:

1 = Not Applicable or Rarely.
2 = Occasionally.
3 = Frequently.
4 = Often.
5 = Always.

1. How often do you find that you stay on-line longer than you intended?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

2. How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

3. How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy with your partner?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

4. How often do you form new relationships with fellow online users?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

5. How often do others in your life complain to you about the amount of time you spend online?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

6. How often do your grades or school work suffer because of the amount of time you spend on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always




7. How often do you check your e-mail before something else that you need to do?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 =Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

8. How often does your job performance or productivity suffer because of the Internet?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

9. How often do you become defensive or secretive when anyone asks you what you do on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

10. How often do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of the Internet?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

11. How often do you find yourself anticipating when you will go on-line again?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

12. How often do you fear that life without the Internet would be boring, empty, and joyless?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

13. How often do you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

14. How often do you lose sleep due to late-night log-ins?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

15. How often do you feel preoccupied with the Internet when off-line, or fantasize about being on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always




16. How often do you find yourself saying "just a few more minutes" when on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

17. How often do you try to cut down the amount of time you spend on-line and fail?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

18. How often do you try to hide how long you've been on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

19. How often do you choose to spend more time on-line over going out with others?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

20. How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are off-line, which goes away once you are back on-line?

1 = Rarely
2 = Occasionally
3 = Frequently
4 = Often
5 = Always

Your Score:

After you've answered all the questions, add the numbers you selected for each response to obtain a final score. The higher your score, the greater your level of Internet addiction and the problems your Internet usage causes. Here's a general scale to help measure your score:

20 - 49 points: You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

50 -79 points: You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.

80 - 100 points: Your Internet usage is causing significant problems in your life. You should evaluate the impact of the Internet on your life and address the problems directly caused by your Internet usage. (more about internet addiction and treatment of internet addiction)

After you have identified the category that fits your total score, look back at those questions for which your scored a 4 or 5. Did you realize this was a significant problem for you? For example, if you answered 4 (often) to Question #2 regarding your neglect of household chores, were you aware of just how often your dirty laundry piles up or how empty the refrigerator gets?

Say you answered 5 (always) to Question #14 about lost sleep due to late-night log-ins. Have you ever stopped to think about how hard it has become to drag yourself out of bed every morning? Do you feel exhausted at work? Has this pattern begun to take its toll on your body and your overall health?

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APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 16). Internet Addiction Test, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/psychological-tests/internet-addiction-test

Last Updated: February 8, 2017
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Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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