Community of friends growing in cyberspace

Be Web Aware says unpopular, introverted people are often attracted to the social opportunities online communities offer. Although this form of interaction with thousands of other users may appear to be a social activity, for the introverted person, excessive use can serve to further isolate him or her.

John Grohol, Ph.D. of says he can only guess what makes the Internet and online communities so addictive since research on the subject is still being conducted.

Since the aspects of the Internet where people are spending the greatest amount of time online have to do with social interactions, it would appear socialization is what makes the Internet so addicting,” he says on the Web site. “Socializing — talking — is a very addictive behavior.”

Grohol further explains we do not characterize time spent in the real world with friends as addicting, citing teenagers who talk on the phone for hours and people who become immersed in an activity such as reading a book, so we should not classify hours spent on the Internet as an addiction.

Still, Grohol offers an alternative explanation for the popularity of these sites, emphasizing the intrigue may only be temporary. He says many of these people are likely newcomers to the Internet, and the stages of addictive behavior are “phasic.”



View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 2 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.

    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Mar 2005
    Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
, . (2005). Community of friends growing in cyberspace. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from


Recent Comments
  • Pam: I disagree that it’s ok to have a crummy holiday experience. I lived in a small town after a divorce and...
  • Ann: I lose everything! I know the joy of finding things. However, I am tired, very tired. I wish I was not what I...
  • Josh: Great article, I could really use active conditioning on learning to control my emotions (I am known as a...
  • brokeandblue: I am someone that prides myself on being non-judgemental. At all. In fact I get complimented on this,...
  • Cathy Taughinbaugh: This is a wonderful list of blogs, which are so helpful to those suffering from anxiety. I wanted...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 10103
Join Us Now!