Background: Internet has become a widely used tool in a developing country like India as in the developed world and has shown exponential growth particularly in the past 10 years or so. There has been a growing worry among the intellectuals about what level of use can be termed as “more than desirable” and when should it be termed to be “Addiction.”
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to find the sociobehavioral correlates and prevalence of internet addiction (IA), study the relationship of IA with internet use profile, and evaluate the risk factors associated with it among university students of TMU, Moradabad.
Materials and Methods: A longitudinal cross-sectional survey was executed with sample size of 587 students from medical, nursing, physiotherapy, and engineering courses in the University of TMU after securing permission from their respective college authorities. Semi-structured, pre-designed, and pre-tested survey instrument consisting of “The IATest (Young, 1998)” after instructing them briefly was administered.
Results: Of the total of 552 study subjects who took part in the study, 182 (32.97%) were girls and 370 (67.03%) were boys. The mean age of the students was found to be 19.5 years. Majority (64.31%) subjects were only mild users or non-addicts. On application of Young’s original criteria, as much as 2.54% of students were found to be addicts.
Conclusion: In the modern days, obsession for having “All-knowledge” at fingertips, hype for social media and has variety to entertainment to name the few, the use of internet is but must; apart from the indispensable uses of internet, the college students are highly susceptible to IA that may cause wasting of the precious study time as well as their time for relaxation and recreational activities, ultimately affecting the educational situation unfavorably. Hence, the Universities/Educational Institutes should wake up to the impending problem and extenuate the use of internet mainly for scholastic purposes.
Internet addiction; College students; Internet use profile