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US Students Suffering From Internet Addiction

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the also-high-on-sheen dept.

Media 314

PsiCTO writes "American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study. This probably falls under the no-big-surprise category. CBC Radio 1 played a couple of interviews with students that took part in the study. I especially liked the quote in which the student felt like he had a phantom limb experience with his cell phone."

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314 comments

No News Affiliation? (3, Informative)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731788)

Students in the Maryland study also showed no loyalty to news programs, a news personality or news platform.

Must be why Katie Couric left.

Re:No News Affiliation? (2)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732140)

The revelation that [paraphrase] "college students have little loyalty to news programs, and rarely watch TV or read a newspaper" is far from it. TV and newspapers are expensive when you're in school, and are often tricky to negotiate in a dorm, which you don't own and are limited in space. What college students DO do a lot of is watch TV programs, but they do it for free on Hulu or network websites or for very cheap through Netflix and iTunes. If people look at the internet and attached devices as enabling a lot more interaction and getting of news, they really can take the place of traditional media sources. Maybe it's of a different type, but choice is a Good Thing.

Re:No News Affiliation? (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732314)

If people look at the internet and attached devices as enabling a lot more interaction and getting of news, they really can take the place of traditional media sources. Maybe it's of a different type, but choice is a Good Thing.

I found it particularly odd that TFA states "They maintained a casual relationship to news brands, and rarely distinguished between news and general information." - what is news if not general information? Maybe saying that exposes me as a member of the very generation they're studying, but it's more or less the definition I would provide if asked to describe 'news': information about what's going on around me.

More generally, the sense of hand-wringing by both the authors and the student quoted seems excessive to me. A permanent connection to an information stream (world news, messages from friends, etc. etc.) seems like a wonderful thing to have access to, and I'm glad to live in a time when it's available - is it really surprising that artificially removing it from one person while everyone else remains connected is a somewhat jarring experience?

Re:No News Affiliation? (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732630)

Must be why Katie Couric left.

Who?

My neice (5, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731830)

At 16, she is horribly addicted to all of these things. We had my dad's 70th b-day party over the weekend and she sulked in the corner the entire time with her face buried in her phone. When her dad tried to take it away so she could, you know, be involved with the family on this momentous occasion, she threw a temper tantrum I've not seen in anyone other than a 5 year old in the candy aisle at the grocery store.

She's like that any time I see her - buried in the phone.

Re:My neice (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731952)

She's 16. She most likely wouldn't be involved regardless of what object was in her hand.

Re:My neice (2)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732124)

Absolutely agreed - the tantrum sounds childish and absolutely unacceptable, but it'd be a rare 16 year old who would particularly want to be involved with a group of people well outside her age group who she more than likely feels herself to have little in common with. The lack of basic politeness sounds unfortunate, but I don't think that's the fault of the tech.

Re:My neice (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732444)

WTF?... What a fucking low standard we should hold 16 year old's to these days?

Makes me feel old beyond my years to say that I attended multiple birthdays of 'old people' and managed to look like I was sharing the same reality.

Re:My neice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732876)

Considering that humans are living longer (on average) than humans in the entire history of our species children are not required to grow up (mentally) as fast as they did in the past. Not long ago (in the 20th century) many children were required to work full-time jobs to help support their families which, in turn, required them to be mature and responsible at a much earlier age. Those that did not have full-time employment outside the home were required to be full-time homemakers and act as surrogate mothers/fathers to the younger children in the home while the parents were out working 14-hour days on the farm or in a factory. Early death for parents was also extremely high due to labor conditions and poor health research/public policy and it wasn't uncommon for a young child to have to take over as head of the household when a parent was killed on the job or by diseases that are almost non-existent now. Biologists have proven that the brain does not form to complete maturity until around the age of 23 so it is kind of nice that kids can be kids for a bit longer.

Re:My neice (4, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732412)

In many cultures (past and present) a 16 year old is considered an adult and often has learned to demonstrate the maturity and responsibility that goes with that status. It is a sad state when a 16 year old has to be treated like a child and even sadder when they respond at a level even lower than the pathetic expectations of our society. I don't understand why someone in their teens finds it so challenging to interact with other adults regardless of age. Yes, the cell phone had little to do with it.

Re:My neice (4, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732706)

Parents reap what they sow. I think the problem is that helicopter parents coddle their precious snowflakes too much and that encourages the kids to become both brats and ineptly fragile in many dimensions. As counterintuitive as it seems to be for most in society, you shouldn't treat children like babies forever, you need to let them do things on their own, get hurt, make mistakes, learn consequences, etc. Instead I see parents always swooping in and doing things for their kids, leading to the kids never learning anything and feeling entitled to boot, or bailing kids out of even minor difficulties so they don't develop any respect for consequences.

Any parent whose children are not, for most purposes, de facto independent by high school is a failure.

Re:My neice (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732734)

I don't understand why someone in their teens finds it so challenging to interact with other adults regardless of age.

I know people in their 20s and early 30s who don't interact well with other adults unless it's via SMS, Twitter or Facebook. They literally have no concept of how to carry on a face-to-face conservation. No idea of the importance of looking someone in the eye, having a good handshake or listening to someone for more than 140 characters without interrupting them. These same people then proceed to whine about their lack of a social and love life.

