Mark Griffiths may not sound overly familiar, but he was hitting the headlines last month after the results of his research into Internet addiction became known. It was not an unfamiliar scenario for the 30-year old Nottingham Trent University senior lecturer, experiencing similar media attention regularly over the past 10 years because of his research into the area he calls "technological addiction".
It is a subject that has seen Griffiths study addiction to fruit machines and arcade games. He came to the Internet comparatively late and was spurred on by something he read: "I read an article in the New York Times in 1995 called The Lure and Addiction of Life Online," he says.
So what has he found? He claims to have identified addictive traits in some users, going so far as to bracket the Internet with other addictions like gambling and alcoholism. He says symptoms of tolerance, withdrawal, conflict and relapse can be found among people addicted to the Internet just as they can in alcoholics or gambling addicts.
He identifies two different forms of Internet addiction. "There are people using the Internet who appear to be addicted to it as a piece of technology. Other people use the Internet as a medium to fuel other addictions like pornography."
While he knows that the limited scope of his research prevents him from making generalisations about Web users, Griffiths says that he still managed to find evidence of the stereotypical adolescent Web-nerd.
In spite of this, Griffiths is keen to emphasise that he can only speak from his research and is not placed to judge all Web users, something the press chose to ignore.
Even The Guardian's headline screamed "Internet creating computer junkies". "I kept getting asked how many hours someone has to spend on the Internet before they get addicted to it. Those people totally missed the point," he said.
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