After a life full of technology, students are addicted.

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Technology connects to students’ identity
By Katie Dawson | IDS | January 19, 2012

After a life full of technology, students are addicted.

The preoccupation with electronics and the need to be constantly connected has led students to feel a need to check their computers, phones or iPods even when they’re not supposed to, IU journalism professor and researcher on technology and identity Hans Ibold said.

“I sometimes, in large lecture classes, have students who I’ll be looking right at them. I’ll see their Facebook page opened, and they still can’t keep from interacting with it,” Ibold said.

According to a study released by the Neilsen Company, Americans spent 53 billion minutes on social networking sites in May 2011 alone.

“When I ask students about their study habits, they always, consistently, have multiple screens open, and they have their phone and social networking site on while they’re studying,” Ibold said. “Rare is the student who tells me they shut everything off in order to just read or write.”

IU Mobile has benefited from students’ need to be connected. Since IU Mobile debuted in September 2009, there have been 31,000 downloads of the smartphone application on the Apple App store and 16,000 downloads on the Android and about 600,000 total hits.

“We’ll continue to make more services, more functions available because that’s really become the expectation,” said Brian McGough, director of enterprise software for University Information Technology Services and IU Mobile project manager. “I think the base expectation has evolved into where you should be able to access your data really anytime, anywhere.”

Ibold’s field of study, identity and how it is affected by the media and technology, shows how caught up students are with the preservation of their technological identities.

“Identity formation and maintenance has become a preoccupation for people, not just young people, but people across the board,” said. “The tools that students use every day, especially the identity management tools like Facebook, which essentially is a way to manage identity, is very preoccupying to students.”

Drug and alcohol addicts seek dopamine, a neurotransmitter that enables people to not only experience rewards, but also perform more of an action to get to the rewards.

Studies from the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry have found that while technology itself is not addictive, the way people use it can be.

“We are getting notifications from Facebook and email that creates these random reinforcement schedules where we’re getting these rewards on these random schedules which leads to these dopamine squirts which creates a mild euphoria,” Ibold said.

“On a random schedule, research shows that we are getting addicted to those reinforcements, and we seek more and more of that out as opposed to spending more time with the existing information.”

Because of the amount of information available, analysts often study how the information relates to society.

“You have this global reservoir of knowledge at our fingertips, but figuring out what it means or being able to place it into context and being able to think through it, that’s knowledge, and that’s different than just having a million points of data that you have access to,” Ibold said.

Many students believe the more information they have, the closer to knowledge they are, Ibold said. Instead, the factors of real knowledge take a deeper attention span.

“I think that there is a bit of a danger here where we can be diluted into thinking that we are getting smarter and that we’re more knowledgeable when we have all this information,” Ibold said. “More information doesn’t lead to wisdom or even knowledge.”

Copyright © 2012 Indiana Daily Student


This is going to be another

This is going to be another huge problem in future. I am addicted to the internet as it is .When I am awake, I spend 80% of my time on my laptop - even when I am in the restroom ( and I am not even into porn). I deactivated my facebook account last month and I felt so liberated. Once my phone contract ends, I will deactivate my data plan. My next goal will be to restrict my computer time.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the next generation - they will be using tablet computers instead of books and get addicted even faster.

The future? How about now? I

The future? How about now? I thankfully don't use facebook. I've been using Linkedin and online dating more recently. While I'm convinced these are not helping my life overall, I'm test driving them for a while. Same can be said for a tablet computer. I might have read a book. Now the internet is even more available.

Can we develop a model for a technology-rich life that isn't overstimulating? There must be enough we can extrapolate from nutrition, karezza, and so on?

"Identity Management"


It seems as if technology has passed the 'tipping point'. Instead of adding value to human lives, it now steals, dilutes, and distorts value. People text and talk while driving, they walk blindly down the sidewalk while texting, they plug into Facebook compulsively to check for the most trivial and inane updates. I'm not on Facebook and I only check my phone for messages a few times a day. I hate texting. I'm the only person I know (other than my Mom!) who still enjoys writing letters (paper and envelope and stamp letters). I am Rip Van Winkle.

