Article written

  • on 04.09.2009
  • at 04:47 PM
  • by Rick VanSant

Internet – Gaming Addiction Center Opens 3

Sep4

Internet addiction center opens in US

A first of its kind in the US, a new residential treatment center for internet/gaming addicts has opened in Washington.  What may be significant here is that the psychotherapists and the neurologists area arriving at some of the same conclusions…  continuous engagement with information technology fundamentally alters the brain.  Linda Stone (1998) coined the phrase “continuous partial attention” to describe the behavior of continually keeping tabs on everything, but never deeply focusing on anything.  Gary Small (2008) notes that when “paying continuous partial attention, people place their brain in a heightened state of stress.  They no longer have time to reflect, contemplate or make thoughtful decisions” leading to mistakes, feelings of irritability, and distractedness. 

Other research has recently begun to suggest that the increased dopamine levels seen in information addicts (sustained continuous partial attention) mimics levels found in other addictions.

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There are 3 comments for this post

  1. Wendy T. says:

    This is very interesting. I figured in all due time. Everything good has an addiction. I believe in this one too. I’ve see it. The person who is texting and talking at the same time followed by working on the computer. Then there is the follow up “what was that?” However, I think this problem is one that we kind of inflicted upon our children. I mean we shove technology and computers down our childrens’ throats. If you don’t believe it, look at our obesity rate.

  2. Veena Cole says:

    It is interesting that we think we need to live at this super speed. We don’t take time any more to smell the roses. I never thought about this as an addiction, probably because I try to use the internet in moderation (dial-up will do that to you!) Looking around me in the library though, I can see people playing games while they talk on their cell phones and at the same time look to see who might be walking through the doors. I think this is just another example of multitasking. Multitasking on the surface allows us to do many things at once, but none of them well. There are times that we need to multitask. I do it at home all the time. I stir the cooking food, ask one child to set the table all while listening to the salesman on the phone. None of these things takes or gets my full attention.

  3. Rick VanSant says:

    More than technology, I have to believe that it is parents simply not being willing to do the hard work to say “NO”. Buy kids things, because we feel guilty about not spending time with them. So… play the game with them.

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