Welcome to NiIRA - the Network for Internet Investigation and Research in Australia. NiIRA is an innovative, independent and future-focussed online community resource, developed and run by established leaders and specialists in the rapidly-evolving field of internet-related disorders.
We are a not-for-profit organisation and are not affiliated with any Government or commercial body. Those who contribute to NiIRA share a common passion in assessing, treating, researching and educating the public and professionals about the conditions which are commonly dubbed 'internet addictions', or 'pathological internet misuse'. NiIRA advocates that such conditions are complex in nature and often overlap with common mental health disorders. It should also be made aware that these conditions can be shaped by the cultural, traditional and social context of the person and their family.
The overarching philosophy of NiIRA is that the internet and its functions have proved to be overwhelmingly positive, empowering and enjoyable; allowing millions to connect, be informed, and entertained like no other technology before. However, for a small but significant minority, this compelling and highly-rewarding experience can lead to social, educational and behavioural difficulties. This particularly seems to appear in young people and in those with predisposing mental/behavioural vulnerabilities.
NiIRA has two broad aims: Firstly, providing education to the public via an open-access section aimed at concerned families, carers, the clients themselves, as well as school counsellors. This open-access section contains helpful and practical resources, objective information, and topical research from Australia, and around the world. Secondly, a section aimed at bringing together interested clinicians, professionals and researchers to share and discuss research and clinical developments in the field.
It is clear that internet related disorders encompasses a wide range of fields – including psychiatry and psychology, social science, media studies, and increasingly cultural and philosophical domains. We particularly invite the participation of young researchers in these fields who may wish to discuss or disseminate their work in an efficient, effective manner. NiIRA does not currently offer a peer-reviewed journal system, but a professional editorial and copywriting team, who will review submissions and post relevant contributions online each month. Our goal is to promote discussion, debate and dissemination of topics related to the internet and wellbeing, worldwide.
We welcome you to the NiiRA site, and hope it provides a relevant and useful experience. Your feedback and constructive comments are greatfully appreciated, though we regret that we cannot answer questions directly. It is very important to note: we are not a specific 'treatment centre' and cannot answer direct clinical enquiries, though we aim to provide appropriate pointers to subsequent treatment options and services.