Internet Addiction and Identity: A Systematic Research Review

Title: Internet Addiction and Identity: A Systematic Research Review
Authors: Alotaibi, Sameera
Date: 2020
Abstract: Within the last decade, human dependency on the internet has increased in both work and leisure activities. While numerous research studies have documented how internet use has positively contributed to life and society, a small but growing body of research documents how internet misuse can lead to negative outcomes for individuals. One particularly important area of public concern is the connection between addictive internet usage and human identity. Inspired by Goffman’s theory of the presentation of self, this study aims to address the impact of excessive internet use on real-world identity and virtual-world identity. To achieve this goal, the researcher synthesized 34 studies conducted from 2008 to 2018 about the influence of internet addiction on identity construction. The results revealed that internet addiction and identity have been given increased attention by academics despite the lack of current literature in this field. Most research studies (89%) focus on young individuals aged nine to 30 years old, while less attention is given to those over 30 years old. Switching between an online and an offline identity was proven in a number of studies based on participants’ statements. Moreover, of the literature reviewed, online gaming addiction and identity studies are addressed in 30% while internet addiction and identity are addressed in 39%; this could be linked to the official recognition of an online gaming disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The present study calls for scientists and psychologists to include internet addiction as a disorder in future editions of DSM alongside online gaming addiction. Keywords: Internet addiction, Online identity, Offline identity, Self-presentation, Systematic review
CollectionCommunication - Mémoires // Communication - Research Papers