The internet is an open space for everyone, including generations to come. However, some people seem to be treating it like an obsession and they happen to be using it excessively.
There are multiple words for a person who spends so much time on the internet. Some of these words capture the reason a person spends a lot of time on the internet. Some also capture what he/she does on the internet.
10 words for someone who spends a lot of time on the internet
A person who spends a lot of time on the internet can be called a lot of things including Web surfer and Cyber surfer.
You can even call him/her a remote worker if he/she spends a lot of time on the net due to the distance from his/her office.
- Net Rat
- Doom surfer
- Ego surfer (or Vanity searcher)
- Digital Citizen
- Joy surfer
- Net head
This is one of the most suitable names you can give a person who uses the internet a lot. However, it goes beyond just using the internet.
A person who spends a lot of time on the internet may he referred to as a Cyberphile. A Cyberphile is a person who loves all computers and electronic devices.
The word, ‘Cyberphile’, is formed from the hybridization of ‘Cyber’ (which refers to everything connected with the internet) and ‘Philia’ (which refers to a psychological disorder characterized by an irrational favourable disposition towards something.)
The word, ‘Cyberphile’, is often used for self-reference to boast about one’s knowledge of electronic gadgets and his/her dexterity in using them. Therefore, we can consider this a positive name a computer geek would like to be called.
- My son is a Cyberphile. He spares 20 hours daily to explore the internet.
A person who spends a lot of time on the internet may be called a Net Rat. ‘Net Rat’ is a term given to a person who spends time on the internet because he/she has nothing better to do.
This person is not considered addicted or in love with the internet since he/she only used the net because he/she isn’t busy.
You can consider ‘Net Rat’ a fairly negative word. It is used to refer to a person who uses the internet too much. It also mentions that he/she is jobless.
It is mostly used to rebuke a person who excessively uses the net and indirectly tells him/her to look for something more productive than spending time on the internet.
- Don’t think I’m a Net Rat though. When I stare in my laptop, I’m not scrolling aimlessly. I’m learning.
A person who spends so much time on the internet may be a Cybercowboy. A Cybercowboy is a person who carries out dubious contract works in Cyberspace.
This can refer to a person who uses the internet for fraudulent activities. However, it is meant to refer to a person who works freelance to carry out illegal activities on the internet.
The term, ‘Cyber cowboy’, may also be used casually to refer to a random internet user.
‘Cybercowboy’ is a hybridization of the words ‘Cyber’ and ‘Cowboy’. ‘Cyber’ refers to the internet and everything connected to it. ‘Cowboy’ is used to refer to a dishonest or reckless person’.
Therefore, ‘Cybercowboy’ is used to refer to someone who constantly carries out dishonest activities on the internet.
The meaning of the term may however not be taken seriously anymore, as it is now informally used to refer to any internet user.
- He is a Cybercowboy. Don’t act like you notice him or know what he’s doing.
Someone spending too much time on the internet may be Doomscrolling (or Doomsurfing). Doomsurfing is a term for the act of scrolling through negative news continually on the internet.
A doom surfer is a person who spends too much time reading negative news on the internet. This refers to someone who is attracted and glued to negative information, without liking or enjoying it.
Also, Doomsurfing may be caused by the thrill of negative realities. Unlike Horror movies which are accepted as fiction, horrific stories can keep you glued and wondering how possible some reported situations are.
Many people doomscroll, however, so this term may only refer to someone who tends to do it often.
- He is a doom surfer. He is addicted to negative news.
A person who spends time on the internet can be called a Netizen. The term, ‘Netizen’, is defined as ‘a member of the community of internet users’.
The word is often generally used for everyone who visits the internet for information or any reason at all.
However, it is more suitable for everyone who has a reason to pay constant visits to the Internet. For example, someone whose workspace is on the internet can be called a Netizen.
Similarly, a Netizen should be a user of the internet who visits the internet regularly and knows how to navigate his/her workspace on the internet.
Bloggers refer to their web visitors as Netizens because they are expected to be part of their online community and stay up-to-date on the information or values provided by the blog.
- How do we serve the Netizens better if all we do is lure them with clickbait articles?
This is another term for someone who uses the internet regularly. It is also often called ‘Cybernaut’ but there may be a slight difference between the two words.
A person who uses the internet a lot can be called a Cybernaut or an Infonaut. An Infonaut is a person that navigates information on the internet.
A doom-scroller can also be called an Infonaut since he/she is also scrolling through information. ‘Infonaut’ is used for people who love staying informed about everything but it can refer to virtually all internet users.
A Cybernaut is a person who keeps searching for new things on the internet. A Cybernaut can also be called an Infonaut.
Both words can be compared to ‘Astronaut’ which refers to a space traveler. An Infonaut explores information. A Cybernaut explores the internet where he/she gets information.
- He is the only Infonaut in our midst so we rely on what he tells us.
Ego surfer (or Vanity searcher)
This doesn’t necessarily cause someone to spend an excessive amount of time on the internet but a person spending a lot of time on the internet can do so while ego surfing.
This is similar to the word, ‘Doomsurfing’, in the sense that a person is obsessed with a particular kind of information.
Someone who spends a lot of time on the internet may be doing what is called ego-surging or Vanity searching.
An Ego surfer (or Vanity searcher) is a person who is obsessed with news about himself or herself. This is a person who searches for his/her name or the name of his/her business to see what others are saying about it.
This combines the words ‘ego’ and ‘surfing’. While ‘surfing’ refers to searching and navigating through something, ‘ego’ refers to how important a person perceives himself or herself.
- I used to be an Ego surfer but there’s no point in it.
This is another word for a Netizen. You can also call this person a Cyber citizen.
‘Digital Citizen’ can refer to a person who spends a lot of time on the internet. A Cybercitizen or Digital Citizen is a person who pays constant visits to the internet or never leaves the internet. As expected of a citizen, a Cybercitizen is one who isn’t just online but also participates in online activities.
A digital citizen knows his/her way around the internet and pays regular visits. This name can be given to a person who stays connected to family and friends on social media or works on the internet.
- I’ve not been much of a digital citizen since I got my new job.
If you understand what it means to be a Doom surfer and an Ego surfer, you should already have an idea of what it means to be a Joy Surfer.
This is another word that refers to the reason a web user may spend a lot of time on the internet. Also, a joy surfer doesn’t necessarily spend too much time on the internet.
‘Joy surfer’ may be the right term for a person who spends too much time on the internet. A Joy Surfer is a person who navigates only information that uplifts his/her mood. This kind of web user may only focus on entertainment or happy news.
Many Social media users are considered Joy Surfers, as they spend a lot of time watching entertaining videos.
A person who focuses on happy news is a Joy Surfer and may not actually spend too much time on the internet. However, many joy surfers spend a lot of time on the internet.
- I understand that you are a joy surfer but it’s better to find joy in the people around you.
‘Nethead’ is a name for a person who is obsessed with the internet. This is an enthusiastic Cybernaut who is extremely interested in the Internet and everything connected to it. The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘Net Head’ as an informal word for a supporter of the internet and its flexibilities.
This may be the most accurate word on the list for a person who uses the internet too much or who seems too interested in it.
The opposite of Nethead is ‘Bellhead’ which is another slang for a person who supports traditional centralized communication networks.
- You netheads don’t know what danger you are promoting.
There are many words for an obsessive internet user and one of them is ‘Nethead’. A Nethead uses the internet like a new discovery, always eager to try out something new.
Another word for a person who is constantly searching for and trying out something new on the internet is ‘Cybernaut’.
There are many other words for people who use the internet constantly and this article provides 10 of them.