Technology May Lead to Attention Deficit Disorder

Parents raising children diagnosed with some kind of attention deficit disorder (ADD) already know that television and video games are the biggest pacifiers you can find. But now some mental health experts are claiming that technology and its addictive properties may be a contributing factor to developing ADD thanks to a breakdown of interpersonal relationships.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, Dr. Elias Aboujaoude, director of Stanford University's Impulse Control Disorders Clinic at Stanford University, is worried about the future, saying that we're heading down a dark path if our attention span decreases to a point where we can only take in 140 characters at a time.

"The more we become used to just sound bites and tweets," Aboujaoude said, "the less patient we will be with more complex, more meaningful information. And I do think we might lose the ability to analyze things with any depth and nuance. Like any skill, if you don't use it, you lose it."

Another health expert calls the problem "acquired attention deficit disorder" because technology is rewiring the modern brain. He even added that we're short-circuiting our brains by using spell-checkers or contact lists that sore telephone numbers.

The article even goes on to describe one woman who must drink a glass a wine to ease her anxiety from being away from the computer. Manish Rathi, co-founder of conducted a survey and discovered that many people also jump onto Facebook and Twitter after sex. "It's the new cigarette," Rathi said.

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Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more. 

  • redgarl
    Well, technology have created a new world where we are supposed to meet other peoples... a little like the idea of internet in ghost of a shell. As frightening it sound to be, I think we should go even further to discover where the human imagination can go.

    At the same time, doing it may represent sacrificing a part of our humanity. I did this sacrifice a long time ago...
  • gamerjames
    Maybe it is just me, but this should be common knowledge, as well as "cell phones cause brain cancer"
  • Parrdacc
    That sounds like what they said about TV and I am sure some newspaper articles said the same thing about radio as well. Sure there will be those like what the article is worried about, however history has shown the vast majority of people do not become that way cause we learn to adapt and use the technology that best fits our individual lives. In the long run this will be like what they said decades ago when the TV came out.
  • sslazio77
    "He even added that we're short-circuiting our brains by using spell-checkers or contact lists that sore telephone numbers. " - Looks like he didn't use spell check...
  • christop
    tech what? I forgot what I was typing... Owell
  • lashabane
    Yeah, I was about to Oh look a penny!
  • He did use spell-check but his brain was too short-circuted to proof-read. But seriously, spell-check is pretty useful most times as I couldn't remember every spelling before either and contact lists have kept me from having to remember a long list of phone numbers which I kept in a little black book previously anyway.
  • pbrigido
    Technology may or may not lead to a bunch of things.
  • Yoder54
    It all depends on how you use technology. I have been teaching computer/multi-media for 22 years now, and the technology does not cause ADD/ADHD. What causes it, is when parents let their kids sit in front of a monitor for hours on end playing mindless games. Kids need to get out, get dirty, and breath some fresh air. The latest research I have read states that kids should spend a max of about 90 minutes a day playing games. Sounds reasonable.

    Kids who know how to use technology properly and don't let it dominate their lives are incredibly intelligent. As with anything...learn to use it in moderation.

    There is something going on. My generation did not have ADD/ADHD, etc. I have also noticed that 20 years ago kids could write good computer code. Today? Hah, it is a joke. They cannot even do simple action script. This concerns me as far as our technological potential is concerned. Maybe it will all be reduced to a GUI app someday...out with the code, and in with the images.

    But, technology is a great tool for education.
  • Gin Fushicho
    The thing is Facebook and twitter weren't there first , the rest of technology that WANTED our attention span was.