Internet addiction and quality of life: The role of neuroticism
Quality of life is an ancient concept dating back to at least Aristotle, although the philosopher equated a good life or doing tasks well with happiness, rather than what we refer to today as quality of life. There is much talk of mental health and wellbeing today and the purported problems of neuroticism and addictive behavior. Nowhere does this seem to be more sharply in relief than when we talk of internet addiction and how this might be modulated by the neurotic type personality and be detrimental to quality of life.
Writing in the International Journal of Behavioural and Healthcare Research, a team from Iran discusses exactly how so-called internet addiction can have an effect on people of a neurotic disposition and their quality of life. Fundamentally, their study shows that neuroticism as a personality trait can lead to avoidance of everyday life as a coping mechanism and this is commonly manifest in dependency and addiction to the internet and perhaps more obviously online social media.
"Our results indicate that those [students] who score high in neuroticism are more prone to move towards addictive behavior such as internet addiction," the team writes. This corroborates earlier independent work and also reinforces the idea that neuroticism is usually accompanied by an avoidance of face to face communication with other people. The internet and online social media lend themselves heavily to this behavior. The team adds that overuse of the technology required to engage with the internet—computers and mobile phones, for instance—often do not lend themselves to appropriate posture nor physical activity and in many cases lead to avoidable repetitive strain injury, all of which can have a negative impact on quality of life.