English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there any specific word for a person who is always online on the Internet?

I am just curious to know because staying online is like a profession nowadays.

share|improve this question
I would call them normal. – Robusto Aug 25 '11 at 12:54
My wife calls him "Jeff" or "Honey". – JeffSahol Aug 25 '11 at 13:32
I would probably abuse the word gold farmer. – patrick Aug 25 '11 at 14:44
I've been called a mouse-potato, but that doesn't directly apply to the internet. – zzzzBov Aug 25 '11 at 15:38
Divorced! Seriously I have seen plenty of divorces stemming from people being glued to Facebook, iPhone, Hulu, etc ... – ja72 Aug 25 '11 at 18:24

12 Answers 12

up vote 33 down vote accepted

I'd say the word is nethead - an enthusiastic/obsessive user of the Internet*.

I do recognise the alternative netizen, but for me at least that implies much about a person's attitudes to, and active participation in, the emerging global society embodied in the Internet.

My 84-year-old mother, for example, is online for many hours every day playing "solo" online games. She almost never uses the Net for interactive communication in any form (maybe 3 emails a year), so whilst I would call her a nethead, I would not call her a netizen.

share|improve this answer
Wiktionary gives a better definition you might want to use: An obsessive Internet user. – Thursagen Aug 25 '11 at 12:49
+1 for the connotation of "Netizen". Deriving from "Citizen" it implies community involvement rather than just a presence. – Travis Christian Aug 25 '11 at 16:07
Although the Dictionary doesn't give such connotation. It can be a habitual or avid user without further specification. – Alenanno Aug 25 '11 at 16:09
Your Grandma is scary ;) – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 19:30
@Kheldar: She got hooked on solo computer Scrabble when I gave her my old Sinclair Spectrum 20 years ago. Which was weird, because I'd only ever run that game once, several years before. The program took first go, and by wild fluke it started with the word FUCK. But I assumed it was some kind of joke, so I put it away and never looked at it again. She found it in the bag of game cassettes I gave her when I got a "real PC", loaded it up, and never looked back. But she doesn't like interacting with anyone - especially people she doesn't know - on the Net. She'd be scared of you! :) – FumbleFingers Aug 25 '11 at 20:19


someone who likes using the Internet a lot.

share|improve this answer
Never heard this word used, but +1 because it should be. – T.E.D. Aug 25 '11 at 17:56
This is by far the best term! :) – Arcane Engineer Aug 25 '11 at 19:37
Aaaaah YES. I love it :D – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 21:37
Okay, that's a flipping amazing word. – Aarthi Aug 26 '11 at 4:01
Just because you're online all the time, doesn't mean you like it. It could be a requirement for your job, but you hate your job. – Mark Henderson Aug 26 '11 at 6:22

For example Netizen: A user of the Internet, esp. a habitual or avid one. [NOAD]

If you want some slang you can say: Net abuser: A person who is addicted to the internet. They use it every chance they get. The person googles/searches random information. EX: entertainment, world events, medical conditions. The person uses their blackberry/iphone in class to do assignments, play games.

EDIT: I found other slang terms. One is net rat: A net rat is someone who spends all their time on the internet because they have nothing better to do.

And another one is kind of vulgar and it's net fu**er, which means: A person who spends days on the internet at a time. usually late at night or very early in the morning. [These 3 were taken from UrbanDictionary.com]

share|improve this answer
Yes Thanks :) I understand now :) – Abid Aug 25 '11 at 12:46
@Abid, you're welcome! I don't know if you got it, but Netizen comes from Net + Citizen :) Just saying! :) – Alenanno Aug 25 '11 at 13:06
@Alenano . I got it Completely :) Good Answer though :) – Abid Aug 25 '11 at 14:12
Why the downvote? – Alenanno Aug 25 '11 at 17:03
@Alenano Net rat Sounds more Specific and funny :) – Abid Aug 26 '11 at 5:09

Another possible term, depending on the connotation you want, could be net junkie: someone who is addicted to using the internet, who cannot stay away from it for extended periods without visible anxiety and frustration, whose every action is centered around it, etc.