Honestly I can't wrap my head around it. I was a child of the internet age and spent my formative years on IRC but I still know how to carry on a face to face conservation. I still understand the importance of eye contact and body language to human communication. How the hell do people make it to their late 20s/early 30s without learning these skills?

Re:My neice (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732006)

I had a younger cousin around 16 who came to visit from Europe. My friend and next door neighbor suggested that my cousin meet her daughter and another friend and that they go out and have a good time somewhere. Well, the daughter was so buried into her phone texting her friends that she hardly even spoke to my cousin (who knew perfect English) and not even to her other friend. I met her once. I have the feeling that when she is with her friends she texts in real life, she'd bury her head into her phone and start texting someone else.

I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

Re:My neice (5, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732158)

I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

Yeah, that's an interesting point. I had a long distance relationship with someone who eventually came over to live with me, and for a while I weirdly felt like something was "missing". I'd feel she was a completely different person when chatting online compared to speaking for real.

I even feel like that when speaking to family members, I guess I just joke around more online. So I suppose it's really me who's different when typing than when speaking, even with people I've known all my life.

Re:My neice (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732372)

Well, the daughter was so buried into her phone texting her friends that she hardly even spoke to my cousin (who knew perfect English) and not even to her other friend. I met her once. I have the feeling that when she is with her friends she texts in real life, she'd bury her head into her phone and start texting someone else.

I have witnessed this ... two teenagers who have gone someplace together and are now sitting and texting. I often can't decide if they're texting each other, or third parties.

But, it's usually kind of funny/sad/lame to watch several teenagers, all with their phones out, all with headphones attached to their phones, and all heads down and texting and more or less ignoring one another. It's like self-imposed autism or something, and actually kind of sad to watch.

I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

And, really, except for the fact that now all of the 'cool' kids are doing it too ... how does this differ from IRC, ICQ, AOL/MSN, Everquest, Second Life and all of the other things which have filled this niche before?

Teenagers have always been withdrawn, moody and sulky ... but now texting seems to basically fill up their day, which makes them look even more withdrawn, moody, and sulky. Some days I'm actually glad I don't have the ability to text on my phone ... it's too reminiscent of MSN or something to me.

Re:My neice (3, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732642)

And, really, except for the fact that now all of the 'cool' kids are doing it too ... how does this differ from IRC, ICQ, AOL/MSN, Everquest, Second Life and all of the other things which have filled this niche before?

Well, for one thing, those others were generally done while at home, and not while walking around or driving or other public activities. That seems to be the problem most people have with it. If they are sitting on a bench minding their own business, that's fine, but with increasing frequency their distraction causes problems for others.

There was a case here in California just recently of another shithead teen wiping out her car because of texting, and another where someone walked right in front of a car because they were so buried in their texting they just wandered into a street. You could argue Darwin Award for the latter, but do you want to be the guy who hit that person? There's still going to be an investigation as to whose fault it was, and, yeah, *that's* a perfect, flawless process, right?

On the other hand, YouTube videos like the woman who texted her way into a mall water fountain are always gold.

Re:My neice (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732806)

Well, for one thing, those others were generally done while at home, and not while walking around or driving or other public activities.

Only because we didn't have the ability to do them on the hoof. You were tethered to a computer plugged into a wall and a network connection, this is just the logical conclusion. Now, you can be hooked into this kind of stuff 24/7, no matter where you're at.

There was a case here in California just recently of another shithead teen wiping out her car because of texting, and another where someone walked right in front of a car because they were so buried in their texting they just wandered into a street.

Oh, god, don't remind me. Where I live, we passed a law that made it illegal to use a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle. By the looks of it, it hasn't deterred anybody since I routinely see people still doing it.

I have literally looked in my rear view and seen someone texting on their Blackberry -- while driving the car behind me; both thumbs clearly on the keypad, which leaves no room for driving. Just the other day, I saw a guy with a cell phone in his right hand, and holding his cigarette out the window with his left ... I'm not clear on how he was actually driving.

I'm of the opinion there needs to be fairly steep fines for trying to operate a cell phone while driving -- though, lots of people still insist they can do it effectively.

Re:My neice (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732544)

I think, by allowing us to seek out the ideal people with our exact interests at the moment, the internet allows us to get into the mindset to discount the people around us as less worthwhile to interact with.

Well, we've always discounted strangers you're being forced to talk to as less worthwhile to interact with. As adults, it's something we have to do all the time, so we get used to it. As a child, I remember being placed in a similar situation as the one you described. I didn't have a phone or the internet, but when my parents said, "this kid about your age is visiting, hang out with him" I felt that to be a chore, equivalent with mowing the lawn. "I don't want to hang out with a new kid I've never met. I have my own friends and he's not one of them." At 16, I would have had more tolerance for it, but it would still have been something I would do because of a sense of duty, and I'd be polite, but try to get it over with as soon as possible.

Kids and teenagers don't deal well with forced social situations. They have cliques. They try hard to get in the ones they want to get in, and they try hard to keep people out of them that they don't think are deserving of it. It's not the technology, and they grow out of it as this type of social interaction becomes a bigger part of their lives.

Re:My neice (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732028)

Man messing about with a cellphone is all a 16y.o. could do in that situation. Hell it's what I would have done considering the party's participants .

