There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that some university students who have free and readily available access to personal computers, underperform in their first year of study. Their internet use, game playing or chat room activities may result in academic, social and lifestyle problems.
The First World Congress on Internet Addiction which was held in Zurich, Switzerland in September 2000 is thought to have legitimized a new disorder.
This paper will address this comparatively recent phenomenon, computer/cyber addiction that has been observed in all age groups and is directly related to the growth of technology in the late 20th and early 21st Century. There is evidence to believe that this "disorder" may have a small but significant contribution to student attrition rate. The paper will present research that has been carried out on internet use in some western universities, over the past ten years. It will also present case studies from one Australian University.