[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/01/art.internet.ap.jpg caption="Pat from Lexington, Kentucky writes: 'I’m on CNN.com every weekday by 2PM and I miss you on weekends!'"]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Before you rush to your computer and onto the Cafferty File blog to write in to us, consider this: you may just be addicted to the Internet.
Medill News Service reports that the Internet has become an out-of-control habit for more and more people. In fact, experts say that Internet addiction is a growing psychological and behavioral problem.
It's estimated that 5% to 10% of Americans may be addicted to the Internet – that could mean as many as 30 million people. And, it's an even bigger problem in other parts of the world. As many as 30% of the people living in China, Korea and Taiwan may be hooked.
The head of an outfit called the "Center for Internet Addiction Recovery" says the main kinds of internet addiction are: cybersex, online affairs, online gambling, online gaming, compulsive surfing and eBay addiction. For young people, online gaming is a particular concern.
There are now even special centers to treat this growing problem. Call it Internet rehab. Experts say some patients need 30 to 90 days in-patient treatment, followed by additional care. Like any other addiction, they say it requires lifelong treatment. There are also nonprofit groups – like "Online Gamers Anonymous" – meant to help Internet addicts.
Here’s my question to you: How can you tell if you're becoming addicted to the Internet?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Pablo from Charles Town, West Virginia writes:
When your spouse books vacation lodging and is adamant it does not have Internet access.
You are addicted when you develop sores on your elbows. True story.
Dave from North Dartmouth, Massachusetts writes:
Look at the good side of it, Jack. If people weren't even minutely addicted to the Internet, you would be in the unemployment line with the rest of us poor slobs because of this terrible administration.
Tyson from Cave Creek, Arizona writes:
Jack, You know you're addicted to the Internet when you wake up in a pool of your own digital vomit, your head hurts, and you have no recollection of any Web site you may have browsed the night before.
You get in an argument with a loved one and find yourself trying to click the refresh button.
CT from Bartlett, Illinois writes:
Jack, The Internet, kinda... But I am totally addicted to your blog. I check all day until it's up. And if you are off, it ruins my whole day. When I'm really crabby, people ask if Cafferty is on vacation. Is there a 12 step program for me?
Jack, I am in the UK. I came home from work at 1pm, sat on the sofa with my laptop and am still on it at 11pm. Now ain’t that something. So there you go.
You just announced this question on-air no more than 2 minutes ago, and here I am. You tell me.
William from Miami writes:
Great work, Jack. You just asked 30 million Internet addicts to reply to your question using the Internet. Any suggestions for heroin addicts?