Re:My neice (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732086)

In fairness - I'm in my 30s and have absolutely no interest in my mobile phone, beyond its occasional uses as a tool (I can make £10 of pre-paid credit last 3 months). However, while I'm fine with parents and grandparents, present me with a room full of my extended family and I will find something else - anything else - to be deeply absorbed in. I've made the back of a cereal packet last three hours under those kind of circumstances.

Now, ok, I might just have an unusually repulsive extended family (actually, I'm pretty sure I do), but thinking back to the 16 year old me (in the days before the newly-fangled interweb was much more than a collection of geocities pages with strobe-effect pictures of kittens and hence not worth getting addicted to), nothing horrified me more than the prospect of family parties.

Re:My neice (1, Interesting)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732098)

Do you honestly expect a 16 year old to want to be involved in someone's 70th birthday?

Re:My neice (3, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732424)

Do you honestly expect a 16 year old to want to be involved in someone's 70th birthday?

I'm almost 10 years older than this girl, so I'm a bit more willing to talk to my grandparents and their siblings. After looking at Google StreetView on my phone of my new house we found that the houses my grandparents/siblings lived in during WWII were still there, and still recognisable. Though they were only children at the time it was interesting to hear about their experiences -- they'd hardly spoken about it before (so mum was especially pleased), but having a map, pictures, and in one case a Wikipedia page for my great-great-great-(great?-)grandad, jogged memories.

Re:My neice (3, Interesting)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732620)

Do you honestly expect a 16 year old to want to be involved in someone's 70th birthday?

Want? Not necessarily... Participate, yes, and even pretend to be cheerful.

Re:My neice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732432)

She's not only buried in it; she buries the phone in her twat. Why do you think all those vibration settings exist?

Re:My neice (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732516)

The college age guy in front of me in a food place a couple days ago had to be prompted three times by the woman working the register before he got his attention off the damn phone text.

But, you know, I'm sure he was in contact with a colleague about their imminent breakthrough on a cancer cure.

Re:My neice (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732740)

Prompted? Whatever happened to kicking him from the line and helping the next customer?

Re:My neice (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732752)

and don't get me started on the fucker who was absorbed in a book.

Re:My neice (3, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732766)

My daughter is now almost 21 and remarkably mature for her age, but if she were 16 and had acted that way I'd have smashed her phone. Parents today are huge enablers of such selfish behavior.

Re:My neice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732934)

Oh god you think a 16-year-old female trowing a tantrum is childish? You have no idea what I feel when my 29-year-old girlfriend throws one. Here is a hint: It got nothing to do with social media.

Suffering? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731832)

I would hope they're enjoying every minute of their addiction.

God forbid we get attacked via EMP... (4, Funny)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731840)

...mass suicides of students will likely result from the lack of being tethered to their Shitter and Fakebook accounts.

I really feel for the humans who literally live online and nowhere else. It is sad. Very sad.

Re:God forbid we get attacked via EMP... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732208)

I really feel for the humans who literally live online and nowhere else. It is sad. Very sad.

Did you learn nothing from watching The Matrix? If they're happy, who cares? It seems sad for those of us that enjoy going outside once in a while, but at the same time, internet addicts probably think I'm sad for enjoying walking and exercise..

Re:God forbid we get attacked via EMP... (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732898)

The difference being that your body will last a lot longer if you absorb sunlight and exert a little physical strain on it once in a while. Every person I know who is an internet recluse looks and smells like a potatoe. It simply comes with the territory.

I'm not addicted! (5, Funny)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731842)

I told myself to go without internet for 1 hour... to prove that I am not addicted. And I am here on Slashdot to tell you all that I'm almost there! 55 min already... ... oh, damn.

Re:I'm not addicted! (2)

Zandamesh (1689334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732272)

That's nothing, I can go without internet 8 hours each day!

Re:I'm not addicted! (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732542)

That's nothing, I can go without internet 8 hours each day!

Impressive!
I still check my facebook between naps.

Re: 8 hours a day (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732744)

Start a blog with your EEG's live over the net!

www.Ihaveadream.com

Time to be parents again (5, Insightful)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731848)

I know, it really is easy to "forget" your kids are over-doing something when they're NOT driving you nuts. :) But I digress, as parents, we need to set limits on our kids. Our 12 year old is, like most, always wanting to either be on the 'net on his laptop, on his cell phone texting whoever, watching TV, or playing the Xbox. Guess what - we limit his time with each, and send his butt OUTSIDE! The worst thing we can do as parents is to let them grow up without exploring the world around them, and that includes nature.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731972)

don't limit too much.
if you limit just right, then there's only time for playing, but never to finish, and no time for finding out how the game works.
and seriously, I'd have been better off skipping high school and staying at home coding.

anyhow, reading the news was never a sin before the news started getting unfiltered and from the net.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732568)

anyhow, reading the news was never a sin before the news started getting unfiltered and from the net.

Spending 12 hrs per day reading the news was always a sin.

Re:Time to be parents again (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732664)

and seriously, I'd have been better off skipping high school and staying at home coding.

I highly doubt it ... at that age, the last thing you need to be is encouraged to withdraw from further human contact, hide in your basement, and code.

As annoying as it is, some of the socialization you learn in high school and beyond actually do prepare you to interact with people in the real world. Even coders occasionally need to be in meetings with normal humans -- and I've seen a couple of guys who were completely incapable of that kind of interaction and experienced problems with it later on in life.

Hell, I've seen guys in their 30's/40's lose their job because the client more or less looked at them and said to never send them back because they were lousy face to face.

