Though it's not an official diagnosis, CNN reports that some kids and teens are more likely to become addicted to the Internet than others. A recent study suggests that kids who are depressed, hostile or have social phobia have a higher chance of developing an addiction, which is usually defined as spending so much time online that your day-to-day life suffers. Experts cite the constant stimulation of fast-paced video games and social networking sites, plus the ability to easily become anonymous or adopt a completely different persona.
According to the article, teens in Asian countries have the highest rate of addiction. In China alone, over 4 million teens are reportedly spending more than six hours a day online. Treatment is especially tricky, since it's nearly impossible to mandate teens avoid the Internet completely. To start, experts recommend parents put the computer in a central location in the home — like a hallway — as opposed to in a child's bedroom, which could encourage spending too much time online.
I think this is a scary phenomenon, and it's not new. Remember the Illinois facility offering treatment for web addiction and a similar Summer camp in China opened to help Internet-addicted teens? I just re-took the Internet addiction quiz to make sure I'm still in check!