Maureen O'Connor at New York Magazine calls it "the Band-Aid of Luddism." Not that anybody who takes days off from digital media is a Luddite. Certainly not. It's just that band-aids don't fix problems; they make them less visible (yes, and help keep things clean, but stay with me for a minute, here). "We have a tendency to blame technology-mediated problems on the technology itself," … [Read more...] about Does digital downtime fix FOMO?
In a series of man-on-the-street interviews, one young woman's answer to the question, "Do you think you're addicted to the Internet?" was: "Yes…. Twitter. I can't get off of it." Another responded, "I love creeping on Facebook. I never post; I'm just always creeping, creeping, creeping [also called "lurking," looking at people's comments, likes, photos, etc.]." A third said, "I just run to the … [Read more...] about An 18-year-old’s exploration of ‘Internet addiction’ in video
My heart sinks when I see uncritical thinking in commentaries from Internet safety advocates about the media young people love – thinking that defaults (and contributes to a society-level default) to fear that new media's harmful and young users are either potential victims or up to no good. Take videogames, for example. We know that… "Videogame play is pervasive throughout our society," as … [Read more...] about The videogame discourse: Default to open-mindedness!
Judging by the just-released documentary Web Junkie, about a Chinese "Internet addiction" treatment center, it's loneliness that's at the heart of what the Chinese officially call a clinical disorder (more often called "problematic Internet use" in the West). If you can get past the boot-camp-like conditions and young patients' (inmates'?) tears, you'll get to a scene – at 4:50 into the … [Read more...] about ‘Internet addiction’: New ‘disorder’ about age-old needs?
While the US mental healthcare field is considering whether "Internet addiction" is a disorder, it doesn't seem to understand how vast and diverse Internet use is. When a CNN reporter asks psychiatry professor Charles O'Brien at University of Pennsylvania – chair of the working group that determines whether disorders make an official list in the United States – about it, both use "Internet … [Read more...] about Puzzling over ‘Internet addiction’