You will almost never be able to survive without learning how to interact; as the old saying goes ... try to be more outgoing, try to stare at the other person's shoes. Maybe even look up from time to time. ;-)

Don't undervalue how useful it will be to be able to interact with new people in a business setting ... it will come up more than you think.

Re:Time to be parents again (3, Insightful)

ack154 (591432) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731976)

The article is about college students though... people who are supposed to be responsible for themselves. And while I agree that the parents have a part in this in earlier years, once they're out on their own, there needs to be some self control involved.

I do find it amusing that they felt so disconnected from their friends, yet no one thought to place an actual phone call to try to meet up with their friends? No media, sure... but they could use a phone as a phone, no?

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732216)

It's a little unclear, but the first paragraph of the article (as well as the summary) mentions "cellphones, social media and the Internet" - if they were denied access to all three (the second as a function of the last, of course) then I'm not surprised they felt cut off; if you don't happen to have memorised a large swathe of seemingly arbitrary numbers to punch in to a landline phone, you are cut off without tech.

Re:Time to be parents again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732046)

Our 12 year old is, like most, always wanting to either be on the 'net on his laptop, on his cell phone texting whoever, watching TV, or playing the Xbox.quote>

One wonders if having access at this young of an age might contribute to this disturbing trend. When I grew up I didn't even have a TV, I knew computers existed but only in a vague theoretical sense. Now kids literally grow up with this technology before they ever learn social skill's of their own, possibly never even learning social skills. Really that trend doesn't surprise me at all, this is how kids have learned to communicate.

I'm not certain whats more disturbing; that this is the new way people socialize, or that I evidently don't know how to socialize in the modern world.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732288)

What I see is that parents are not really willing to impose consequences. The example given, where the child is told to play in a different manner, is not really relevant to school, where the choice is between work and play. A more common problem I see is where the child is given a phone for 'safety', but then when the child abuses the phone it is not taken away. I am not in a position to critizize, but it seems to me that if, for example, a child is failing, and the online record shows that several texts are sent during class, this might indicate that the child is failing because they are playing rather than because the teacher is not doing their job. Yet parents are afraid to let kids go to school without a phone, preferring that the kids remain uneducated.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732468)

I couldn't have a cell phone until I could pay for it and every minute of use, and I don't see why it should be any different for kids now. The other thing is that any sort of 'allowance' should be tied to grades as well as chores, so if they start failing their money dries up. Put these things together and any problems should self-correct. I know it's how I will approach my daughter when she starts school.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732786)

blah blah blah, kids these days, blah blah blah.

You are applying the 'logic' of a bill paying adult to a young child. If you're daughter has any backbone at all,you will fail.

What do you do when you take all the money and they still refuse to do anything because they are making a point?
When yo take away shows, computer, movie, all the toys. so she only has left some cloths a bed and a blanket?

It's more complicated the you think, and I highly advise getting some sort of real, educated, expert, professional to talk about child discipline.

OTOH, maybe your daughter will be a week willed girl who will go through life doing what ever a person holding a dollar tells her to do.

I certainly hope not.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732852)

I couldn't have a cell phone until I could pay for it and every minute of use, and I don't see why it should be any different for kids now.

Under your framework, how is a child below a state's legal age to work supposed to call home and ask the parent to please pick the child up at x location?

Re:Time to be parents again (2)

Mascot (120795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732726)

What does he do OUTSIDE? Hang at the local mall or gas station?

My point being, kids differ. When I was 12, I had no interest in sports or any other activities that required me to be outside. Luckily, my parents were ok with my interests being in books and electronics. Didn't mean I was in the house all the time, but when I wasn't I was usually in someone else's. There's no inherent value in being "outside" if that word only means "not in the house". It's what you _do_ outside that matters. Had I been forced outside, I would've just hung at the local mall or whatever. I can't see any decent argument for how a mall trumps a good book. Or even a bad book. "Being social" isn't a valid argument, because that's the people you're with, not where you are.

It's a parent's responsibility to expose their kids to variation, then encourage them in whatever interest the kid chooses. Guide, not force. Unless, of course, the kid's downright endangering themselves.

Re:Time to be parents again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732880)

I know, it really is easy to "forget" your kids are over-doing something when they're NOT driving you nuts. :) But I digress, as parents, we need to set limits on our kids. Our 12 year old is, like most, always wanting to either be on the 'net on his laptop, on his cell phone texting whoever, watching TV, or playing the Xbox. Guess what - we limit his time with each, and send his butt OUTSIDE! The worst thing we can do as parents is to let them grow up without exploring the world around them, and that includes nature.

There is a problem with that ideology. You take the things your kid loves to do and restrict their access to it. This just causes resentment towards you and a greater desire to do something they have been told not to (or limited to in this case.) If you see a big red button that says "DO NOT PRESS" with no explanation, the first thought that comes to your mind is "PRESS THE BUTTON!!" Humans, by nature, want to do what they are told not to. I am not saying that disciplining your kids or providing boundaries is bad. It most certainly is not, but should only be done in the cases where a positive example cannot be given by your own actions and then followed by your child’s desire to be with you and like you. If you spend the time with your kids that you should be, they would be inclined to look up to you and follow your example. "...send his butt OUTSIDE!" In this remark you are indicating to everyone that you are forcing your child to do something that you yourself are not doing.

