Recent research conducted by scientists based at the University of Bonn has revealed that internet addicts are more likely to be female. Evidence has been discovered of a genetic variant which is linked to addiction to the internet and is most commonly found in women. The gene has already been connected to other addictions including nicotine, and is connected to depression and loneliness.
The research leader, Dr. Christian Montag stated that the research proved that internet addiction was real and not imagined. The internet habits of 843 people were studied before being narrowed down to 132 people who were thought to be internet addicts. The 132 people were compared to a ‘healthy’ group and the genetic variation appeared to be present in those who displayed addictive behaviour on the internet. According to Dr Montag, further studies would be required as the link to women being most likely to display the addictive behaviour could be due to the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Social networking sites play an important role in company’s SEO campaigns, targeting specific groups. Search engine optimisation is crucial for a company and Facebook and Twitter have an integral role in the process. Dr Montag believes that further investigation could reveal why some users are obsessed with the internet and others aren’t. During the study, people who were believed to be internet addicts admitted that they thought about the internet during the day and going without internet access would affect their well being.