It’s a familiar story: wake up, grab your phone off the nightstand, scroll through social media newsfeeds, check website after website, monitor breaking news, answer to every notification, immerse yourself fully in the Internet’s torrent of information. For many university-aged students, this is a daily routine that can plant the seeds of problematic internet use. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
A survey of Canadian first-year university students at McMaster University found that 42% of the sample screened tested positive for problematic internet use on the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). Those who tested positive on the IAT displayed significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression, problems with time management and planning, greater attentional impulsivity, and ADHD symptoms. However, it’s still unclear whether excessive internet use is a consequence or cause of mental health issues.