I have a 1.5 year old that watches me lift weights and in return wants to lift weights too. He will grab a 5 pound dumbbell and proudly do a deadlift while looking to Daddy for approval. He does what he sees Daddy do. Now the other end of the spectrum, I am an avid network administrator and gamer. When he sees Daddy playing a video game or programming a router, he is no happier than when he is sitting in the seat next to me on his Mom's laptop pretending to do the same thing, again all the while looking to Daddy for approval.

Children’s actions can ALWAYS be linked directly to your own as a parent. If you have an anger problem, so will your child. If you have a computer addiction, so will your child. Lead by example first, then by discipline. At the age of 12 though, the foundation and some walls have already been set. In your position the process of leading by providing a proper example will be difficult as it will require rebuilding. First off you have to change your own life and provoke the child to be involved in the activities that you yourself are performing. Go biking and bring your kid. Go canoeing, hiking, to the gym.

Never expect your child to do something that you are unwilling to do. I regard physical fitness very highly. I eat very nutritiously and workout every day. For this reason I know my kids will be very involved in physical activities and nutrition, without my need to provide painful incentives. I will have no need to "limit" my kid’s indoor activities as my example will have laid the foundation for them to govern themselves. So in respect to the title of your comment, “Time to be parents again,” I say no, “Time to ‘finally’ be parents.”

Long enough to save point? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732884)

Under your framework, do you make sure that you allow your 12 year old long enough time on the 'net to finish his homework? And do you make sure that you allow long enough time on the Xbox to get to a save point? I seem to remember The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for Nintendo 64, which was notorious for not allowing a save until 72 minutes in, at a time when some parents were limiting daily (or even weekly!) video game time to 60 minutes.

Olds? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731860)

Look at the date of this article, Apr 23 2010.... Olds for nerds indeed.

Re:Olds? (3, Funny)

IB4Student (1885914) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731890)

Some of us only go on the Internet once a year. Good luck with that addiction of yours :-/

Re:Olds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732792)

That's my birthday you insensitive clod!

Which all my friend on Facebook know of course! :D

"phantom limb" (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731876)

Bit like not wearing a watch - you feel somewhat naked?

meh.

Re:"phantom limb" (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732708)

how do you wear a watch? You wear cloths, or you watch something. Wear watch something makes no sense.

hah, I'm kidding. seriously does anyone under 25 wear a watch for any reason other then jewelry?

New culture perhaps? (0, Redundant)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731900)

Bah, this is just bashing from people that cannot even understand a new culture developing in front of their very eyes, therefore anybody who uses technology extensively must be very sick. Right.

Re:New culture perhaps? (3, Insightful)

icebrain (944107) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732160)

It's one thing to use technology extensively. It's another thing entirely when use of that technology becomes such a fixture or priority in someone's life that they wind up neglecting other important things in their lives--work, school, family, health, sleep, etc. When checking Facebook or Twitter or whatever becomes more important to you than anything else, when you manifest the same behaviors seen in alcoholics and drug addicts (anxiety from not being able to get your "fix", irrational or dangerous behavior to try and get access again, etc), that's when it becomes a problem.

Compare to the Amish (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732906)

It's one thing to use technology extensively. It's another thing entirely when use of that technology becomes such a fixture or priority in someone's life that they wind up neglecting other important things in their lives--work, school, family, health, sleep, etc.

Which is exactly why the Amish choose not to use certain technologies such as home electric power and home telecommunications.

anxiety from not being able to get your "fix"

Does this include anxiety from not being able to get your "fix" of, say, electric light in the evening?

also related to obesity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731902)

The USA is the most obese nation on earth. 40 years ago children played by going outside and having pickup games of baseball or soccer or touch football, running around and getting exercise. Now, they "play" by sitting there and moving only their thumbs.

Not just kids (3, Interesting)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731918)

I have several co-workers I see with their face buried in their phone every time I walk by their cube. Internet usage is monitored where I work (even this post) so they see it as a way to bypass the system. Before they put in Websense the same co-workers were on the web all day - they still are but now it's through their phones. The ones that were Internet addicted all went out and got smart phones when Internet usage started being monitored.

Re:Not just kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732056)

this is exactly why I advocate for a "open but monitor" internet filtering policy.

Let people use their computers. You advise users that you monitor internet, and you basically want to cut them some slack. Just like most people have hardwired phones at their desks, most don't talk to family/friends all day.

Once they use their smart phones, it's harder to prove their slacking off.

Re:Not just kids (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732402)

But this in itself is a symptom of something deeper. Somewhere along the line, the system has failed. The employees may not feel valued and slack off as a means of protest. They could be under paid or suffer from toxic leadership, so they perform to expectations and slack off at every opportunity. Worst, the person responsible for hiring could suck at their job and hire idiots who don't know what they're doing.

Either way, this isn't a problem solved by changing internet policy. It needs a much bigger change, much higher up the food chain.

Re:Not just kids (3, Insightful)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732538)

Some of that depends on the culture of the specific organization.

There is lots of literature indicating people become more productive over time if they are allowed to blend personal and work time. Being hunched over a keyboard for 9 hours a day gets a lot of man-hours out of people, but allowing people a little bit of freedom to manage their own time and pursue personal interests during the day can really empower people to approach their jobs more efficiently and professionally.

I would want my team to be held accountable for work output, not just hours worked. If people want to shop or check some geeky news site during the workday and maintain a high level of performance, let them. If they stop producing then you have a problem, but that is true with or without internet.

