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 Retrevo.com 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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At the same time, doing it may represent sacrificing a part of our humanity. I did this sacrifice a long time ago...
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.