What’s the very first thing you do in the morning? You open your eyes then you….
Pick up your smart phone. You know it’s true. Many of us wake up in the morning and the first thing we do is reach for the Internet. We update our Facebook pages, check our Twitter timelines and browse the local news.
Then we roll over, kiss our significant others good morning, wake up the kids, take the dog for a walk, take out the trash, get dress and start our day.
Are we addicted to the Internet?
Well that’s the truth about the environment we live in. We have to be connected at all times and it’s definitely become compulsive. We are addicted to the Internet and it won’t be long until it won’t be a culture taboo or daily office joke. “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, widely viewed as the authority on mental illnesses, plans next year to include “Internet use disorder” in its appendix”.[New York Times, 2012]
Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist who lectures about the science of self-control at the Stanford School of Medicine made some very scary observations about humans and their connection to technology. She says that people have a pathological relationship with their devices and not only do they feel addicted but more so trapped.
I can definitely relate to that “trapped” feeling when it comes to technology. I have to turn my phone and lap top completely off and store them away at night in order to remove them from my thoughts. It’s definitely not good when you find yourself looking down at your cell phone every 5 mins to see what’s going on online.
Forbes on the other hand is reporting that social media can be good for you – more for women than men. According to a survey conducted by SheSpeaks.com and Women’s Marketing Inc., one in three women say that their online social media usage has made them more social offline than they were before. Women seem to engage more and socialize offline through online connections while men like to “show” off with no need to connect offline.
So what’s the verdict? Are we addicted or not? I think it’s too soon to determine only because there hasn’t been enough evidence to back the long-term effects of Internet exposure and with the different types of devices one can use to access it who knows what kinds of internet dependence we have.
I look forward to how this will all develop. In the meantime, let’s disconnect as much as we can, take long walks and meditate.