The Borg solved all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731966)

With collective conciousness...who needs texts.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35731978)

I guess I'm addicted in a sense that I prefer life with the internet than life without it, but I don't NEED it to get through the day. There's reading ( although the kindle helps by giving internet ), listening to music ( although mp3 players love the internet ), and any number of things outside. For instance, I've got some bulbs to plant in the flower beds this weekend. Once it's not cold and windy here ( it is April, where are the warm days? ), I'll be spending more time away from my computer and desk and being outside doing things like walking all over the township or maybe finally getting a new bike ( last one I had was before 2004 and doesn't fit my height anymore ) and start riding it around places.

I'd also like to go out places this summer - go do some semi-local caves, hit the beach, go to some state parks, and generally just be outside and living. I spent all of my last summer between work and landscaping at the house so I'd actually like to go out and do things this year.

Could I live without the internet? Of course, there's plenty of things to do that don't need it. Could I live without the computer? Technically I'd be alive, but at a minimum I'd like to be able to add or remove music from the mp3 player and get pictures off the memory card for the camera. A simple wall adapter takes care of the rest of the technology needs to charge them.

Re:Meh (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732524)

I wish I could find more people like you.

My housemates have spent the last couple of months playing some computer game, even when it was sunny outside (South England in March -- you have to make the most of the sunny days!).

(Of course, I have friends except the people I live with, but housemates are the best positioned for kicking a ball round a park on a Sunday morning, or cycling to the nature reserve.)

Meanwhile... (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35731998)

Their parents' generation is addicted to their cars, while their grandparents' generation is addicted to their newspapers.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732380)

A little defensive, are we? Really, this one's not a generational thing.

Horrifying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732018)

We should all encourage these children to go back to alcohol and drugs. This addiction to exchanging information is just too dangerous.

I mean, if they are CONSUMING information, they might learn things that we don't want them to learn, and if they are PRODUCING information, they may say things we don't want them to say.

Oh, this whole thing just makes me so crazy I almost fainted, fell off my dinosaur, and broke my wooden underwear.

Re:Horrifying (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732134)

I mean, if they are CONSUMING information

The point is they aren't. They are doing things like playing games, talking and texting friends online, and other social media outlets. There's no consumption of info except status updates of friends, and looking at games.

this story is a year old (1)

tach315 (223127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732068)

why is a year old story being featured on Slashdot ? really this place is going down hill, I will have to only use my ipad to check those up to date websites.

Re:this story is a year old (1)

PsiCTO (442262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732178)

why is a year old story being featured on Slashdot ? really this place is going down hill, I will have to only use my ipad to check those up to date websites.

Ya, I picked up on that when I submitted, but the story was/is being reported on CBC radio with updated interviews and such, AFAICT.

So, I thought it was topical for today, a least for those of us listening... hard to get that across into /. , I know.

Anyway, /. pushed the submission through, comments are building, so there must be some relevancy :-)

Re:this story is a year old (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732896)

... and what's up with the interface? Earlier this week the entire site would cause my mouse pointer to go into "link hover" mode (or whatever it's called) and I would have to drill down through all the parent comments to be able to click on a link. On every other page, if I click on a link with my mouse wheel, it opens that link in a new tab. Slashdot has that action blocked for some reason. And when I preview a comment, the entire thing is black on yellow. Why Slashdot? Why?

It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world... (-1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732094)

Facts like these amaze me. This is mainly because even with their revelation, Americans will continue to see themselves as people having a nation where everyone would want to be.

It's no wonder that 85% of US soldiers in Iraq believe that they are there to get revenge for 9/11. [oilempire.us]

American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study. This probably falls under the no-big-surprise category.

It's not only cell phones. It's the 'bad' habits as well. Things like not respecting parents or elders, the 'me, me, me' attitude the teen pregnancies, the spending beyond our means for both government and a good chunk of the population.

These are some of the myths I have come across:
Disclaimer: These statistics are a bit aged but still relevant.

Ranking of Student Science Ability: #19
Ranking on Women's Rights Scale: #17
Position on Timeline of Gay Rights Progress: # 6
Ranking on Life Expectancy: #29
UN Human Development Report 2005 USA Ranking on Journalistic Press Freedom Index: #32
Ranking on Political Corruption Index: #17
Transparency International 2005 USA Ranking on Quality of Life Survey: #13
Ranking on Environmental Sustainability Index: #45
Ranking on Overall Currency Strength: #3
Ranking on Infant Mortality Rate: #32
Ranking on Adult Literacy Scale: #9
Ranking on Healthcare Quality Index: #37
Ranking of Student Reading Ability: #12
Ranking of Student Problem Solving Ability: #26
Ranking on Student Mathematics Ability: # 24

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732304)

US Teen Pregnancy Rate at Record Low, CDC, and Everybody Else Reports.

"The US teen pregnancy rate in 2009, the latest year for which data are available, hit its lowest since tracking began 70 years ago."

It was even mentioned on the Internet: https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=U.S.+teen+pregnancy+rate+at+record+low

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732472)

Do these "statistics" come with a source, by chance. I know the #37 on Healthcare quality is from a study that, instead of comparing number of people cured of illness per capita or something, came from a study that gave massive bonuses on the ranking to contries with socialized healthcare. Remove this bonus, and the US is number 1 again.

