A recent survey funded by Intel found that nearly half of American women would choose the internet over sex, and 65% of adults say they can’t live without internet access. Ninety-five percent of people said that it was at least somewhat important to have devices allowing them to go online. Television, eating out, buying clothes, and gym memberships were rated as being less important than internet access.
There has been increased attention to internet use by researchers, with psychologists proposing the addition of Internet Addiction Disorder to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. One study reported that the use of Myspace increased by 318% between 2005 and 2006, with some indicators that internet use has isolating as well as socially enabling effects. Research in the area is in its infancy, but suggests that symptoms of addiction include denial, excessive online activity, and irritation when not online. Regulation of time online and engagement in offline activities were recommended to address the problem.