Internet use causing anxiety

It has now been possible to show, for the first time, that certain Internet contents cause human anxiety: fear, preoccupation, sweating, nervousness, palpitations, irritation, frustration, loneliness, grief, headaches, trembling of hands and shock, among other things.

In his dissertation, Santosh Kumar Kalwar, M.Sc. (Tech.), developed empirically suitable scales and tools, which help researchers and people involved in different practices to understand and measure anxiety experienced on the Internet. These scales can be further refined by different kinds of application developers, designers and professionals in marketing and advertising.

The dissertation research also showed that Internet use and anxiety vary in line with gender and age. In light of Finnish statistics, young people are more likely than the elderly to experience anxiety due to the Internet. Also the way women and men use the Internet is becoming more and more different. For example, men use Wikipedia, Photopedia and VideoPedia more often and more likely than women. On the other hand, women use the Internet more than men for social communications, for example by joining social networks or blogging, that is, by keeping a network diary.

The most important achievement of this dissertation that is based on several investigations and experiments is the creation, design and validation of two scales. These are the Self-Assessment Scale (SAS) and the Modified Internet Anxiety Scale (MIAS), with the help of which anxiety felt by the users on the Internet can be measured. The dissertation also contains three tools. The MyAnxiety tool introduces the types of anxieties encountered in the Internet. The Intelligentia tool gathers types of anxieties shown by Internet users. MyIAControl is a browser-linked tool, which measures the feelings of Internet users.

From the beginning of the 1990's, the Internet has been an important part of our everyday life. It plays a central role in managing personal affairs, in research, entertainment, academia and in the life of family and society. The use of Internet, however, has social impacts, which are dependent on categorisations such as gender, age, ethnic background and cultural features. These social factors may increase the anxiety experienced by Internet users.

The dissertation research used literary sources as well as qualitative and quantitative research methods to conceptualise and measure anxiety experienced in the Internet. A specific objective was to investigate the anxiety levels of Internet users and develop a scale to measure the anxiety experienced.

The dissertation, "Conceptualizing and measuring human anxiety on the Internet", by Santosh Kumar Kalwar, M.Sc. (Tech.) will be examined on 19th of June 2014 at 12 noon in LUT Hall 1382. The opponent will be Senior Lecturer Dr. Praminda Caleb-Solly from the University of the West of England in Bristol, U.K. Serving as thesis supervisor will be Professor Jari Porras from LUT.

The thesis has been published as part of Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis, research series number 575 of the university. ISBN 978-952-265-584-4, ISBN 978-952-265-585-1 (PDF) and ISSN-L 1456-4491 ISSN 1456-4491. The dissertation will be published in the LUTPUB database of the Lappeenranta Technical University at A printed version of the thesis may be purchased from the Aalef bookstore, telephone +358 (0)44 744 5511,

The doctoral candidate's personal information:

Santosh Kumar Kalwar
Born in Chitwan, Nepal in 1982
Residence: Lappeenranta
M.Sc. (Tech.) in Communication Engineering, LUT
Employment: Trainee researcher, Nokia Oyj, Helsinki 2008, University Assistant, LUT 2009.

Additional information:

Jari Porras, tel. +358 400 555 427,