Thursday, August 24, 2006

Addicted to Information?

Recently I saw this story about how officials in China have opened up a clinic for those who are "addicted" to the net. Interesting to be sure, the idea that the internet could be just as addicting as a physical drug has been raised many times in the past, to much debate. The validity of this claim I won't dispute here, but I think the larger issue of just how much information we are asked to process in our daily lives is at least partly to blame for the reports of internet addiction. My perspective on this issue leads me to put forth the idea that some who seem to be addicted to the endless supply of information on the net are simply finding the process of filtering what information they are exposed to more difficult than the rest of us. For those who can absorb large amounts of information the rewards are great, so many of us spend a considerable amount of time trying to improve this process. This process in itself is not always a bad thing, but taken to extremes it can lead to addiction-like symptoms and possibly lead to other physiological effects.
Now if you take this whole idea to an extreme you might get something like this. As much as I love my Blackberry I can't imagine my employer forcing me to use it (trust me, they don't need to!).

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