But even though I'm rebooting and have walked away from internet porn, I do still spend time on the web.. If it wasn't for technology, I wouldn't have discovered YBOP and maybe I should shut up.

I just lose more and more hope for any kind of decent future for humanity when I see this stuff. Young people have become iPhone zombies. But it's not just young people. Older people too. I haven't watched a film in the theater in the last 5 years without a bright cell phone screen popping up in the darkness.

Time to stop bitching. I knew this would just become a rant for me. Calm down. Let it go. Let it goooooo...

Time Machine: take me back to 1990.



This makes me think a

This makes me think a countermeasure might be needed to fight back the tides. I'm not sure what that might look like. Offshore our lives and hire cheaper labor to filter and summarize the important things while one reads a book? Automatic scripts that do more for us?

I recently added to my dating profile that I'd like to write real letters. Someone has to keep the post office in business. There have been no takers yet and I'm not expecting any.

If it wasn't for technology, you might not need "here." Sure, the ideas sharing is great. There was a day when humans could speak in real life (about anything?).

Maybe humans will jump through the now to another way. Many new tech offering are seemingly targeting the consensus of disconnection despite the technology. One problem is many humans seem to have become afraid of strangers. I find that more disturbing than the technology itself.


If it wasn't for technology, you might not need "here."

Thats an interesting comment because it can be interpreted in 2 ways -
1. The first one (which you are referring to ) is that technology is enabling us to exchange ideas freely on this website.
2. The second ( and more important one IMO) is that technology had caused this excess PMO problem to begin with .

So technology might help us with the solution, but its also the cause of our problems.

In the next site could the

In the next site could the extra indent be removed? This indent appears only when a post is "new" and has a red box around it. This is why people get confused. The red box might be able to stay.

In general, if in doubt, one can refresh the page. Then no posts are "new" and the indent structure is easier to follow. Read the other new posts first or it will be harder to find them after the refresh.

An interesting article. On

An interesting article. On the radio a few weeks ago, one of the talkshows was talking about this subject. They were talking about a week long challenge given to a group of college students to give up technology for one week (well, at least phones and computers etc). Apparently some of the students reported symptoms of withdrawl, including feeling sick almost like they had the flu. Sounds familiar eh?

I have always wondered about what course technology will take us on..on one hand it's given us so much...on the other hand it takes us further and further from nature. We're not operating how our bodies were made to and I have always felt that we are advancing faster than we can adapt. But I digress, here I am typing on the internet lol.

I believe internet addiction is part of my problem in the same way porn has been...sometimes I sit at my computer for hours doing nothing but going from page to page sometimes researching stuff, but most of the time it's mindless facebook or dating site browsing. Then I remember I have stuff to do, and then forget again after 5 minutes of surfing. Also among my friends I'm known as the one that is "always on his phone"

See you

in a week. Wink

Seriously, there's one way to find out.... Constant novelty is extremely stimulating. No wonder. It was once a matter of survival to be alert to changes in one's environment. Now...a man-eating tiger could go unnoticed as we stare at our screens.

Not if the man-eating tiger

Not if the man-eating tiger is doped too such that we're less interesting than digitized tiger-food. The tiger could be wired to make our implanted cellphone vibrate as he wonders over. The world is safe again. Keep your nose to the grindstone...I mean screen.

We've become the disadvantaged gladiators.

Agreed! It's interesting

Agreed! It's interesting that before I discovered, or knew anything about dopamine overload, I somehow always had the sense that my fatigue, brain fog, depression, etc was somehow related to me being so close to technology all the time. I had always believed that maybe it was just a sense of being overwhelmed with all the possibilities of things to do online...sounds odd to say, but what I mean is that having everything at your fingertips might sound nice but really just leaves me with a sense of confusion and not really knowing what to do/look at. The internet connects the world with each other yet isolates us at the same often do people look each other in the eye in person anymore? for thought!

All right!

That is so inspiring. And I'm having trouble staying away from technology for one day per week. 90 days in a row? I'm sure you won't get the same withdrawal as from no PMO, in fact if you find other activities you may actually have a blast. And yet I feel I may have a panic attack if I don't checking my email for 24 hours.

