Table 3

Suggested Questions for an MSE

Appearance and general behavior
    What's on your _______ (Facebook, MySpace, Other) profile?
    Do you have an avatar? If yes: Can you describe your avatar for me?
    What have you chosen for your e-mail addresses, screen names, or nicknames on the Internet? Can you explain why you chose them?
    I've noticed that a lot of people have phogographs of themselves on their _______ (Facebook, MySpace, Other) profiles. How did you choose the ones that you posted? Or: Why did you decide not to post one of yourself?
    Are you more comfortable expressing yourself in person or online?
Attitude, rapport, mood, and affect
    Have you ever purchased treatments, such as drugs, medicines, or herbal supplements from an Internet pharmacy or Website?
    Have you ever been involved in a flame war?
    How would you feel if your computer crashed tomorrow and you were unable to log on to the Internet?
    Do you get any support from family, friends, or others online?
Thought process and content
    Do you use any Websites that you check regularly for updates, such as online auctions, news sites, social networking sites like Twitter, stock trading sites, or others? How often do you check them?
    How long does it take you to write an e-mail (or blog post)? Do you ever find yourself going back and editing your message repeatedly?
    Do you look up medical information online?
    What kinds of information have you read online?
    Have you learned anything interesting on the Web lately?
Perceptual disturbances
    Do you ever feel that what happens online (or in your favorite game or virtual world) is more real than your life offline?
    Do you ever lose track of time or forget where you are when you are playing a game or chatting online? If yes: Can you tell me a little more about what that's like?
    Have you ever had trouble figuring out what was real and what was not real while online or while playing a game?
Insight and judgment
    Are you concerned about your privacy online?
    What do you do to protect _________ (your privacy, your identity, your children, other) online?
    Do you ever send e-mails to famous people, or to people you don't know very well? If yes: What kinds of things do you say?
    Do you think your Internet use has caused any problems for you in your ________ (job, marriage, school, social life, other)?
Impulse control
    Have you ever posted something or done something on the Internet and regretted it later?
    When you ____________ (shop online, gamble online, chat, look at Internet pornography, have cybersex, play games online), do you ever feel like you are doing it too much or can't stop when you want to?
Do you ever have difficulty controlling an urge to shop online, gamble at Internet casinos, send inappropriate e-mails, engage in cybersex, or view Internet pornography?