The internet has become a vital part of our lives, improving communication and conveniently bringing the world to our fingertips.
But as beneficial as the internet is, it can also be addictive, with consequences as damaging as those of drug and alcohol addiction.
In a disturbing recent case of internet addiction a South Korean couple became so hooked on online games they forgot to feed their three-month-old baby, who then starved to death.More stories from Today Tonight
Psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg says internet dependence is a 21st century syndrome.
"There are some people who get what I call a 'dopamine squirt' from engaging in this activity. They actually get a buzz and when they're not doing it they actually have withdrawal symptoms, and it comes to dominate their lives and be the thing they want to do more than anything else," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
In fact online addiction is so serious, as more research is done, it's like it will be reclassified as a mental illness.
"What the American Psychiatric Association have done is they've actually said there's sufficient evidence for it to be a formal disorder. So they've put it in the appendices of the DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) - which is kind of like the psychiatric bible," Dr Carr-Gregg explained.
"What this means is that probably within four or five years there will be sufficient research evidence to make it a formal diagnosis."
He advises that "what we need to be doing is stepping up to the digital plate as parents and making sure that for every hour of screen time there's at least an hour of creative play."
Aware of the detrimental effects that technology could have, mother of three Susan Maushart became worried when she noticed her teenage daughters started communicating with one another using their phones and laptops while under the same roof.
She knew they had a technology problem and put the whole family on a digital detox for six months.
Wondering "what would life be like if we didn't have any of this crap" Susan says "when it got taken away there were just so many hours of just nothing."
She says her family "made eye contact - that was a first for many years. We ate dinner together, we interacted, and we connected."
Last year psychologist Emil Hodzic started a video game addiction treatment clinic due to a growing demand from frustrated parents.
"The majority of the clients that come through are between fifteen to 21, and that's I believe primarily because the parents have thought 'okay, it's reached the stage where it doesn't just seem like a passing kid thing anymore, this is actually a serious problem'," Dr Hodzic said.
He thinks more research is needed to help health professionals recognise the difference between technology overuse and addiction.
According to Dr Hodzic often children and adults with obsessive reliance on technology already have underlying mental health problems.
"In terms of how to deal with it, it's really, really important to understand how it's come about, why it's actually developed, what caused these conditions to develop. Then, if you're struggling at that level, you are then to seek help."