1607, 2013

The Bliss of Boredom

By |July 16th, 2013|Multitasking, Stress, Unplug|6 Comments

How many times have parents heard the oft said phrase, “I’m Bored” from their child? Well it seems boredom has gone the way of the typewriter, record player, and the dial telephone. Boredom is now a vestige of days gone by and is at risk of extinction.

It’s not only that we avoid boredom, but we actually find numerous ways to eliminate its’ even brief existence.   With the advent of the Internet and digital media technology we have managed to eliminate any need to ever be bored. No longer do we need to stand in line at the grocery store or at the bank idly passing time, or wait for a bus or train just thinking, day dreaming, or having a real-person conversation. We don’t even have to lie down to go to sleep and review our day because we have some type of tech media device at our bedside, in our pockets, or on our person all the time to draw our attention and occupy all our waking moments.

So now that we have relegated boredom to near-extinction, and  as long as we have a digital gadget that can do just about anything, (and most Smartphones can these days) we never […]

1106, 2013

The Paradox of Change and Personal Growth

By |June 11th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog|Comments Off on The Paradox of Change and Personal Growth

DG head shots 111What allows us to change something in our lives? How do we change some aspect of ourselves that we don’t like, such as a habit, physical quality, or life circumstance?

The first step may seem counter intuitive. Our initial tendency when we don’t like something about ourselves is to either avoid thinking about it or to actively criticize ourselves for what we are doing or not doing–almost as a means of forcing the negative feeling out of ourselves. Therein lays our error in thinking.

Most things we don’t like about ourselves have to do with the refusal to accept and love ourselves, just as we are because we feel we cannot accept/love ourselves as long as we have or do this thing we hate. In other words, our self-love and acceptance is contingent upon an inner ideal of perfection.

Whether it is a physical attribute or a personality characteristic, our refusal to love and accept ourselves seem linked to the idea that; “if I have what I want or look the way I want, then and only then I could feel ok”. The problem with this way of thinking is that it is […]

805, 2013

Electronic Etiquette and Conscious Computing in the Digital Age

By |May 8th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog|Comments Off on Electronic Etiquette and Conscious Computing in the Digital Age

 


DG head shots 111We as a society have not as of yet decided how to deal with the incursion of portable digital technologies into our everyday public life. I believe that we are only beginning to address the intrusion these devices create in public places and spaces, and we are just starting to develop new social norms on how and when we use them. The problem with all these portable technologies is that the freedom and opportunity they afford to us in unfettered access, creates the public statement that: “Where I am and what I am doing now is not where I actually am or want to be”. A rather odd feeling is communicated indirectly when we are in a public space, but connected elsewhere. I believe this unconsciously violates psycho-biological safety and survival mechanisms and produces a feeling of ill-at-ease when around people in the public electronic netherworld (e.g. we cannot fully be prepared and safe if we can’t really be clear what someone is dong in a public space).  These technologies shift time and space and in so doing covey a rather mixed message to our real-time social world…..that […]

805, 2013

How to be Smarter than your Smartphone….

By |May 8th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog|Comments Off on How to be Smarter than your Smartphone….

The first part of reclaiming real-time living is to take control of your phone use.

Try to do other things besides mindlessly and automatically staring into and surfing your phone.

The beeps and buzzes your phone emits are indicators to your nervous system that a possible reward (Dopamine) is around the corner.  Conscious use is your only antidote. Become aware of the neurochemical habit that has you conditioned to reflexively look at your phone and consciously resist that habit.

When you notice you are using your phone in an unconscious way do something different. Read a book, take a walk, talk to real person stand/sitting next to you. Untether that automatic twitch to check your texts or email for the 79th time that day…this will help to create new neurological pathways for your habit which may take a month or two.

Yes, there is an OFF button on your Smartphone! Begin to take control of your use and that means turning your phone off for a while.

1904, 2013

How Can You Be Addicted to the Internet and Digital Media?

By |April 19th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog|1 Comment

The concept of being addicted to a digital media device is relatively new but there is little question as to whether Internet use can be addictive. A study conducted by Dr. Kimberly Young in 1997 found that excessive use of the Internet for non-academic and non-professional reasons was associated with detrimental effects to academic and professional performance. My own original study, conducted in cooperation with ABC News in 1999, found that approximately 6% of those who use the Internet seem to do so compulsively, often to a point of serious negative consequences.   We found that there were several key factors that seem to contribute to becoming addicted to these technologies. They are: accessibility, affordability, time distortion, interactivity, anonymity and pleasurable stimulation. This is in addition to the potent presence of a variable ratio reinforcement schedule.

Most pleasurable activities and certain substances that produce pleasure effects, e.g. elevations in the neurotransmitter dopamine, tend to be repeated. The repetition of pleasurable behaviors exists despite any potential negative consequences, and is well established in the literature. What we find with Internet addiction particularly, is that it seems to mimic the same phenomenon that occurs with addiction to gambling. All Internet addictions seem to follow […]

1704, 2013

Violent Video Games: The Cultural Ethic of Violence

By |April 17th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog|Comments Off on Violent Video Games: The Cultural Ethic of Violence

Violent Reaction
We seem to love violence in our culture. We entertain with it. We advertise with it on the news. We act almost as if violence is desirable—but of course it isn’t. We play video games that teach us how to improve our killing skills. In a digital world clamoring to obtain our moment of focused attention, it seems that only the extreme rises to the top of our consciousness. What of the fact that Americans seem to have a love/hate affair with violence? After all, our country was founded on violent political overthrow and our constitution (as we are hearing all too often these days) guarantees the right for all of us to bear arms. It’s downright American to be a little violent…so it seems.

Violence as Part of Who We Are
There are undoubtedly primitive psychobiological and genetic roots to our attraction to violence. Violence and survival are most certainly linked in our brief rise to modern civilization. What must be asked now is whether we have outgrown our animalistic affinity and attraction to the aggressive part of our humanity. But more recently, violence has been become socially normalized. It has become acceptable, and even commonplace. We have so habituated […]