By Dr David Greenfield
A New Normal
Americans have not as of yet decided how to deal with the incursion of portable digital technologies into our everyday public life. We are only now just beginning to address the intrusion these devices can and do create in our public places and spaces, and we are only now starting to develop new social norms on how and when we use them.
How to be Present and Simultaneously Absent
The problem with all these portable technologies (mainly Smartphones) is that the freedom they afford us in unfettered access creates a public statement that: “Where I am and what I am doing now is not where I actually am or want to be”. In short, all these technologies in effect shift time and space. A rather disconcerting feeling is communicated indirectly when we are in a public space yet seem to be connected […]
February, 2014, Singapore
Dr. 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
In response to numerous requests from our readers, we just created a new online quiz that can help you determine if you are overusing or abusing your smartphone. Although these devices are wonderful tools for communications, productivity, and fun, their overuse may create an unhealthy imbalance in your life.
This short quiz takes less than five minutes to complete and can help you determine if you need to change your smartphone usage patterns:
Smartphone Abuse Test
Interested in some of the newest studies in neuropsychology and physiology covering how technology is changing our brains? Here’s an informative synopsis of some recent finding by the folks at the online news site Mashable. Topics covered include the impact of television on dreaming, fear of missing out (FOMO), insomnia, visual skill improvements, and impulse control.
Read the full story here:
The 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: