You Said It: 'I'm Pretty, Definitely Addicted' to Technology

UMD social scientists say there's a reason they call it a 'Crackberry.' Could you go cold turkey?

Joshua Laskin said he is definitely addicted to his smart phone, and not just for texting, e-mailing and making phone calls.

“There’s so many different applications. You can go on Facebook, you can play card games, you can play Scrabble, Tetris, whatever,” Laskin, 19, said. “It’s just an easy way to kill some time.”

Laskin, a senior physics major at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is one of a segment of the young population that is addicted to technology, according to a study by the University of Maryland, College Park’s International Center for Media and the Public Agenda.

According to the study, “students are not just unwilling, but functionally unable to be without their media links to the world.”

Not only has the phone become an addictive device, it could also cause cancer, according to an international panel of scientists.

The Associated Press reported this week that the International Agency for Research on Cancerdecided cell phones carry the same cancer risks as car exhaust and coffee, for example.

Tests by the panel indicated that two types of brain tumors may be caused by the electromagnetic radiation in cell phones, according to the AP.

But for many of us, simply refusing to use today’s technology is not only impractical, but impossible. If you disregard whatever health risk there may be, an all-or-nothing approach to cellular phones and technology in general is not necessary, according to The Washington Post.

Daniel Sieberg, writing for the Post, said starting a “digital diet” in which users temporarily quit their devices and social networks in order to re-evaluate where  technology fits into their lives can create a more healthy relationship with one’s Blackberry and Facebook.

“I say it is time to make peace with all our gadgets and fold them into our lives more effectively,” Sieberg writes. “We need a strategy that that puts us back in control, rather than letting technology overwhelm us.”

We talked to folks aged 19 to 31, and most admitted to heavy use of their cellular phone and social media.


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