2014 Workshop in Singapore Virtual Addiction: Gaming and Internet Addictions

February, 2014, Singapore

singapore photoDr. Greenfield recently gave a 3-Day training to doctors and staff therapists on Virtual Addiction: Internet, Cybersex, and Gaming Addictions at the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS), National Hospital, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.



Here is an outline of the workshop’s agenda:

  • Dr. Greenfield’s Professional Background and The History and Development of the Emerging Field of Internet and Digital Media Use, Abuse, and Addiction.
  • What makes Internet, Digital Media, and Gaming Technologies so Addictive? (Part I)
  • What makes Internet, Digital Media, and Gaming Technologies so Addictive? (Part II)
  • When does Internet and Digital Media Use and Abuse become an Addiction?
  • Assessment and Diagnosis of Internet, Digital Media, Gaming, and Smartphone Use
  • Differential diagnosis and psychiatric co-morbidity
  • Signs and symptoms of Internet and Digital Media Addictions: Normal versus Pathological Use
  • Brief review of Psychiatric, Addictionology, and Neurobiological research on Internet, Gaming, and Digital Media Addiction
  • Treatment Issues, Techniques, and Strategies – Part I
  • Treatment Issues, Techniques, and Strategies – Part II
  • Treatment Techniques and Strategies: Educational and Therapeutic issues with Parents and Families
  • Monitoring, Blocking and Filtering Issues: Setting limits, Boundaries, and Consequences
By |April 29th, 2014|Internet Addiction, Seminars, Uncategorized, workshop|Comments Off on 2014 Workshop in Singapore Virtual Addiction: Gaming and Internet Addictions

Technology and Internet: The world’s largest slot machine

tech addictionThe American Psychiatric Association is in the midst of a major debate on whether Internet Addiction should be classified and treated as a recognized disorder like depression and anxiety. In the case of video game use, I equate the positive feeling associated with gaming as a dopamine surge that follows the variable reinforcement schedule found in digital games.

Here’s the full article from the online news site Multibriefs giving you further background into the problem as well as some suggested ways to avoid this pitfall. During my interview for the story, I point out that the physiology behind these games affects the player much like a slot machine.

The full article is available here:

Technology and Internet: The world’s largest slot machine

By |March 13th, 2014|Internet Addiction, Uncategorized, Unplug, Video Gaming|1 Comment

New Interview on Radio MD: Are You Addicted to the Internet?

RadioMD InterviewI was recently interviewed on RadioMD on a range of Internet related topics including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and smartphone addiction. The host of the show, Melanie Cole, MS and I discuss why cell phone and Internet addiction are on the rise and what treatment options are available.

You can find this interview posted on the RadioMD web site here:

Are You Addicted to the Internet? From the show: Staying Well

You can also listen to the full interview on this same page by clicking on the “Listen Now” button.

By |March 13th, 2014|Internet Addiction, Interview, Smartphone|2 Comments

Behind the Scenes of ‘Candy Crush Saga’

With revenues of $1,884,301,000 for 2013 (yes, that’s 1 Billion $ with a capital B), gaming producer King Digital Entertainment is basking in the success of its gaming sensation ‘Candy Crush Saga’. Although game play is free for starters, gamers must wait 30 minutes to advance to the next level, pay a small fee to King Digital, or ask their Facebook friends for “support”.

For some users, however this “small fee” adds up to big dollars, as was the case for Alie Badillo (in the photo) who dropped $1000 last year on Candy Crush.

The online Blog Mashable recently did an expose covering the behind the scenes story of some ‘Candy Crush Saga’ video gamers and asked me for my opinion on this new gaming phenomenon.

You can read the complete story here:

These People Are Making the Creator of ‘Candy Crush’ Rich

By |March 5th, 2014|Internet Addiction, Video Gaming|Comments Off on Behind the Scenes of ‘Candy Crush Saga’

Take the “Plug Back Into Life Challenge!”

The Plug Back into Life sm Challenge!

How to Go Low-Tech Some of the Time

 Try any of these ideas to reduce your digital tech use just a small amount and see how it feels!

 By Dr. David Greenfield


  1. Leave your Smartphone in the car when you go into a restaurant to eat.
  2. Turn your cell/Smartphone OFF (not vibrate) for at least 1-hour a day—yes…1 whole hour of being disconnected!
  3. Try setting a 1-hour limit whenever you go into your Computer, Laptop or Tablet and then TURN IT OFF (assuming you are not using for work/school.
  4. Try to have one real-timesm face to face conversation with someone without cell, text, email, or social media, e.g. meet for coffee, a walk, or a meal—do some real-timesm activity when you have the urge to go online or play with your Smartphone.
  5. Create a rule where your Cell/Smartphone cannot be at the dinner table in your home; get the phone off the table!
  6. When in a checkout line, waiting room, or waiting somewhere try to have real a conversation with a person, read a book, of just sit and experience “no activity or distraction”–don’t just mindlessly play with your Smartphone all the time.
  7. Limit yourself to […]
By |August 15th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog, Internet Addiction, Unplug|Comments Off on Take the “Plug Back Into Life Challenge!”

Do You Experience FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)

FOMO-Fear of Missing Out

By Dr. David Greenfield, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction


The fear of missing out (FOMO) as it implies is that we are so connected or “plugged in” to our digital devices that we actually experience fear or anxiety when we lose that electronic tether to the our Internet world. Whether that connection occurs via our smartphone, Ipad, laptop, or some other Internet–enabled digital device the result is essentially the same. We experience a withdrawal-like feeling when we either loose access or are afraid we might lose access. The whole premise of FOMO is that there is something going on in cyberspace that is better than what we are doing right now.  We might feel we will miss something important, or that we might see, via face book, twitter, or other social media, that people are living a better, more exciting life than we are living and we are somehow “missing out”.

We can be actively engaged in our daily life and enjoying ourselves but still feel an almost compulsive need to check our Smartphone, email, texts, tweets, or face book to see if there is something we […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Dr. Dave's Blog, FOMO, Internet Addiction, Personal, Stress, Unplug, V-A|Comments Off on Do You Experience FOMO? (Fear of Missing Out)