Internet Addiction is More Real than You Think
For someone struggling with the withdrawal side effects of something as sinister as smack or meth, the idea that someone can be “addicted” to things like shopping, gaming, or the Internet sounds not only absurd but downright insulting. We don’t see a shopaholic going through fits of shaking and vomiting or the Internet addict going into a coma from overdose. But despite the medical and physical differences in these conditions, doctors are more and more convinced that a digital addiction is something we should take seriously in our modern techno-culture.
Keep in mind that never before in the history of mankind have we had access to something like Google Glass or an iPhone. A magic stone in your pocket that can light up to show you anything and everyone in the world. A little light that hovers over your eye showing you a glimpse into a digital “spirit realm” where information flows and video transcends the limits of space and time. These things sound ludicrous when you look at them from the perspective of someone just a few decades ago, let alone several hundred years ago.
The world has changed and we along with it. The brain is accustomed to only so much mental and sensory stimulation. The amount of information we process on a daily basis in today’s world is drastically more than in ages past, so it’s possible that our physiology (and certainly our psychology) hasn’t quite caught up to the digital age.
As more and more people are reporting adverse effects to their addiction to being “plugged in,” we must consider the effects our tools and tech are having on our minds and bodies. Having access to all that digital data is amazing and lets us do wondrous things. But, as with any tool or stimulant, limits must be set in order to maintain a healthy life balance. We haven’t quite reached the point in the digital age where this kind of health education becomes a public conversation but we might be getting close.
Take care of yourself. Be aware of the light from your tablet on your eyesight. Be aware of overtaxing your brain with constant digital interaction. Give yourself rest and recovery time. It’s beneficial to supplement your diet with Omega 3s and fish oil to replenish your brainpower after a day of interfacing with the Interwebs. Above all, maintain balance.