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This article was published on May 25, 2009

How addicted are you to the web?

How addicted are you to the web?
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Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos Former CEO of The Next Web. A fan of startups, entrepreneurship, getting things done faster, penning the occasional blog post, taking photos, designing, listening to good music and making lurrrve.

_howaddictedareyouDespite the humor in the photos below, web addiction is apparently a serious problem. According to recent research, one in four employees are addicted to the Internet.

It’s not the midday coffees or cigarette breaks that waste the most time – it’s surfing the web. Highlighted as the one of the most highly addictive activities to make its way into the modern workplace. We say ‘workplace’ because this isn’t just an office problem but one that can take place wherever you may be working.

According to the latest metrics from comScore, day-to-day mobile Internet usage in the states doubled over the last year. In January 2008, 10.8 million people visited the mobile Web at least once a day. Now there are some 22.4 million. Most do so looking for news or other basic information, though many are looking for interaction as well. Social networking, for example, saw a massive spike in usage, its audience growing 427 percent year over year.

Professionally, “Studies have shown that from 25 to 50 percent of cyber addiction is occurring at the workplace,” said Dr. Marlene Maheu.

The solution most companies resort to are ‘EIM solutions’, products designed to filter personal Web usage in the workplace. Typically, the software product is installed on the server and integrates with the firewall, cache engine, or proxy server, and via a database or URLs, monitors and controls Web site access.


“Employers should remain proactive in terms of setting clear policies about Internet gambling in the workplace,” said Andy Meyer, vice president of marketing for Websense, “Companies can also enforce those policies with an EIM product that automatically takes the temptation away from employees.”

Over recent years, Web addiction has gradually found its place amongst other more notable disorders. China has officially called web addiction a disorder, saying the condition is as compulsive as gambling or drinking alcohol. The move, made last year, came after one of China’s top legislators said that 10 per cent of the country’s youth were addicted to the internet.

How do you handle web usage at the workplace? Have you got an EIM product installed? Are you trusted to monitor yourself? Most importantly, would you accept that you may be addicted to the web?

(On a less serious note – enjoy the photos below – should have you leaving us with a smile on your face. :)






Photos via