When You Text Till You Drop
By BRYAN BURROUGH May 12, 2012
I DON'T know about you, but I've always found the debate about what our mobile devices are doing to us - to our behaviors, our manners, our minds - at least as interesting as reports about what we're doing with these devices.
What about that gent who was talking loudly into his Android phone on the Metro-North train this morning? Was he really that obnoxious before we all went wireless - or did the device somehow change him? And what about all those young people who spend hours upon hours texting and sexting and Facebooking? What kinds of adults will they become?
Is the casual anonymity of Internet discussion turning us into boors? What did we once do with all the hours we now spend obsessively checking e-mail and texts? Smoke?
Larry D. Rosen, a California psychologist, is less concerned with techno-boorishness than with the very real possibility that all these new personal gadgets may be making some of us mentally ill - especially those who are prone to narcissism, for example, or to depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In "iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us" (Palgrave Macmillan), Dr. Rosen surveys the existing research, throws in a bit of his own and suggests ways that users of new technologies can avoid behavioral pitfalls.