Last month, a doctor at a well known addiction clinic made headlines by saying that patients at the clinic were displaying signs of being addicted to text messaging. I have problems with this sort of classification, as I think it's really designed to bring in more business to the clinic by making up bogus addictions. Wired News is now exploring whether or not text addiction is a real problem or not. Just because people do something all the time, it doesn't mean that they're addicted. As the article points out, people wash their hands all the time, but obsessive compulsive people feel compelled to do it constantly. Besides, the real issue shouldn't be whether or not people are text messaging all the time, but whether or not that's a bad thing. Plenty of people like to use text messaging because it allows them to be in better contact with people. Thus, it could be a good thing. The problems with addictions to alcohol and drugs are that they result in dangerous behaviors that put those around them at risk. That's not the case with text messaging (though, the article tries to make the connection by pointing out that you could harm your finances and force your kids to eat at - oh no! - McDonald's all the time by spending too much on text messaging). All in all, this is similar to every single new technology that causes some psychologist somewhere to suddenly try to make a name for themselves by adding another addiction to the list. I tend to believe that the problem is never going to be an addiction to text messaging. If someone is text messaging to an "unhealthy" level, it's likely to be an indication of larger problems, unrelated to the text messaging.
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