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Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

Posted April 30, 2014 8:18 AM by HUSH
Pathfinder Tags: addiction digital phone technology

An ill-fated encounter with The Incredible Hulk has cast me back into the pre-dawn age of the smart phone. Afterwards, I considered it more hassle than my cell phone was worth to contact park employees and explain why I hadn't properly secured my belongings, nor that I knew on what part of the ride it had slipped from my pocket. In any event, that phone had been going strong for nearly two years, so losing it doing something awesome at least made its loss feel noble.

I was never upset or frustrated by losing my smart phone. I've previously documented my indifference to cell phone culture here on CR4. It was, at most, a moderate inconvenience for me. But my current phone, an old one from 1898 2008, is worse than not having a phone at all. No speakerphone. No text messages with multiple addresses. No sports scores-and right in the midst of the MLB season, the NFL draft, and the NHL playoffs. It's dreadful.

Is this a sign of burgeoning technology addiction?

Probably not. A lot of ink has been spilled over the past few years on the topic of technological and digital addictions, and there seems to be two schools of thought on the subject: dismissive and convincing. Those in the former believe that since such an addiction has yet to be officially classified, and true addicts are so rare, that it doesn't count. While those in the latter camp feel that the omnipresence of digestible media and electronic devices are negatively consuming people's faculties. However, neither party disagrees that over-attention to technology can have serious negative side-effects.

This harmony has pushed cultural and political issues to the forefront. In South Korea, electronics addiction has become so unparalleled that laws have been passed which prevent children from online gaming past midnight. Now another ban may prevent them from unregulated mobile gaming. It's a country which treats elite gamers like star prizefighters-mobs of fans, constant media attention, huge competition purses. China has enacted similar bans; laws there require a time break after three hours of gaming, and failing to comply requires the game software to shut down or eliminate accrued points. South Korea and China are definitely on the extreme end of the digital addiction spectrum however, and there is no way that e-abuse could be as pervasive in Western countries, right?

Apparently not. This Telegraph article documents the rise of gaming addiction in young children in the U.K., as well as the professional treatment centers which rehabilitate youngsters who, "play 20 hours a day [and] get defensive when parents try to take games away." A study released last year by the University of Maryland recognized that college-aged students around the world are hopelessly glued to their devices-42% of those surveyed spent more than five hours online each day. It is statistics like this which show just show just how prevalent and overlooked digital addiction can be.

Looking over my previous post history, it can be easy to construe me as a luddite: someone who shuns the advance of technology due to values and ideals. While I've rallied against AI, automated and interconnected cars, and other progression, I feel as though I'm quite the advocate for personal responsibility. Therefore, in my opinion, to each their own.

If South Korean children want to play video games all night, and their parents are cool with it, then legislation shouldn't be stepping in to tell kids to go to bed. I personally don't think any child should have unfettered access to any electronic entertainment, and therefore my kids are afforded a daily allowance of video games.

Many in the media seem intent on equating digital addiction with drug addictions. They cite that people feel a hormonal rush from their digital devices, and withdrawal symptoms appear from addicts who abstain. Yet there is a clear distinction between drug addictions and digital addictions.

As this BBC news correspondent noted, "In our overly diagnostic world, before we rush to medically label another one of our behaviors, is there something truly, inherently addictive about modern technology?"

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#1

Re: Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

05/02/2014 9:30 PM

Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?Don't know, have to Google it.

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#2
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Re: Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

05/04/2014 2:15 PM

Shameless!

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#3

Re: Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

05/05/2014 1:53 AM

Digital addiction is stealing attention away from that other serious affliction....Analogue Addiction.

Analogue Addiction is an obsessive craving for reality.

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Re: Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

05/05/2014 9:44 AM
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#5

Re: Is Digital Addiction a Real Affliction?

03/11/2019 11:04 AM

I think it is. It's a serious issue. You just need to play for reasonable amounts of time and money and everything will be okay. I'm playing on this website https://rocketpayz.com/ every weekend and making money along the way. I'm just enjoying myself. You need to have a limit at this. You need to have a limit at everything.

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