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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Addicted to a real, bad thing

  • Programs to unplug people from all things digital are gaining popularity. Hubby thinks I need to sign up.
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  • Programs to unplug people from all things digital are gaining popularity.
     
    Hubby thinks I need to sign up.
     
    I told him I had no need to cure my digital addiction until he attended courses that teach HIM how to separate a football game loss from reality and stop punishing his family for the Viking’s lousy season.
     
    In all reality, Hubby doesn’t mind my digital addiction while the game is on or even shortly after as he rages against humanity for another loss.
     
    Hubby’s complaint is that he can never hold a conversation with me without one eye and one ear always tuned in on one of the four digital devices I have.
    When I reminded him that he bought three of the four digital devices for me as Christmas and birthday gifts his argument lost steam. Actually, I received a text from a friend in distress and I left the room to text in peace.
     
    He was not aware of my absence until he found me curled up in bed, fast asleep after the game.
     
    Mental health experts debate the breadth and meaning of the term IA (Internet addiction) and whether such a malady even exists.
     
    Some experts contend that excessive computer time leads to insufficient outdoor time, or “nature deficit disorder.” The worst sufferers could perhaps benefit from digital detox, a getaway from the gadgets.
     
    Counseling can help identify underlying issues–relationship problems­–that cause some people to escape to the keypad. (Please read paragraph three again).
     
    Studies estimate that four to 10 percent of Americans struggle with keeping computer use in check. Some surveys suggest an even bigger problem for young adults. Still, is it fair to blame the gadgets­ when couples can’t get along?
     
    Some studies suggest technology is the culprit, because those gadgets may be affecting our brains.
     
    The benefits of unplugging include “startling cognitive improvement” and “an almost 50 percent increase in creativity,” according to a report issued by the University of Kansas.
     
    And many psychological studies cite withdrawal symptoms when people cut back on device dependency. Fingers twitch. Thoughts wander. Irritability sets in.
     
    Sounds similar to game day.
     
    The good news: A Stanford University study found that more than 90 percent of people who reported a desire to spend less time online were successful.
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    At least there is hope for me.
     

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