I met a friend for lunch recently, such a rarity for me because of my overbooked life, so I had really been looking forward to this. The whole time, though, she kept looking at her iPhone and making remarks like, “Oh, I just need to see what this friend wants. She’s been through such a tough time.” “Oh, there’s my designer. One quick question.”
Believe me, I understand that we may want to take the phone along just in case the school calls, but this type of obsessive behavior made me think that perhaps this person has an addiction.
We have been hearing for years how overuse of gadgets can lead to hearing problems, obesity, cause physcological issues, impact academic performance (read http://www.ehow.com/info_8243630_bad-effects-electronic-gadgets.html for more info)
A study published in PLoS on January 11th has found that overuse of electronic devices can actually lead to brain damage. The study was conducted in China on 17 Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) subjects and 16 healthy controls. The study found more patterns of “abnormal white matter” on brain scans of Internet addicts, compared with scans of non-addicts. White matter areas in the brain contain nerve fibers that transmit signals to other parts of the brain. Such abnormal white matter structure may be linked to some behavioral impairments such as on emotions, decision-making, and self control.