Fear of a Disconnected Life (The Boston Globe)


“I have begun to feel as if technology is controlling everyone around me, myself included,” writes Dartmouth’s Elizabeth Kelsey in a Boston Globe magazine opinion piece. “I wonder how I’d fare if I disconnected from it one day each week, and so I vow to make my Sundays cyber-free.”

Kelsey, a communications specialist for information technology services, chronicles several of her failed attempts at making it through an entire Sunday without using the Internet, Google, or checking her email. She turns to Dartmouth’s Benjamin Nordstrom, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Geisel School of Medicine, for his expertise on addiction. “There are neuroimaging data that the experience of ‘craving’ the use of technology activates the same brain areas activated in the craving of drugs,” says Nordstrom, the director of addiction services.

“But Nordstrom points out that this could be different from wanting to ‘check’ Facebook or Twitter accounts, where the behavior is used to reduce anxiety,” Kelsey explains. “So we check e-mail or Facebook to make sure we’re not missing anything. Yes, I can relate to that. Like many, I suffer from FOMO: fear of missing out.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 1/26/13 by The Boston Globe.

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