Shortly after a UK study concluded that consumer electronics like mobile phones and digital devices are addictive, James of jkOnTheRun confessed that he’s a gadgetaholic. I suffer from an untreatable case of technophilia as well and keep a running list of my own gadget collection, so I certainly understand the joy of unboxing a brand new shiny-something.
Since previous research has also found gadgets to be addictive (this isn’t a new claim, after all), I went back a few years and unearthed an alarming article from 2004 bearing the sub-headline "The uncontrollable desire to buy all new appliances without any reasons is the most explicit symptom of this sickness." Because my own gadget-buying behaviors are ruled by instant gratification and usually more about want than need, I read on with interest:
Gadget-addicted people have a bouquet of psychological symptoms, such as: euphoria and ecstasy from buying a new gadget, inability to stay away from appliances for long, the feeling of emptiness and depression that develops when a person does not purchase gadgets on a regular basis, disregard for family members and friends. Gadget mania can be harmful to health too: addicts suffer from dryness in the eyes, headaches and sleeping disorder.
I don’t disregard my family and friends in favor of gadgets or have headaches, but I must admit that the rest of the description actually suits me pretty well!
The article concludes that psychotherapy may be the required to rid the severely addicted of their mania and offers suggestions from unnamed specialists:
- Reduce the number of visits to electronics stores
- Buy new things at least once every three months
- Communicate with people as much as possible
Is it just denial or the fact that Pravda Online (no affiliation with the Communist Party newspaper) is somewhat sensationalist that I’ve never viewed my tech addiction as a real problem? How is my gadget collection any different from a lot of women’s shoe closets?
Thoughts or information on the nearest GA (Gadgetaholics Anonymous) meeting below please. And will I see you there?