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732616)

I am sure one can add or remove some metrics used in coming up with these figures to mane any nation come #1.

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732682)

" Things like not respecting parents or elders,"

why should we? I have no respect for people who are assholes, regardless of age. Just because you happen to survive to get old doesn't mean you should be worshiped. I have always hated the antiquated fallacy. and yes, I am old.

Teen pregnancy has trended down for the last 20 years.

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732776)

Just because you happen to survive to get old doesn't mean you should be worshiped.

Who asked that the 'old' be worshiped? I haven't seen any [yet]. What I have seen is a salient call for respect. No wonder our older population are so depressed and stressed out.

You should visit some retirement homes to see for yourself. It's sad. The bad thing is that we're all headed there. God help us.

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732718)

It's also no wonder that 85% of U.S. soldiers are dumber than the average YouTube commenter. Have you seen the communities these people are recruited from?

In fact, my above made-up statistic might just apply to the voluntary enlistees of all militaries in this world. Especially those Eastern.

Re:It's amazing how we see ourselves in the world. (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732774)

It's not only cell phones. It's the 'bad' habits as well. Things like not respecting parents or elders, the 'me, me, me' attitude the teen pregnancies, the spending beyond our means for both government and a good chunk of the population.

One of the only fond memories of have of my High School Latin class was translating a missive from the Roman senate to the people bemoaning how young people are not as respectful to their elders as they used to be, and that their society was becoming morally bankrupt.

Every generation looks at their children as being somehow increasingly disrespectful and making poor moral decisions. That perception is weirdly constant.

Also, you have completely misrepresented this link:

The actual claim made was that a poll in 2006 indicated that 85% of soldiers believed they were sent over there to retaliate, not that they are currently in 2011 deployed there in retaliation.

And finally, Zogby International is one of the worst international polling organizations in the world (leading questions, selection biases in their polled populations, etc). And the oilempire site you linked looks like the online Wal-Mart of conspiracy theories. Is JFK somehow responsible for peak oil by orchestrating 9/11? I don't know, but that website makes me suspect that somebody thinks so.

My name is ___ and... (5, Interesting)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732100)

I can say I personally went through this. Once I realized what was happening (not going out as much anymore, gaining weight/getting out of shape, neglecting my family, etc) I ended up shedding a lot of these things over the course of about a year. First cable tv went (hell, I only watched 3 channels most of the time and quitting would save me money), then WoW (again, would save me money, and was getting stale).

However, these weren't my biggest addictions in the slightest, but I wasn't quite ready to give up on facebook and similar social networking things. It didn't seem like much at the time. Afterall, I was still being "social" and wasn't becoming reclusive. It was essentially a substitute for hanging out with real people in real life. And besides - a lot of us got together on Fridays for movie night. Thing was - even during these movie nights I'd still be checking facebook despite everyone close to me was right in front of me.

The straw that broke the camel's back was over a benign status I posted: "Aww snap, time for daddy day care!" as my wife was going out with some friends and it was going to be one of my first times watching our baby daughter solo. Two women somehow took offense to this comment and proceeded to man-bash like crazy, nevermind that I'm actually sticking around and being a father. It boiled down to one woman basically calling her husband worthless and both of them saying I was a shitty father ("It's not daycare, it's PARENTING!"). And I know, I know - I should know better than to get riled up over trolling - but these are people I know in real life - straight up being offensive. The only person who could have came to my rescue was my wife. She sees all this when she gets home and is like "wtf is wrong with those bitches?" I reply "well, do something!". I needed help. I was getting attacked by two angry hens!

She replies "LOL" in the facebook thread.

I fucking LOST it.

I counted on the one person who could get me out of this mess - save my name on the internets - and she didn't pull through. How dare she? ...

The next morning I felt like such a goddamned tool once I put all this into perspective. I came to the conclusion that I was far too invested in things like facebook and virtual people that I promptly initiated the processes for deleting most of my online identity.

Around the same time I was reading a book (How Pleasure Works by Paul Bloom [amazon.com] ) that really forces you to think about how you put value into the things around you. So I had to ask "does x add value to my life?" As a result, here I am still on slashdot, still have my cellphone, but I'm outside damned near everyday, starting getting back into playing hockey and taking it more seriously, seeing more of family, and in way better shape than I was.

Overall, I'm much happier and feel like I've gained a much higher quality of life. I'd say anyone thinking about the same - go for it and never look back.

Re:My name is ___ and... (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732610)

Ah yes, they I was miserable and changed my life, there fore everyone else doing what I was doing is miserable and should also change.

Coupled with the 'outside is real life fallacy'.

Sprinkled with a healthy dose of 'I have no fucking clue what addiction means'.

Hey, your happy, good fro you. I just hate it when people fall into what I like to call "Hindsight is a lying bitch" syndrome.

It's a pretty telling example that you can't explain to people what you meant with daddy daycare, and if they can't except it, stop communicating with them. I doubt your response was duo to facebook more then it was do to you not controlling your anger.

Re:My name is ___ and... (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732676)

However, these weren't my biggest addictions in the slightest, but I wasn't quite ready to give up on facebook and similar social networking things. It didn't seem like much at the time. Afterall, I was still being "social" and wasn't becoming reclusive. It was essentially a substitute for hanging out with real people in real life. And besides - a lot of us got together on Fridays for movie night. Thing was - even during these movie nights I'd still be checking facebook despite everyone close to me was right in front of me.

