I scored 38 out of 100!

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Ok, ok. So, yesterday’s post was about some scary stuff. Are we on our way to being like the people in the movie WALL-E? Are we setting ourselves up to be taken over by our computers? Some say that has already happened. But let’s look at our current state in a more scientific way. Before going into that, a little disclaimer. The measurement of internet usage from normal to pathological is debated. However, there are widely respected and well researched tools available. Dr. Kimberly Young, founder of The Center for Internet Addiction, uses these tools as part of the first evidenced-based Digital Detox™ recovery program.

I took the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and scored a 38. You can share your score but this is no competition. I doubt many of you will score high but it’s good to be familiar with the symptoms of misuse.

Hosea 4:6 King James Version (KJV)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge

Regardless, of whether you score high or not, you may know it’s time to cut down on your gadget use. (I know less media indulgence would help simplify my life). Here are strategies to assist us:

  • Schedule gadget time between must do events or activities
  • Set goal time but get there in a step-down manner
  • May need to totally abstain from media if unable to control yourself
  • Evaluate when during the day you use media and schedule other activities at those times
  • Write down things you would do or used to do before using this level of media and do them (get to bed on time, finish tasks quicker, etc.)
  • Write down your ROI for changing this habit (better mood, feeling of accomplishment, etc.)
  • Get an accountability partner to help keep you honest and motivated

For those interested, there is a Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test to help assess your child’s level of internet engagement.

 

Be well, Beloved.

 

 

Go, go gadget!

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My car is running on fumes. But I need to deposit a check and drop off tax papers before work. It can wait until I get off. I know I’m driving but let me check my calendar first. Oh, no! I forgot this is my carpool week, I have a conference call at lunch, and the kids are staying after school. If I’m only 5 minutes late to work, I can still run my errand. “Ding!” Who is texting me? I’ll check it at the gas station. While pumping, I watch the TV provided by the gas company. Today, Steve Harvey talks to married couples on the cusp of divorce. Wow! A TV at the pump. I pray for those couples. Let me check this text. Remind text from your child’s teacher, “Genetics test tomorrow.” I hope she’s ready. We’ll need to go over it with her tonight. She was working on Punnett Squares yesterday. Let me put that in the calendar.

The traffic lights are against me today.

“Ding!” That is the tone I get when someone likes or comments on my blog. I wonder if it was my hubby. I like getting those but they’re kinda obligatory.

“Ding!” Weather alert: Snow predicted in our area. I’ll need to go get provisions. I have a few minutes before work.

What is the other thing I am supposed to do before going to work? I know it’s important.

 


 

In this current age, we are constantly in touch with technology –literally and figuratively. Technology has blessed us by making us more intelligent. We know way more than prior generations. But are we smarter and at what cost?

In researching this topic, I was inundated by information. Most of it negative. We have markedly increased our internet usage over the past 5 years. In a Kaiser study, 8-18 year olds are taking in almost 8 hours of media daily. Even more disturbing is due to concomitant use of devices (e.g. tweeting while watching TV), they are getting in 10 hours and 45 minutes of media content. Heavy media users (>16 hours, 21% of test group) are more likely to make C’s, become bored, get into trouble and experience sadness than light users (< 3 hours, 17% of test group).  

An article in the journal Addiction, Hormes et al found that 10% of the college students studied experienced disordered social networking use: an addiction-like condition. Also, alcohol misuse was more likely in this group.

This affects more than kids. Regular social and mobile media users age 35-64 spend more than 13 hours a day with media.

The most disturbing result from too much internet time is brain shrinkage. The areas impacted control our attention spans, emotional lability, and empathy/compassion—among other things.

Increasing gadgetry usage also generates side effects that have a global impact on resources.  The US is less than 10 % of the world’s population, yet we consume 1/3 of the world’s energy.

Technology has made our lives more enriched. But like any other tool, it must be used wisely.

1 Corinthians 6:12New Living Translation (NLT)

12 You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything.

Simplifying our amount of media usage will make us smarter, healthier and happier.

Be well, Beloved!