Is digital or internet addiction a reality: study from King Khalid University Saudi Arabia

Mudassir M. Wani, Javed I. Wani


Background: Internet and digital devices are one of the essentialities of present-day life as we depend on them for information, inter-personal relationships, entertainment and even economic transactions. The number of hours being spent by individuals has been increasing day by day. Due to addictive nature of the problem, internet addiction or digital addiction disorder has been coined. This study was carried among medical students associated with King Khalid University Abha Saudi Arabia, with aim to analyze epidemiological aspects of internet/digital usage among the group specified.

Methods: It was a prospective study. 153 subjects responded to online questionnaire sent through Whatsapp. Majority of subjects responding were female medical students, followed by dental students.

Results: Results from the study found that about 21.57% of students were using internet for more than 10 hours out of 24 on daily basis. The most common used applications on mobiles was WhatsApp (94.12%). 42.48% of students suffered from sleep disturbance. 44.4% thought that digital devices are very important for their lives.

Conclusions: Study reveals a very serious trend in terms of time spent by students on internet and also the adverse health issues due to same, with evidence of dependence in a subset of students. Study recommend that awareness is a key factor as internet usage is more personal but having an impact not only on individual but also on society as well.


Addiction, Digital devices, Internet

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