Internet Addiction, Lifestyle or Mental Disorder? A Phenomenological Study on Social Media Addiction in Indonesia

Abstract

This paper attempts to shed some light on how internet users, who feel they are heavy users of the internet, interpret the meaning of internet addiction. This phenomenologicalstudy is based on interviews with 9 informants who see themselves as internet addicts. A psychology expert was interviewed for triangulation. The methods used to collect data were in-depth interview, observation, and direct interaction with the informants’ social media. The results of study showed that the informants spend 1 to 8 hours daily to access internet, and they feel upset, angry, bored, outcast, disconnected from the world, or feel like something is missing when they are unable to access the internet, (6) the informants have their own commitment in working.  However, the informants do not consider their internet addiction as critical. Rather, they see their ‘addiction’ as part of their daily needs and lifestyle.