How often do you see people with their faces stuck into their mobile phones, tablets, laptops, ignoring the real world around them – even their own children desperately craving attention. It’s become a real problem over recent years. And I can’t really throw rocks, as I can see the addiction in myself – another message, another email, another blog post arrived, a ‘like’ on my post, another important petition, another request for money, a news update, another try at that Candy game…
As this article in Positive News identifies, this is a big problem for many people, life threatening even for some. But the important thing is to become aware of it and do something about it, retain connection with other people and the real world.
The article particularly addresses the issue of bringing up children into this technological environment:
Tough as it can be to demote technology from master to servant, most adults have at least one crucial advantage: they can remember life before the smartphone took off in 2009. The ‘digital natives’ – those whose first encounter with a camera phone probably occurred seconds after they left the womb – are not so blessed. [A 23 year old gaming addict] traces the roots of his addiction to the age of four, and experts are worried that too much screen in early life makes adults much more vulnerable to tech temptation.
“Parents know not to hand drugs and alcohol to children, but they do hand gaming devices to their young children without any concept that this is actually influencing their child’s brain like a drug,” says… a psychotherapist… “You’re going to really save these people some tremendous heartache if you can intervene early.”
The article is good for raising awareness of the issue. Obviously many people in the world are in the process of addressing it, not least most parents!
What can I do? Well at least see the problem in myself, minimise my own screen time, particularly when children are about, be present for others, spend more of that precious time out in the world with nature…
5 thoughts on “Internet Addiction”
An important message, Barry. I hope we aren’t fighting a losing battle!
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The evidence is increasingly coming in. For example today’s Guardian reports on research that shows increased incidence of depression/ consideration of suicide for those making high use of smartphones/ social media. (“Is it time to ban children from using smartphones?”
Our brains betray us. They reward behavior that may have had a benefit to us a thousand, or twenty thousand years ago. But today, addiction to dopamine reward may be humanity’s worse ever. I wonder if there’s a drug CorpPharma has created that would suppress the dopa-drip we get from the little dings, tweedles and tiny red dots beckoning from our phones and computers?
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But would we take such a drug, probably only if it gave its own rewards. The real task is to educate, become aware, and develop the will to resist. Oh dear, I nearly said ‘take back control’…
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