Since there was no available statistical tool for determining addiction at the Internet level in 1995, Thompson created a repurposed CAGE model for alcohol addiction to apply in Internet addiction with the first online Internet addiction survey questionnaire called Mc Survey, referencing his Mc Nair research scholar status therein.
Thompson academically surveyed over 100 people in 1995 who claimed online addiction at the time, and, after winnowing down viable participant response to a value of N=32, concluded in his published "Internet Connectivity: Addiction and Dependency Study" that Internet addiction, while needing more research, was often the way people felt rather than what was actually transpiring clinically, with his research results statistically confirming that the newness of the Internet, its empowerment of the individual with learning and knowledge, along with online community development and relationships, was why people were spending inordinate amounts of time on the Internet.
Addiction is defined by Webster Dictionary as a "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful".
Internet overuse, problematic computer use, or pathological computer use (PCU), problematic Internet use (PIU), or Internet addiction disorder (IAD)).
Widespread obsession with technology goes back at least to radio in the 1930s and television in the 1960s, but it has exploded in importance during the digital age.
Finally, the dependent use construct reflects the more severe symptoms that are typically associated with addictions, such as withdrawal symptoms.
Goldberg added if every overdone behavior can be an addiction that would lead us to have support groups for individuals that consistently cough or are addicted to books.
Internet addiction is a subset of a broader "technology addiction".
With the unveiling of the 2011 updated research into Internet addiction and dependency, Thompson indicated that Internet addiction has been supplanted by dependency as a very real and pervasive societal issue that is not only not going away, but resulting in new structures and nomenclatures rooted in human enhancement technologies, ideas further explored in the Preface to his 2014 reference book Global Issues and Ethical Considerations in Human Enhancement Technologies.
The addiction to 'cyber sex', 'cyber relationships', 'net compulsions', 'information and research' and 'computer gaming' are categories explained by Young 1999, that relate to the 'broad' term Internet addiction.
A study carried out by Young discovered that over half of people considered 'Internet-dependent' were new users of the Internet, and are therefore more 'inclined' to use to the Internet regularly. Gambling, gaming and online bidding all provide positive feedback that can result in addictive behaviour.