What is amusing is that you've hit the nail right on the head. I am sitting here writing this post and looking at my Facebook chat list. Most of the people who I used to be out with on a Wed night are online on Facebook. More to the point, things like MSN and ICQ that used to be busy aren't. All those people moved over to Facebook as soon as it had chat because it has "games". I bet if I actually bring up the page I'll see dozens of game updates and other nonsense from them.

Another point is that the Internet brings easy (free!) access to content. You can download a movie in under an hour and queue up 2 or 3 more while you're watching the first. I have friends who literally have piles of terabyte hard disks with all the crap they've downloaded. They invest countless hours into devising cataloging schemes so they can know they have something and not download it again (not so they can find it and access it).

These were the very same friends who used to go out instead of sitting home watching downloaded crap.

And yes, I'm aware the irony of pointing out online that everyone is online and not going out anymore.

War on the Internet in 3, 2, 1... (1)

Lord Juan (1280214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732102)

Oh, wait...

Addiction is an escape from something (1)

slackzilly (2033012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732128)

I use the internet a lot, mostly to read about a subject I am curious about. But often, if I am not doing something, I go to the interweb just because I am bored. If I am outside, on the bus or whatever, I use my smartphone to check the same wepages I looked at before I left. It is out of boredom/needing something to do. Just like addiction to a substance is (often) an escape from something, internet addiction is too.

Isolation studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732130)

I wonder how those results compare to long term isolation studies, like that they put astronauts through back in the Apollo days.

I suspect that the Internet isn't any more "addictive" than social contact is in general. The actual thenominon here is that theres a generation gap in the means of communication. If you've grown up always having the ability to talk to whoever you want regardless of location, you never develop skills like pretending not to find the people around you boring, because your ability to socialize isn't limited to the people around you.

I know that feeling (1)

Probie (1353495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732138)

I played so much bejeweled once that when i looked at peoples faces I was connecting sections of their face into three.

dissimilar to sex gambling religious compulsions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732230)

why do chemicals get all the bad pr? are prescription narcotics better? sex? as much as we can stand is good? gambling? supports ??? old time religion? yikes

what about excitement?

good thing the current chosen ones life0cidal religious holycost is ending abruptly, soon, so we can all get back to rehabbing ourselves?

we'll all feel better after the genuine native american elders rising bird of prey leadership initiative shows us (teepeeleaks etchings) how much of what we do without a thought is bad for all of us.

drop your weapons. you have the right....

I thought about what to say... (1)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732248)

And I found out that I do not care for real people anymore. Or the world outside. Guess it's too late for me.

Social interaction pandemic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732294)

It's social interaction FFS! My mom is addicted to that too - she keeps spending time interacting with her friends and family directly, through phone or other digital devices and when she was in hospital with her dose of social interaction reduced, she showed signs of withdrawal problems.

Calling social interaction addictive is like calling breathing addictive.

What about TV addiciton (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732462)

while I don't doubt that Internet addiction is becoming an issue, as someone from a younger generation, I think it's ridiculous that people decry Internet Addiciton, when for the last 40 years the majority of north america has had TV addiction. Or in the case of some individuals Car addiction.

Is Internet addiction going to destroy society? No more than TV addiction did. At least with Internet addiction there is a small amount of interacting with others.

Just ebcasue you miss something (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732532)

that's a useful tool you used everyday doesn't mean you are addicted.
I could take their clothes away and they would have a strong desire to get them back. That doesn't mean they are addicted to cloths.

College students? (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732536)

Excellent, now all I have to do is quit grad school and I'll be able to leave slashdot long enough to get some work done.

mental addiction is by mentally stupid people, no? (2, Interesting)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732662)

Look. Mental addiction is just mental. It's bullshit. You bitch slap the person till the get in fucking line.

I was a herion addict for 15 years or so of my life. I find that someone considers even comparing drug addiction to cell phone addiction to be very fucking insulting.

For example, when I would get put in jail (and i would, on occasion, because thats where real addiction can land you), I would get physically sick without my dope. I'd end up puking, having the runs, not able to eat, wishing i was dead, or better, that i could get well (which I didn't realize at the time, i was getting well, by not using!).

Anyways, this is bullshit, and insult to anyone who's built their life back up after losing it to a truelly addictive thing.

I'm thirteen... (1)

DMFNR (1986182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732684)

...and what is this.

Oh come on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35732692)

Can we quit whining about how people are "addicted" to this stuff?

Who cares? What's the problem?

If people want to feel really connected, that is their prerogative. Who gets to decide how much is "unhealthy" -- whatever that even means -- and are we planning on stopping people from going to Facebook or twitter more than a few times a day?

If people feel like they are on the Internet too much, they have the power to stop themselves. If they're okay with it, then let them live their lives the way they want. And fuck you if you're going to try to make the decision for me.

"Addiction" (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732694)

Really, is this what we're calling everything where people can't exercise a little self-discipline?

Our culture seriously needs a giant cup of "Grow the Fuck Up".

Scouts (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35732882)

While I can't stand the organization for its politics, policies, origins, higher-up administrators and more recent scandals, I will admit that going out and camping once a month with zero electronics helped give me the patience I need to proudly say amongst a group of internet addicted college-student peers: "Nah, I'll check [my e-mail] later."
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