Where’s a Terminator when you need one?
The machines are taking over, but not how you might have imagined.
Our always-on, tweeting-texting-posting-friending-connecting addiction is unplugging our brains.
That’s the gist the latest Newsweek cover story “iCrazy: Is the Web Driving Us Man,” which contains hard-core research about a technology-induced trauma that’s scarier than drug, alcohol and cigarette additions – combined.
When the American Psychiatric Associations releases its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) next year, it will include, for the first time, “Internet Addiction Disorder” (IAD), right up there with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Some of us are brain-lining digital juice like a Borg.
Resistance is futile.
• Newsweek reports we’ve effectively merged with our machines and stare at a screen for at least eight hours a day or longer. We spend less time asleep.
• Teens are just the worse. The fit some seven hours of screen time into the average school day and that’s not counting the time spent multitasking on several devices, which brings the average time spent digitally-dosing to 11 hours. OMFG.
• Texting for many is as unconscious as blinking. The average person, at any age, sends or receives some 400 texts a month, four times the number in 2007. Teens process, on average, a finger-numbing 3,700 texts a month, double the 2007 figure.
• More than two thirds of us report feeling our phone vibrate when nothing is happening. It’s the “phantom-vibration syndrome.” That’s brain damage.
And Goggle wants to inject this stuff right into your eyeballs and really have you FUBAR.
Newsweek interviewed shrinks who compare the impact digital culture is having on the human psyche with global warming spreading climate change around the planet.
The worst of these cyber-clowns show up in movie and stage theaters, art galleries, libraries and museums, itching to remain connected to virtual worlds. The digital monkey on their back makes them oblivious to those who want to react with real 3-D reality.
Scanned brains of these zeroed-out zombies closely resemble brain scans of drug addicts. Frequent digital trips fire up the same pleasure centers of the brain that are triggered by inhaling a rail of cocaine.
Heavy use of the portable, social, accelerated, all-pervasive nature of the Net makes us more stupid, lonelier, depressed, anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive behavior and attention-deficit disorders, even psychosis, according to experts Newsweek interviewed.
The story is peppered with comments from psychology and psychiatry experts discussing the effects of digital overdosing, including:
• “The computer is like electronic cocaine.”
• “The internet leads to behavior that people are conscious is not in their best interest and does leave them anxious and does make them act compulsively.” (That guy sounds a little loopy.)
• “Fosters our obsessions, dependence, and stress reactions.”
• “Encourages – and even promotes – insanity.”
Check yourself, before you wreck yourself.
There is a cure.