Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are you in love with the internet?

A few weeks ago I read an article in Newsweek about people being addicted to the internet. I found it very surprising and fascinating. Then I did a tad more research to support what I read and thought I would share what I found because I think everyone can relate in some way.


Just like anything, not overdoing indulging in any activity is bad. Food, reading, hair washes, chocolate milk use. I think the main thing is just being aware of all of your habits, how they affect you in your professional and personal life. It is kind of like writing down every item you buy to see where all of your money is going. Then at the end of the month you realize that you are spending $300 on back scratches. Once you know there is a problem, you can start to fix it, and maybe start using a wall or a tree to scratch your back...like a grizzly bear does. Taking online quizzes is sort of a fun way to get feedback which I found about internet addiction. If you think you love the internet a little too much take this quick test. (pssst-you will probably take the test because it means more time online...which you love......you addict you)

http://www.netaddiction.com/index.php?option=com_bfquiz&view=onepage&catid=46&Itemid=106


Common characteristics that come up are low self-esteem, poor motivation,and fear of rejection. Some people might enjoy the internet a bit more than most is if they are socially awkward and have trouble communicating. Kimber Young wrote in a paper I read that "the disappearance of facial expression, voice inflection, and eye contact makes electronic communication less threatening, thereby helping the depressive to overcome the initial awkwardness and intimidation in meeting and speaking with others". Also knows as online dating. 
Makes sense if you have trouble forming relationships in person, expressing yourself virtually with other people from around the world makes your life better, why not get as much joy out of that as you can. So of why online gaming, which is incredible, is so fun. 

The scariest thing from the Newsweek article about overuse of the internet noted that the internet  "may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious...our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts". DRUG ADDCITS!!?? That can't be good. Peter Whybrow argues that "the computer is like electronic cocaine" fueling cycles of mania followed by depressive stretches.
I find that kind of hard to believe but people do love their iPhone's and WiFi passwords. A Stanford study if iPhone habits found that one in 10 users feels "fully addicted" to his or her phone." I'm sure everyone can think of times where you are somewhere and everyone is on their phone or inappropriately checking their FB Timeline. 

Dilbert.comI probably would be as well but my phone cost $20 and barely receives text messages. I enjoy the internet, mainly to message my friends, use Skype and watch football. I'm not a huge gamer like in Taiwan or Korea where people have literally died from gaming too much or a Korean family who let their real life baby starve while they played house in a virtual world:

 http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-19-death-by-gaming-why-taiwans-cafe-culture-is-killing-gamers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/mar/05/korean-girl-starved-online-game

Finally, you remember that KONY 2012 viral video that was about raising awareness about an evil African warlord? Apparently one of men involved in making the video become so obsessed with all of the media attention, feedback and other things that go along with instant fame and success and didn't exactly handle it well and there is a video of him, doing not sane things. "The same digital tools that supported his mission seemed to tear at his psyche, exposing him to non-stop kudos and criticisms, and ending his arm's-length relationship with new media..."

The best stat I found that is kind of remarkable is that "the average person, regardless of age, sends or receives about 400 texts a month, four times the 2007 number. The average teen processes an astounding 3,700 texts a month" I don't get 400 texts a month. I'm not that cool, there I said it. But hopefully cooler than this girl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3jOlQqDPzQ
or this girl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg11glsBW4Y

And the best quote I found about all of this which I find very true is "we may appear to be choosing to use this technology, but in fact we are being dragged to it by the potential of short term rewards. Every ping could be social, sexual, or professional opportunity, and we get a mini-reward, a squirt of dopamine, for answering the bell."
Stay aware out their people, say hi to your neighbor, but don't go fetch anything on his roof for him, trust me. 















Many people want to change their life, but they are not will

 to change their choices, and ultimately this changes 

nothing.



Also, if you want to check out my debut in Thailand radio, here you go. Hopefully a former gospel radio host is enjoying this somewhere. This video may or may not work. If not, I can email it to you.
video



citations:
The Relationship Between Depression and Internet Addiction by Kimberly S. Young and Robert C. Rodgers
http://www.netaddiction.com/articles/cyberpsychology.pdf

Newsweek, July 16th 2012



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