Well every so often we get all hot and bothered about how we’re addicted to the internet. Oo, it’s shrinking our brains, no-one remembers anything any more and my significant other only communicates with me by Facebook chat and text. Or something.
A new book has just come out reinforcing that old claim. The Shallows: How The Internet Is Changing The Way We Think, Read and Remember by Nicholas Carr claims that internet browsing has trained our brains to flit around like hyperactive butterflies, incapable of focus and craving a drip-feed of the sweet nectar of new information – tweets! emails! Even if they are boring ones about work.
Author Nicholas Carr says it genuinely triggers dopamine release too – making us actively seek out the online interruptions that distract us.
It’s hard to see how the world or social lives would work without Facebook, blog readers and Twitter these days. But hey I do agree it takes a toll. I get all fretful when I can’t access Twitter and the number of times I check my email is wholly unnecessary…
Ten Signs You are Addicted to the Internet
1) You check emails after a 17 minute journey – you’ve been on the tube or driving (somewhere you can’t either access the internet or hold your Blackberry without breaking the law) and when you come out, you immediately check your email. Someone more familiar with the 90s than me compares it to the way people coming out of the tube back then would pull out their cigarettes on leaving the underground. Now it’s the Blackberry.
2) When you’re walking the dog/child you’re looking at your Blackberry. Maybe you have your earphones in too. It’s a wonder the dog/child puts up with it. A wonder.
3) You get withdrawal symptoms. Not having access to email, facebook and twitter makes you a little irritable. Sort of panicky almost.
4) You faff around on youtube when you should be asleep. You actually suffer sleep deprivation
5) You go online to check one thing and 2 hours and six lady gaga videos later you are still on there. Downstairs the pasta has boiled over and you haven’t even thought about it. It’s out of control.
6) When you arrive in a pub, you check into Foursquare before saying hello to your friends…
7) You know what’s happening on TV because you read about it on Twitter. I mean you stopped watching TV a while ago, there’s not really time with all the YouTube and Facebook you have to do. But thankfully other people on Twitter watch it so you still know what to say about it.
8) When you’re not on Facebook/Twitter you think of things to say on Facebook/Twitter.
9) When you interrupt times with friends and family to check your phone/computer. You know you shouldn’t, but you do.
10) When your parents report you to the Chinese government for your internet addiction and you get electric shock therapy. Oh yes that happened.