Archives for category: Internet Addiction

Image courtesy of Justin Metz at Newsweek.

Been online for 8 hours today?

Churning through emails, checking Facebook, posting Powerpoints, playing with pixels?

Guess what.

You’re brain is on crack.

MRI scans in the US and China are showing that people who spend 38 hours a week online (that’s not hard) are producing brains that look like drug addicts’.

The grey stuff (the smart stuff that controls motor function, memory, emotion, senses and more) shrinks by up to 10-20%, and the white stuff (involved in spreading messages quicker, attention and decision matter) grows in its place.

Your cerebral cortex, the part responsible for thought, changes shape. And it can start to morph after a week of practice. And it continues to.

So we’re becoming quicker thinkers. But we can’t remember about what.

And we pay more attention to that cat video, but can’t tell someone why it’s funny.

Same goes for gamers; speed, agility and skill vs smiles, memories and living in that weird thing called reality.

The advice from the doctor? Switch off.

More on this at Newsweek.com

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How People Spend Their Time Online

According to trendwatching.com, 2012 is the year when we’ll all crave a little solitude. Switching off from life’s littanys, loves and ‘likes’ is just what we’re all secretly craving, they say.

The US average time spent daily online of 62 minutes vs a stolen snippet of morning meditation just doesn’t quite redress the imbalance.

Last year, Swedish telecoms provider Telia launched a free download that enabled customers to disable the internet for a set period of time at home and also set up internet-free zones in several public locations across Sweden.

Why? We’re too contactable. And too addicted.

Internet addiction will be listed in the Psychology Disorder Almanac, DSM V, as a listed psychological problem as of next year. But that means most people I know are sick sick sick.

We’re not at fault for communicating constantly all day, everyday. In fact the genius of the internet and social media is that it’s flattering the one thing humans love doing most; chatting, gossiping, storytelling and beating our own chests. It’s actually highly caveman behaviour. Just with more hashtags. And keys.

But now the internet is having its way with us. From young net addicts performing Fuicide to the  ‘Kony 2012‘ producer losing his marbles from ‘reactive psychosis’ due to net-addiction, our brains are screaming out for more time off. Even a holiday isn’t a holiday anymore unless your phone is switched off too.

So who’s going to lead/jump onto this ‘disconnection’ idea? After all, a break means you’ll have more energy to post with more punch afterwards, right?

So, on the count of three, join me and turn close your computer and go and see the real world.

One,

Two,

Still here, right??

Three. You’re hooked.

Read more about it at Newsweek.com

My boyfriend and I can sit here for hours… surfing, scrolling, tapping, searching… and suddenly it’s midnight.

I feel completely disorientated, drained, and utterly empty “upstairs”.

Why does my brain literally feel rubbery? Thoughts slide slowly around but not coherently… it’s like someone’s vacuumed my head empty. It’s black, it’s a void. It’s dead space.

This is the feeling of the “internet hole”.

What I would give for a nifty little self-reading EEG at these times. I just desperately want to prove what the I know electric impulses are doing: Nothing.

If you read the reports out of China this month, teenagers who surf the net for 13 hours a day have significantly reduced grey matter.

“Our study reflects the long-term Internet addiction can lead to deterioration in brain structure,” said the researchers.

The brain cortex functions to process memory, emotion, speech, sight and hearing as well as control the movement of people.

This is coupled with the Washington Post reports this month that search engines like Google are effectively changing our brain structures:

“We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowing where the information can be found,” says Columbia University psychologist Betsy Sparrow.

This is scary.

I’m logging off right now.

Right after I take this nifty little memory quiz

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