Can someone please make it stop? Every month or so someone comes out with yet another fear mongering story about how we're all "addicted" to some kind of technology. Last month, it was email. In the past it's been things like web addiction, online porn, video games or the whole internet. Now, textually is pointing out another claim from someone saying that we're all addicted to mobile phones. This is all based on the psychological assessment of an IT instructor who told his students not to use their mobile phones for three days. In his professional opinion, the were "truly afraid." In fact, very few of them made it through the three days without using their phones. QED. They're addicted, says the instructor. Of course, that seems to be a very loose definition of "addiction." What if someone asked him to live outside for three days straight? Didn't do it? He must be addicted to shelter. Can't go naked for three days? Addicted to clothing! How about three days without talking? Nope? He must be addicted to communicating. Oh, the horror of it all! Mobile phones are useful tools that people use because they're helpful to communicate. To call it an "addiction" implies that there's a negative consequence, a la a drug or alcohol addiction. In fact, later on the article the reporter (who never goes looking for anyone to present the other side of the story) finds a psychologist who claims that people look to their phones for "psychological nurturing." A little proof please? Also, according to the same guy, the mobile phone: "takes away a key component of happiness, the pleasure of total absorption of one activity to the exclusion of everything else." First off, who said that was a key component of happiness -- and who said that can't happen when someone has a mobile phone? It's beginning to look like we're just addicted to people claiming we're addicted to things.
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