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01st Sep 2012

Addicted to the Internet? It Could be Hereditary!

Researchers believe that internet addiction can be passed down, oh and women are affected more than men...


The internet can be a bit addictive – sure you know yourself. You go online for five minutes just to check the time of a bus and the next thing you know you’re stuck in a Facebook coma for the next two hours. But did you know that your addiction could be hereditary?

Okay, most of us grew up in the very first generation that had access to the internet, so we can’t really blame our parents for this one, but according to scientists, internet addiction has the same genetic cause as smoking addiction.

So basically, if one of your parents is a smoker, then you could develop an addiction to the internet. Oh and unfortunately, if you’re a woman, you’re likely to suffer from it more.

“Internet addiction is not a figment of our imagination. Researchers and therapists are increasingly closing in on it,” said Dr Christian Montag from the University of Bonn.

“Within the group of subjects exhibiting problematic internet behaviour this variant occurs more frequently, in particular, in women. The sex-specific genetic finding may result from a specific subgroup of internet dependency, such as the use of social networks or such,” he added.

Could you live without your daily Facebook/Twitter fix?

Dr Montag and his colleagues interviewed over 800 people about their internet habits. They then looked at their genetic make-up. They found that participants who had the same genetic variant linked to nicotine addiction were more likely to have an unhealthy obsession with the internet. And, according to their research, the majority of these participants were women.

What do you think? Are you addicted to the internet or could you go cold turkey at any time?


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