With the increasing availability and use of digital and electronic media, researchers have increasingly focused on quantifying its healthy and unhealthy uses. From this effort have emerged tools to define and detect problematic use of media and technology. The vast majority of this research and related tools pertain specifically to media that are connected to the Internet, such as online gambling, Internet gaming, and social media. Problematic Internet use (PIU) has become an important public health issue among adolescents, and thus it is relevant to pediatricians.

Early work and definitions of electronic addiction focused on the concept of Internet addiction. Definitions of Internet addiction were directly translated from the diagnostic criteria associated with other types of addiction, such as alcohol use disorder. Most models of Internet addiction include symptoms associated with substance misuse, such as using the Internet to regulate one’s mood or loss of control while using the Internet....

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