Cell Phone, BlackBerry And E-Mail Addiction
Cell Phone, BlackBerry And E-Mail Addiction
Edward Hallowell (Psychiatrist, Author) gives expert video advice on: What's the 'paradox of labor-saving devices'?; Why are cell phones addictive?; Aren't cell phones essential today? and more...
What's the 'paradox of labor-saving devices'?
Labor-saving devices create more labor. Back when technology was just revving up people wrote books about the problem of excessive leisure time. Well it turns out the opposite has happened. We have less leisure time. So if you're not careful you'll start using these electronic devices to create more work for yourself. Watch out for that because they ought to create less work.
Why are cell phones addictive?
It's fun to talk on the phone, you know? I mean people love it and you know you go through airports, you go into restaurants, public places now and you see people with their little headsets on in cars; very dangerous but they're doing it. It's fun and the next thing you know you develop a habit and then it becomes second nature. You start reaching for your cell phone like a package of cigarettes or a jar of M&Ms. It's there and so you use it.
Aren't cell phones essential today?
Yes, Cell Phones essential today and they are wonderful. I am happy that my eighteen year old daughter has a Cell Phone when she is out at night. Cell Phones are wonderful. They are a great invention. But like any great invention like the automobile, if you do not use Cell Phones wisely, it can become dangerous.
What's the biggest danger of cell phone addiction?
The biggest danger of cell phone addiction is probably driving. You know there's studies that show that if you use it when you're driving, it impares your performance more than if you've had two drinks. But then the more common danger is simply that you don't do well whatever it is you're doing because you're distracted on your cell phone.
Why are BlackBerrys addictive?
Oh, Blackberries are just, like the turbo charged cell phone. You can email, you can get onto the net, you can, it's your own portable, you know, supersonic transport machine. They're fun, they're fun, you know, and people say. “Oh no, I'm working here.” You're playing, you're like my 12 year old, you're playing, they're fun and that's great, as long as you don't take it too far. And like the man I know who lays his Blackberry down next to his wife when they make love, you know. Now that's getting crazy.
What's the biggest danger of BlackBerry addiction?
The biggest danger is that you'll waste your time. When you think about it, your time is your most precious asset; your time and your mental energy. The biggest danger is that you'll waste it, doing what I call "screen sucking", you're just on that thing and it drains your time and energy, which is a shame because it's finite. We've only got so much time, don't waste it. Watch out for that.
Why is e-mail addictive?
Email is fun, it's great. The mail used to come once a day or maybe twice a day. We'd run to the door to see what's in the mail. Well, now you can run to the door every second and get a new letter, so it's fun and it's just human nature. We love getting messages, we love opening packages, we don't know what's in there. Even if 99 out of 100 of them are spam, we still want to get them. They're fun.
Isn't e-mail essential today?
You need e-mail to do business. It facilitates your personal life. It's wonderful! It is not essential, because I do know some people who still don't use it. But life is a lot better if you have access to e-mail. But, be careful! Just like you're careful every time you get in your automobile. You ought to be careful everytime you use your e-mail. You can waste time. You can intrude upon other people. Watch out for using e-mail to transmit emotional messages, because it's wildly misunderstood. E-mail is best for data transmissions, information transmissions. When it comes to emotions, you want to do it in person.
Are instant messaging and texting addictive?
Yes. They are a lot of fun and anything that is a lot of fun is at least habit forming if not addicting. So yes, texting is great. But if that is all you do, you are not going to do much of anything else. So, I am not saying do not do it. What I am saying is be very careful. be aware of how it can steal your attention, steal your time, steal your mental energy. So you do not get done what you really want to get done.