By Angie Argabrite, Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 9:01 am.
Ever experienced a peculiar surge of elation when you watch the “likes” pile up on one of your Facebook statuses? This particular joy—triggered by, say, a small video-game victory, clever tweet or kind text message—is probably derived from the neurotransmitter dopamine, which sets our brains’ pleasure circuits ablaze. More scientists today are comparing this biological response with the gratification felt by addicts who bring the first drag of a cigarette into their lungs, lay poker chips onto the green felt of a casino table or try an illicit drug. As many of us become ever more attached to our smartphones and social media accounts (a British poll found that one in four people spend more time online than asleep and 51 percent experience “e-anxiety” if separated from their phone or email), a case is being made for adding “Internet Compulsion Disorder” or “Pathological Internet Misuse” to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Even young children are being affected; in Australia, psychologists report receiving an increasing number of calls about Internet- or video-game-addicted adolescents. Patients generally experience difficulty concentrating, eyestrain, overeating and lack of physical activity. Always resourceful marketers are tapping into this newly identified addiction by helping consumers harmlessly get their “fix.” Think unexpected discounts or sophisticated log-in processes designed to make people feel as though they’re members of a VIP club. Is being alone in front of a computer the new cocktail party? One thing’s for sure: At least one person has usually had one too many.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 9:01 am. It is filed under Brainsnacks, Health and Wellness, Social Media, Technology, Trends and tagged with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM, email, Facebook, Internet, Internet addiction, Internet Compulsion Disorder, pathological Internet misuse, psychology, smartphone, Social Media, social media trends, sociology, Technology, Twitter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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