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Google Study Finds 47 Million Thai Addicted to the Internet

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A Google has studied the digital market in Southeast Asia and found 47 million Thai people used the internet.

April Srivikorn, acting manager of Google Thailand, said Google, Temasek and Bain & Company found in their joint study that the value of digital economy in Southeast Asia exceeded US$100 billion.

The value soared due to consumers’ changing behaviors; online services and payment; e-commerce; application-based ride-hailing services and also online orders for products.

The number of internet users in the region rose from 100 million four years ago to 360 million. Including 47 million people in Thailand.

Thai people used the internet for 5 hours and 13 minutes a day on average. Using it for communications, involvement in social media and online purchases, she said.

The Thai digital economy this year was valued at 16 billion baht. It is also the second largest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia. It is growing by 29% a year and will reach US$50 billion in 2025.

Internet e-commerce growing in Thailand

Online tourism services formed the biggest and most saturated digital business in Thailand. It was valued at US$7.2 billion and is expanding by 17%. The services of cheap hotels were growing rapidly.

The online ride-hailing services are also growing by 36% a year and its value should reach US$1.3 billion baht this year.

E-commerce shows the fastest growth pace of 54% and its value should rise to US$5 billion this year and US$18 billion in 2025.

Online media and content markets are also expanding by 39%. Their value was estimated at US$3 billion this year and US$7 billion in 2025.

“The study found that the longer mobile internet users stay on application software, the more they are likely to spend. Operators try to keep users longer with their application software so that users will spend more on products and services,” Ms April said.

Internet Addiction Disorder

Signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for those who may be addicted to the Web on their PC or smart phone.

Like most disorders, it’s not likely to pinpoint an exact cause of Internet Addiction Disorder. This disorder is characteristic of having multiple contributing factors.

Some evidence suggests that if you are suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder, your brain makeup is similar to those that suffer from a chemical dependency, such as drugs or alcohol.

Interestingly, some studies link Internet Addiction Disorder to physically changing the brain structure – specifically affecting the amount of gray and white matter  in regions of the prefrontal brain. This area of the brain is associated with remembering details, attention, planning, and prioritizing tasks.

It is suggested one of the causes of Internet Addiction Disorder is structural changes to the prefrontal region of the brain are detrimental to your capability to prioritize tasks in your life, rendering you unable to prioritize your life, i.e., the Internet takes precedence to necessary life tasks.

Pleasure center of the brain

Internet Addiction Disorder, in addition to other dependency disorders, seem to affect the pleasure center of the brain. The addictive behavior triggers a release of dopamine to promote the pleasurable experience activating the release of this chemical.

Over time, more and more of the activity is needed to induce the same pleasurable response, creating a dependency. That is, if you find online gaming or online shopping a pleasurable activity and you suffer from an addiction to the Internet, you will need to engage in more and more of the behavior to institute the same pleasurable feeling prior to your dependency.