If someone spends 8 hours a day on the internet because it's their job to monitor and moderate online forums, for example, they could be a netizen as mentioned by others. If they then go home and spend 8 more hours on the internet because they don't have any non-internet-based hobbies, they are almost certainly a net junkie.

share|improve this answer
Nice explanation :) good answer :) I can use that word net junkie – Abid Aug 26 '11 at 5:13
net junkie is the only good answer here. (well, also net rat and net fucker.) It's incredibly confusing that people are offering answers that just mean "people who does use, who understand and use, the internet". – Joe Blow Jul 31 '14 at 17:09

We used to simply say a person was "connected." Also, an entire magazine was designed and published to serve the needs of a particular class of "cybernetic junkie," or "cyberjunkie," who thought of themselves as more-or-less permanently "Wired." Although these terms perhaps originated in the old BBS forum and Usenet days, and may have somewhat preceded the Internet, there was some temporal overlap and they continue to have some usage today.

Most people to whom such terms, and those in the other answers here, are ascribed do not find the terms, themselves offensive but do strenuously object to the usually strongly negative connotations that often accompany their application!

share|improve this answer

I'd say that the person would be called a "netizen" :

someone who spends a lot of time using the Internet

share|improve this answer

Another term would include a "Digital Native". It refers to an individual whom is born digitally adept and computer literate.

From Wikipedia describing a Digital Native:

The analogy of the digital native was also used by Josh Spear and Aaron Dignan (Spear's business partner in the Manhattan-based agency Undercurrent) who talked about people who were "born digital", first appearing in a series of presentations given by Josh Spear in 2007

share|improve this answer
Don't think Digital Native fits. You can be disconnected from Internet most of the time and still be capable of operating social websites (FB etc), or even operating their server software... – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 21:07
@Kheldar you are right in this contest :) – Abid Aug 26 '11 at 5:11


is my favorite word that I have been using all these years.

share|improve this answer

They call programmers Nerd or Geek most of the time. Most programmers are taking their time in front of a computer all the time.

share|improve this answer
Nerd and Geek, as far as I know, are not synonyms actually... – Alenanno Aug 25 '11 at 14:24
I don't mind being called a geek.. but nerd? There'd better be nothing brittle nearby if someone calls me this. Including skulls :) And neither of them implies being addicted to the Internet. – Philoto Aug 25 '11 at 14:40
I'm proud to be called a nerd.. but geek? There'd better be nothing pointy nearby if someone calls me this. Including pens :) And neither of them implies being addicted to the Internet. – Travis Christian Aug 25 '11 at 16:02
They both imply being addicted to the Internet. However, being addicted to the Internet implies neither. – Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 25 '11 at 16:44
Being a Geek doesn't imply Internet connectivity. I know akkadian civilization geeks that spend their year digging hot dirt in countries you'd never set foot in with sandy deserts and scorpions instead of yahoo and gizmodo :D – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 19:34

A no life.

See the urban dictionary.

share|improve this answer
What if they spend their time on SecondLife? Then they have two! – Codie CodeMonkey Aug 25 '11 at 20:23
What if they spend their time using computers in Second Life? – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 21:08
What if they spend their time on secondLife in SecondLife ?? – Abid Aug 26 '11 at 5:16
"How do you kill, that which has no life?" - Southpark – IAdapter Sep 9 '11 at 7:45
@Abid, What if they spend their time using computers on secondLife in SecondLife? – Pacerier Nov 13 '13 at 2:01

Back in the mid 90s the term I most encountered was "Spod". For me, it stuck.

share|improve this answer
catb.org/esr/jargon/html/S/spod.html specifically quotes "terminal junkie", and it's more appropriate here – Kheldar Aug 25 '11 at 19:37

I guess I'd call him netconn :D

share|improve this answer
How did you coin this term? – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 8:20
@simchona : InterNET CONNected. Thing is, Internet might some day get technologically outdated, but the notion of digital net probably won't, so NET seems the better plan. I however favor the Cybernaut suggestion that brings Jason's greek roots to the table. – Kheldar Aug 26 '11 at 9:45
I don't know why I didn't get that--it's interesting. Maybe hypernetconn? To emphasize the "always"? – simchona Aug 26 '11 at 9:46
I thought about it, but HYPERNET already designates a network, so it would suffer from double meaning form the start... – Kheldar Aug 26 '11 at 9:48

protected by RegDwigнt Aug 26 '11 at 14:59

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.