Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Name is Dinah and I am an Addict

From The Huffington Post, here is an article on people with PDA addictions. I can relate. Only I can relate pro-actively. I knew the first time I saw email that it would ruin my life. I kept it in my office, but I found myself wanting to go to work to check my email. Eventually, I surrendered and brought it home. It ruined my life.

I don't have internet access on my cell phone or PDA. Why? Because I check it all the time. I check it in traffic. I check it when I'm on line at the grocery store. I check it after I check it. Repeatedly. What am I looking for? Does it matter? It's bad enough that I'm glued to my laptop at home.

I don't have internet access in my office. No, I'm not kidding. I'm there to be at work, and I'm supposed to be with my patients. If I had a computer, I'd be peeking at email, waiting for time between patients to check, to blog, to plug in.

Huffington writes:

We realize that this is a widespread malady. Consider these stats:

  • In 2009, the average American watched more than 151 hours of TV a month -- an all-time high
  • 84% of people check their PDAs just before bed and as soon as they wake up -- and an astounding 85% peek at their PDAs in the middle of the night!
  • One survey found that over a third of smartphone users would pick their BlackBerry over their significant other if they had to choose one to live without!

If all this sounds like addiction, well, it probably is. In a new study, college students who went 24 hours without using any media -- no cell phone, iPod, TV, etc. -- then blogged about their experience, using terms of addiction to describe their feelings: in withdrawal, frantically craving, miserable, jittery, crazy.

I can relate.


HappyOrganist said...

That's horrible.

Sunny CA said...

When I get away from cell phone, telephone, computer, TV, I feel WONDERFUL! I hike, eat, talk, read. This only happens on vacation, but it ought to be integrated into my life. I have been studying for exams to qualify me to teach math (in addition to science) and the time spent studying has caused me to cut my cell and computer use to the minimum and it has been an improvement in life quality. I often have thought I am addicted, too. I can find it hard to turn off the computer and walk away. "Away" is better, though.

Mindful said...

I confess to being one of the 85% who checks their blackberry in the middle of the night. Also on waking up, in traffic, during commercials, under the table at meetings, on trams, basically antytime I can squeeze in a glimpse. They don't call them ctackberries for nothing.

Judy said...

I know,I know,me too with that crazy pull to check and recheck. I would like to be so strong to remove internet access from my office.

moviedoc said...

"withdrawal, frantically craving, miserable, jittery, crazy"

Is that really different from how you might feel upon discovering you snail-mail box doesn't contain that letter you've been hoping for?

Just what it is you're addicted to? the Inernet? the PDA? the medium or the message?

I think we've become addicted to addiction: Too much of anything used to be bad. Now too much of anything is addiction.

Dinah said...

Personally, I don't believe that 84% of people check their pda in the middle of the night.

Lockup Doc said...

Dinah-I understand that at work you want to stay focused on work and not be distracted by the internet, but is it difficult for you to practice psychiatry with no internet access?

(I guess I've gotten so used to looking up relevant psychiatric info and drug interactions online that I think it'd be hard to give it up.)

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem.... I mean, I'm watching TV right now, am on my laptop, and my iPhone is sitting on my laptop. Nope. All under control.