Technology sucks people in, sometimes for hours upon hours. The screen is a way to escape and divert attention away from what’s going on around. Screens and the content on them – whether it’s on an iPhone, a laptop, an iPad, or a Kindle, have the ability to get people addicted, and get them addicted fast. In some cases, the addiction is so bad, that people, both young and old, have difficulty sleeping or interacting on a basic social level. In fact, the Japanese government has seen such negative repercussions with excessive screen time that they have gone so far to have estimated that about 500,000 teens are addicted to the Internet.
A man in Germany was recently fined over $500 in court for sedating his girlfriend with drugs so he could continue gaming with his friend. A German newspaper reported that he put a sedative in his girlfriend’s tea when she got home from work and complained about having him game for the rest of the evening. The man claims it was not a strong dosage, but the woman slept until noon the next day and was still acting groggy throughout the next day. The judge claims that it was a deliberate assault and the man was ordered to pay the fine. (1)
A new report out of the Chung-Ang University Hospital in Korea shows that a form of “virtual reality” therapy can help alcoholics reduce their craving for alcoholic beverages. The study that was done was very small and only included 10 patients, but the findings were surprising enough that the researchers are hopeful that this type of therapy could be used for alcohol dependency disorders on a larger scale, especially since this type of therapy is already used in psychiatry and psychology.
School is out and that means your kids are probably enjoying their time off with no homework and extra time to sleep in and relax. When school’s not in session, it means that your kids are left to entertain themselves and for many, this means turning to a screen. Excessive screen time, however, can lead to language or social delays, attention problems, obesity, aggressiveness, and much more. If you are looking for ways to combat the boredom that may creep up during the summer months and keep your kids from screen time over use, we’ve listed some screen time alternatives here.
Texas senator and GOP presidential candidate for 2016 Ted Cruz recently admitted in an interview that he loves video games and is so addicted that he can’t allow himself to have a gaming console anymore. He explains that he grew up playing video games and that his obsession continued into college and law school. He and his roommate would play all night sometimes. In his interview with The Daily Beast, Cruz was quoted as saying, "I don't have a console, mostly as a time management tool, because if I had one, I would use it far too much.”
A 17 year old Korean boy stabbed his sleeping sister 11 times earlier this month after playing a violent video game. The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency reported that the boy is being charged with attempted murder. He called the police after it happened and admitted that he was the one who stabbed her. Thankfully, the girl’s injuries were not life threatening.
A recent news story out of China reports that an online gamer collapsed after a 14 day binge playing World of Warcraft. The 21 year old male (known as Mr. Xia) collapsed outside of an Internet café and required assistance from passersby. When medical professionals arrived, he was quoted as assaying “Leave me alone and turn on the computer for me. I want to surf the Internet.” A janitorial service provider told the news that she saw him surviving on cigarettes, ate hardly anything, and barely showered.
In recent years, Korean government has become aware and started cracking down on digital addiction, especially video games. Government data via Reuters suggests that about 1 in 10 Korean kids ages 10-19 are addicted to the Internet, but a new VICE report shows that the number could be as high as 50%. VICE reporter Matt Shea traveled to South Korea and investigated the world of online sports and found that many teenagers are addicted to games like Starcraft or League of Legends. Recently, a teenage boy admitted in an interview that he spends his life in front of his computer and has no career plan. He spends about 88 hours a week gaming.
A Colorado girl was arrested and put into a juvenile detention center last month after trying to poison her mother with bleach. The police reported that the girl was angry that her mom took away her iPhone, so she sought revenge. The mom noticed the smell of bleach coming from her smoothie had thought maybe it was just part of the recently cleaned glass. But then she noticed the smell again coming from a water bottle and the mom confronted the daughter. She admitted that she was trying to kill her because she took her iPhone. Police believe that the situation was likely hostile before this incident. (1)
Do you have people on your Facebook friend list that often post vague updates about their life, leaving you to wonder if he or she are struggling? Or, maybe you have seen status updates that are clearly even more concerning, informing followers about a state of depression and that he or she is considering self-harm. Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence and happens all the time in the social media world today. Facebook recognizes this growing issue and has launched a new feature for suicide prevention. The site has partnered with Now Matters Now, Save.org, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention (a nonprofit that is based out of the University of Washington’s School of Social Work).
If you’re a parent in today’s day in age, it’s almost impossible to get away from the appeal of your smartphone. With so many apps to discover, emails and texts to send at all hours of the day, and Facebook statuses to read, your smartphone is likely with you at all times. It’s very easy to get absorbed by what’s going on with your smartphone and if you do this regularly, a new study out of Boston Medical Center says that you may have more negative interactions with your children and that they may be made to feel like they’re trying to compete for attention. The study offers a very realistic and sobering picture of how technology devices like smartphones are doing to the parent/child relationship.
Selfie here, selfie there: selfies are all over the Internet. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, everywhere you turn, you see people taking pictures of themselves – everywhere they go. The “I’m-going-to-take-a-picture-of-myself” obsession has become a phenomenon. People take selfies when they’re hiking, when they’re cooking, when they’re working, and even while they’re driving. We have all heard about the dangers of distracted driving, whether it’s talking on the phone while you’re on the road, texting and driving, or now, even taking selfies while you’re operating a car. Well, distracted driving doesn’t just end with vehicles.
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