Can't edit my last post.

It's kinda shocking. I see this everywhere around me, people are loosing themselves in this virtual world, establishing a false personality on facebook to be accepted and loose the ability to deeply communicate with real people in real life. People tell me they couldn't live without facebook and mobile phones for one day because peers expect them to answer immediately.

I use neither facebook nor a mobile phone, no social media and only rarely instant messaging.
But I am addicted to this big collection of knowledge you can find on the web and catch myself refreshing differen websites for 4-8 hours a day only to realize that I didn't remember much of it at the end of the day. I think about "What did I learn today?" And I don't know.

My attention is being divided due to internet use. I want to read something but half way through it I decide to visit another website, because it gives me a feel-good rush.

I have programmed myself to fast rewards, so reading anything which needs more than 3 minutes becomes stressing.

And I keep telling myself I need to check mails and information every day because I would miss important exchanges but when I look at it objectively, it would be no problem if the only thing I would do on the internet would be checking mails twice a week.

I can see how these random schedules give us a lot of small dopamine rewards. If we would limit consumption to certain times, we wouldn't be addicted to use the internet all day.

I have a totally fucked up relationship to knowledge, as the article says, I am too programm to think I need to know everything the internet has to offer but there is lacking something: the ability to process this amount of information.

Honestly, internet addiction for me is far mor addictive than PMO, if I abstain, I don't know what to do with my time and I usually need a few weeks to fill that whole with important, inspiring stuff. But it is worth it so I want to try limiting my internet exposure to two times a week with only checking emails.

So I will leave you for a while, guys :(
Maybe later I add in visiting websites for information gathering again, but this will need time until I have reprogrammed my brain to get rewards from concentrating on one topic for a few hours constantly without distraction.

I think there are many guys here who substitute internet use for pmo, as I do and would profit from abstinence. I can clearly see how this addiction hinders any progress for me.

People lost the ability to live in the real world, it is insane!

Where does our society will end with this? Even today I rarely find people who are in the moment with their full attention. They aren't available anymore!

Sadly I imagine a world where we will get sucked into the virtual world in such a way that true communication will be a thing of the past. People won't get together anymore spontantiously, share complex feelings and thoughts because we can share everything in 140-words long twitter messages and chopped facebook notes. Why writing long letters, articulating our thoughts when one short mail is enough to end a relationship? To share experiences? Hell, what is there still to think and communicate about if we share every banal thing that happens in our life every minute?

We are so occupied with talking about nonsense that we loose the ability to actually make experiences which are valuable to talk about! So the only thing we can share tomorrow is that we used facebook today. It is dangerous because deep thougts are rare these days and people only talk about things the have done, do, or will do.

Well, however. This is my last post. Wish you a happy life, everyone, maybe one day I will rejoin this forum once in a while, not out of addiction but with the freedom to leave it again for a few weeks.

Interestingly, I think that I talk to real people now but in reality I am just sitting in front of a computer, pushing on the keyboard and looking on a colorful screen, hours a day with no connection at all. I don't know you and probably never will.

Of course, the internet has its right to exist but in the moment where this valuable tool we use uses us, we are enslaved.

I know the urge to visit this sites, reading the answers will come up in the following days but I have to resist. In the end, whether porn, coffee or internet, this is what withdrawal is about. Good bye.

So long

..and good luck, Phoenix.

Walking away sounds like such a great idea. Even when I'm PMO free, I'm still wasting hours on the web. Surfing, reading, searching... I need a break too.

But instead of an all out embargo, I think a small daily quota is reasonable. Get in and get out. It helps that I am not on Facebook, don't do Reddit, hate Twitter, and have no use for online dating.

Already I'm feeling lighter, knowing I'll be spending the bare minimum of my day on the web. I'll just stay current on personal email and check my fan mail on reuniting. Wink

Online dating and job seeking

Online dating and job seeking are driving me a little nuts. I don't see information seeking as quite as bad even though it wastes time. With information seeking, I can capture and retain something. The others are a hit without any benefit...most of the time at least.