Sunday, May 13, 2012

Text Until You Become Mentally Ill

I don't text. Yay!!! This feels like a victory to me, even if only a minor one. I do not receive texts; I do not send texts. I do not text, therefor I am.

Some people are text addicts. I have had them in my classes. They cannot not-text. What is so important to them that they must text? The answer is: nothing of any real cultural relevance. They are not texting about the Big Ideas of life. Their texting contributes nothing of enduring value to anyone.

For the most part.

Bryan Burrough, in today's nytimes, reviews psychologist Larry Rosen's book iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us. Burrough asks: "What about all those young people who spend hours upon hours texting and sexting and Facebooking? What kinds of adults will they become?"..What did we once do with all the hours we now spend obsessively checking e-mail and texts? Smoke?"

Rosen's concern is with "the very real possibility that all these new personal gadgets may be making some of us mentally ill — especially those who are prone to narcissism, for example, or to depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder."

I love this: "For those combating some form of techno-addiction, Dr. Rosen advises regularly stepping away from the computer for a few minutes and connecting with nature; just standing in your driveway and staring at the bushes, research shows, has a way of resetting our brains."