Internet Top 10 Illnesses

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10. Eyestrain

When you use your eyes a lot, they get strained- so when you stare at a computer screen intensely for hours it isn't a surprise when your eyes get sore. According to "Although eyestrain can be annoying, it usually isn't serious and goes away once you rest your eyes", placing it firmly in tenth place on this list.

9. Health Anxiety

Some people have a tendency to misinterpret or over-interpret pain signals. According to Wikipedia, "psychologists refer to this as pain catastrophizing (the tendency to think the worst when one feels pain)." According to the same source, health anxiety is a "sense that something is seriously wrong that does not lessen with normal test results and reassurance from health professionals."

8. Headaches

Tension Headaches – The term 'tension headache' is misleading. These headaches are not caused by stress but often due to strain to your neck or eyes. According to, they "can last from 30 minutes to an entire week".
Chronic Daily Headaches - You suffer from these if you have a headache for more than half of the days in a month.
Stress Headaches – Apparently it's not the big stress that causes your head to hurt. It's the small annoyances all day long. So, if you spend a lot of time on the Internet it may be time to switch to a faster connection or upgrade to a new computer if you spend a lot of time staring hopelessly at your computer screen while it downloads information or crashes on you.

7. Back Pain

Poor posture results in back pain, particularly when it is accompanied by obesity, smoking, or lack of exercise. Now I'm sure there are many people out there who sit on a Pilates ball and crunch carrot sticks while they spend hours each day Digging, Stumbling, or Tweeting – but, if you're the Internet equivalent of a couch potato you might want to cut back on the corn chips and do some sit ups or something.

6. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

If you've been on an airplane in the last few years you've probably seen the warning information about Deep Vein Thrombosis: it's "the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein" (Wikipedia). Also known as "economy class syndrome", air travelers who don't move around and are dehydrated are particularly vulnerable to this kind of blood clot.
The key points here are immobility and dehydration: If you are so immersed in your "Second Life" that you don't remember the last time you went outside or drank a glass of water in this life, you are at risk


5. Munchausen Syndrome

The Internet provides endless chatrooms, online support groups, and social networking sites where people can share their problems, seek advice, and get sympathy.
I was shocked to learn that some people actually fake illnesses or tragedies just to get attention. They pretend to be victims of rape, assault, abuse, and serious illness in order to get attention: a symptom of Munchhausen Syndrome. And, according to an article at the BBC News website, the "internet may be encouraging people to pretend they are ill in order to get attention, according to US research."

4. Facebook Depression

According to the Daily Mail, Facebook and other social networking sites make teenage girls "prone to anxiety and depression". Along with texting and emailing, these sites allow teens to coruminate (a fancy word for talking about things over and over and over again). According to the same article, "repeated conversations among adolescent girls, particularly about romantic disappointments, worsen their mood and create negative emotions". Prior to this teenage girls apparently did not dwell on topics such as 'do my bangs look funny' or 'why didn't he call?' for hours and hours and then sulk in their rooms.

3. Internet Rage

While it might be argued that Internet Rage itself is not really harmful to your health, it can lead to Internet stalking and perhaps even violence so if you are the one inciting the rage then you should beware.
According to Tim McDonald of, one of the sources of Internet rage is "information overload". He explains, "the sheer volume of information available on the Web and the slowness in accessing it causes a great deal of stress, according to the independent survey commissioned by WebTop, a British Web indexing company." He also reports that a study "found that 68 percent of the 200 people surveyed found computer glitches more stressful than spending a weekend with a partner's parents, and 38 percent found them more stressful than being stuck on public transportation."

2.Upper Limb Disorders (ULD)

Upper Limb Disorders include neck tension syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tendinitis (mainly hands/wrists), tenosynovitis, bursitis, repetitive strain injury (RSI), and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. All of these ailments can be linked to Internet use.
RSI Repetitive Strain Injury – the modern version of writer's cramp, you experience pain and strain when you overuse one of your upper limbs (i.e. arms). "The basis for this illness concept is the idea that one can overuse a tool, such as a computer keyboard… in a way that causes tissue damage leading to pain"
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – "The two groups of people most likely to develop TOS are those suffering neck injuries in motor vehicle accidents and those who use computers in non-ergonomic postures for extended periods of time" (Wikipedia).
Upper Limb Disorders earn second place on this list due to the overwhelming list of disorders they encompass and the fact that I couldn't come up with anything funny for them (so they must be quite serious).

1. Internet Addiction

This is Number One for two big reasons: it actually has the word Internet in the title of the affliction and also because it has been fatal in some cases. The nature of the addiction is also pervasive: when it comes to the Internet, someone can "be addicted to nearly everything, starting with pure act of typing, visiting chat rooms, shopping on-line and ending up with multiplayer games, which users characterize as "heroinware."


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Internet Top 10 Illnesses

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