PC addiction?

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Thanks for being patient. I’m thoroughly submerged in the busiest time of my year.  Thankful for the invention of coffee.  You know, one of the politically correct addictions.    I take it intravenously during the month of Feb every year!

However, coffee is not my only PC addiction.  I’m a texter.  I never did like talking on the phone and wholeheartedly embraced texting when it came along.  Recently though, there has been a resurgence of interest in the issue of dopamine’s role in addiction as it relates to texting and social media.  Here is a recent article from Buffalo Grove, IL:

http://buffalogrove.patch.com/articles/are-teens-addicted-to-texting-social-media

But this is not a new issue. As you can easily see by using Google, mulitple articles like this one from Slate have been around for at least four years.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2009/08/seeking.single.html

After reading the above article from Buffalo Grove, I had a conversation with one of my children.  Some highlights:

I read an interesting article on teen addiction to texting and social media.  Did you know that a third of teenagers send 3,000 texts a month?   Did you know that I checked with our carrier yesterday and you sent over 11,000 texts last month?”  A pretty good conversation ensued.  And then  this…

Dad, would you like me to bring up Diet Pepsi now or wait until another conversation?”

Why don’t you go ahead and bring it up  now?”

Studies show that it makes your organs fat….one day yours are going to explode.   And it kills brain cells.   (Pause…wait for it) Which is probably why you believed that article!”

The research on dopamine seems to indicate that almost anything can become an addiction.  And some of the research seems to indicate that the access to use of technology may become one of the most destructive and debilitating of all.  It seems to me that there are some obvious questions:

  • Why are some addictions considered okay – Coffee, facebook, texting, foods, television shows etc – and others not?
  • How is addiction impacting our culture, our education, our families and the church?

And even

  • What is it about us that makes us susceptible to addiction?  (I don’t believe the answer is purely biological)

But there are also some more challenging questions?

  • How do we raise kids to function in this world without falling prey?
  • How do we raise ourselves?
  • What boundaries, habits, postures, and commitments are you making to guard against dopamine’s influence, to keep your habits and decisions governed by choice and your mind fresh and clear?
  • What role does/could Romans 12:2 (Scripture memory?) have in all of this?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Comments
  1. stacy says:

    that is quite a bit to ponder on… and ponder on it I will.

  2. Rob Brewer says:

    I can’t answer any of your questions, but I can tell you that I’ve decided to give up one of my true addictions for Lent. Diet Dr. Pepper. You can say a prayer for me if you wish, but I’m sure the people around me will need your prayers more.

  3. Kevin Mokracek says:

    Hal, very thought provoking. While I ponder addiction I would recommend you do a little research on aspartame and the like. You may be able to kick the diet soda thing after just a few articles on the effects of aspartame on the body and mind. It is amazing how many things have aspartame in them, even stuff that isn’t diet.

    Thanks for the blog and keep on keeping on 😉

  4. Jonathan Kibler says:

    How DO we raise ourselves? News reported today that Google is going to release augmented reality glasses by the end of the year and has just invested $120 mil in specialized optics manufacturing. I don’t think I could use those products without losing freedom of choice as you put it. Does that mean our children couldn’t if they grow up with technology like that and are accustomed to it? I wonder about this.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CEUQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcworld.com%2Farticle%2F250453%2Fgoogle_augmented_reality_glasses_expected_by_years_end.html&ei=UyJFT778Mcjf0QGZkJWJBA&usg=AFQjCNHXuzlRldNJRFKpwPbn-Zo-gF-bRg&sig2=Wgg29mvbVgo6AjJuJQr0mw

  5. peterjwhite says:

    No better time than Lent to examine and name our addictions, cultural acceptable or not.

  6. Mark Galli just wrote an insightful article about Lent for ChristianityToday.com. An application from his insight to your question might be…Our addictions remind us that we cannot help ourselves nearly as much as we wish. We easily become slaves to our appetites and interests. Recognizing this reality can teach us humility and allows us to experience mercy and grace. Someone addictions are clearly destructive, but many are just reminders along the way that all need help, hope and healing from outside ourselves.

    Just as we shouldn’t allow our addictions to become addictions, we mustn’t allow anxiety about addictions to become our new addiction. I’ll drink another cup of coffee to that!

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