Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Infomania: New Medical Disorder?

Have you ever had a friend or family member who you cannot picture not using a cell phone or checking email? These are the people who are said to be infomaniacs. Some say it is a form of addiction. Infomania is a new medical term for a condition of people who cannot seem to let go of their gadgets like computers and cell phones. They affect mostly those who are exposed to technology like teenagers and office workers.

Theory has it that the use of technology can be as addictive as drugs because they enable the release of endorphins or hormones that give a sense of well being when used. Such endorphin highs could be what makes video game players keep playing again and again at the expense of other basic needs. Extreme cases involve ignoring food in exchange for the thrill of playing at an arcade (see related post: Video Game Overdose?). High school students have been observed in a mall buying tokens for games then later scavenging leftovers from the plates of food court customers.

Other studies say that gadgets give a rush of adrenaline, like when they are used as mediums for entertainment or socializing. Could such adrenaline rushes be associated with violent tendencies that are said to be displayed by players of shooter video games? Could this rush, or the yearning for a much bigger "fix," be the reason why some people attempt to reenact the fantasy world of such games in real life? Send me your comments.

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