Plug-In Heroin

May 9, 2011
By EMullins23 BRONZE, Buckhannon, West Virginia
EMullins23 BRONZE, Buckhannon, West Virginia
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Technology use seems to be the new wave of addiction hitting people of all ages. Its extreme use can be compared to the use of drugs, hence its nickname “Plug-In Heroin.” Robert A. Zucker, director Addiction Research at the University of Michigan, said that in order to be addicted to something, individuals must exhibit certain behaviors such as craving, compulsive use, the neglecting of other responsibilities, and withdraw symptoms when the object is not in use. Why it may seem absurd to think that someone is that addicted to such a small object, I’ve seen people who seen people who seem to be adhering to these guidelines if their phone or iPod has been taken away, lost, or forgotten at home.

The next time you’re in a crowded public place, look at the people around you. How many of them are on some kind of electronic object? Don’t try to count them, because it’s almost guaranteed all of them will be. It’s hard to find someone who isn’t glued to the tiny screen, fingers moving at lightning speeds, texting their friends, e-mailing coworkers, or listening to music.

In 2010, a survey was taken and the results show that 85% of people own a cell phone, 59% own of people a desktop computer, 52% of people own a laptop, and 47% of people own an iPod or some other type of MP3 device.

Some people may ask, “What’s wrong with technology use? It’s a way for people to communicate.” While this is true, over-use of technology isn’t always appropriate in certain settings. Schools are becoming stricter on the use of cell phones, iPods, and other electronic devices in classrooms. Various workplaces have signs hanging on their walls warning employees that “Cell phone use is not permitted” or “Cell phones are prohibited: on the first warning you will be sent home, on the second warning you will be fired.”

Electronics may be a way for people to communicate and stay in touch with each other, but the consequences may outweigh the benefits. People are losing the ability to hold face-to-face to conversations with others. However, it’s hard to avoid electronics in this day and age because everything in turning into an electronic format. Books, originally meant for paper design, are now being transferred to electronic forms. Photo albums, and even yearbooks, can now be viewed via internet. Coloring books and children’s stories can be used on computers and even cell phones. With this growing trend, future generations are bound to become even more addicted to technology.

Since the first step to quitting is admitting you have a problem, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I am addicted to electronics. From the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep, electronic devices are a constant for me. Although, if you ask anyone else my age, or even people of different ages, you will probably will receive the same answer, even if some a reluctant to admit their addiction.
Is there a cure for electronic addiction? Instead of AA, what about a twelve-step program to wean people away from the devices? Simply turning electronics off for an hour or two a day may help to an extent, but it will not completely exterminate electronic addiction. There only seems to be one cure left, and it may be the hardest: self control.

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