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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

MORE EVIDENCE OF TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

BRYCE ON TECHNOLOGY

- Some new evidence revealing the legitimacy of the concept, and its effects.

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I have been writing about the addictive properties of technology for several years now, even going so far as to label it a drug. Although several people have congratulated me on my essays, there are still people who are skeptical and reluctant to admit excessive use of technology can lead to an addition, particularly young people. Recently, more evidence has surfaced in the press describing the effects of excessive use of technology.

An interesting study, "Patterns of Mobile Device Use by Caregivers and Children During Meals in Fast Food Restaurants," was published in the March 10, 2014 issue of "PEDIATRICS," the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study concludes excessive use of smart phones causes parents and caregivers to become more irritable and less patient with their children; specifically, "Highly absorbed caregivers often responded harshly to child misbehavior." This obviously notes how technology alters personalities.

Aside from mental changes, other physical changes have surfaced. In the March 1, 2014 issue of Africa's "The Standard Group," a report was published noting the development of "Tech Ring," a line around the neck and chin caused from looking down at smart phones and computers. Take a good luck around at your colleagues at work. Don't be surprised if you see it.

In India, the public is being warned of new ill effects resulting from smart phones, specifically excessive use of technology leading to sleep deficiencies, thereby causing anxieties which leads to problems in interpersonal relationships, particularly within families. Even sex lives are impacted through the distraction of smart phones.
There are other studies recently produced suggesting smart phone ring tones and text messaging beeps are creating a Pavlov's Dog effect by owners. Whenever an audio response is given, it triggers changes in the brain. More on this will be reported soon.

The proliferation of smart phone photography has led to the popular "selfies" whereby people take pictures of themselves. Scientists now believe this is leading to mental health conditions focusing on a person's obsession with looks. Consequently, this leads to narcissism.

As to pure addiction though, South Korea's Ministry of Science is the latest to report on a survey of the country's teenagers and found one in four (25%) to be addicted. Middle school children topped the list at nearly 30%. Let's be clear, this is not about ownership or proficiency in the use of technology, it is about addiction in the same vein as drug addiction. The people cannot function without it.

These reports suggest our technology addiction is real and is altering people mentally and physically. Both parents and children must be made aware of the dangers involved and use such technology more judiciously. Some businesses are now encouraging workers to take a break from their technology during the day in order to refresh themselves and refocus. Web sites such as, "Tech Timeout," have been established to provide awareness and guidance in dealing with technology addiction. While there, be sure to "Take the Pledge."

Keep the Faith!

For additional information, here is a listing of my articles regarding Technology Addiction:

Our Smartphone Addiction - Sep 13, 2013
The Cell Phone Pledge - Dec 03, 2010
The Digital Pandemic - Mar 17, 2010

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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