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Original Research

Prevalence of Internet addiction and its impact on the physiological balance of mental health

Naren Vaidya, Sobana Jaiganesh, Jaiganesh Krishnan.


Background: Internet usage beyond normal limit becomes problematic, leading to various comorbidities. A new alarming disorder known as the FoMO (fear of missing out) has been identified as one such comorbidity. So, it is important to assess the prevalence of problematic Internet usage (PIU) and the associated comorbidities in this study population.

Aims and Objective: To study the demography of Internet addiction (IA) (PIU) in Pondicherry and its comorbidity with FoMO.

Materials and Methods: A total of 150 subjects were recruited after getting informed consent. They were asked to fill out a pro forma that contains vital demographical information, Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT) Questionnaire, and Andrew Pryzybylski’s FoMO Scale. These are validated questionnaires to determine the presence of IA and FoMO, respectively. The results were analyzed for the prevalence of IA and its association with FoMO.

Result: From our study, the following results were obtained: IA is widely prevalent among adolescents (40%) with male preponderance (53.5%) and it is strongly associated with FoMO. Among the Internet addicts, 37% have FoMO whereas in 24% of the subjects, FoMO exists alone without IA.

Conclusion: The results point to the theory that IA and FoMO coexist. FoMO sets up the IA among the Internet users rather than the other way around, which was the expected result when compared with similar works.

Key words: Internet Addiction; Fear of Missing Out; Problematic Internet Use

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