Our minds need to be perpetually entertained, an eighth sin that the ancients would have listed if they had round-the-clock cable with 500 channels. Universal wi-fi, blackberries and cell-phones, and portable audio, video, and game players have banished boredom forever. Stimulation is available 24/7; life has become Las Vegas.(And the first iPhone had not yet been released!)
Says Dr. David Greenfield of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction:
“Only a small percentage of people qualify as addicted...but many people overuse their smartphones....if you can’t help being on it even when you know you shouldn’t be, that loss of control is the hallmark of an addiction.”Like other addictions, Internet smartphone use is rewiring our brains:
Referring to the Internet as “the world’s largest slot machine,” Greenfield says the fact that we don’t know what we’ll find when we check our email, or visit our favorite social site, creates excitement and anticipation. This leads to a small burst of pleasure chemicals in our brains, which drive us to use our phones more and more.Cutting back is hard; Dr. Greenfield suggests keeping one's bedroom cellphone-free: “Nothing good comes from keeping your phone next to your bed.” I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I leave the phone charging in another room overnight.
I'm glad he didn't say anything about the iPad....