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Silicon Valley Worries About Addiction to Devices -

Stashed in: Silicon Valley!, Mobile!, #health, Addiction, Awesome, @jkraus

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Some people disagree there is a problem, even if they agree that the online activities tap into deep neurological mechanisms. Eric Schiermeyer, a co-founder of Zynga, an online game company and maker of huge hits like FarmVille, has said he has helped addict millions of people to dopamine, a neurochemical that has been shown to be released by pleasurable activities, including video game playing, but also is understood to play a major role in the cycle of addiction.

But what he said he believed was that people already craved dopamine and that Silicon Valley was no more responsible for creating irresistible technologies than, say, fast-food restaurants were responsible for making food with such wide appeal.

“They’d say: ‘Do we have any responsibility for the fact people are getting fat?’ Most people would say ‘no,’ ” said Mr. Schiermeyer. He added: “Given that we’re human, we already want dopamine.”


Hmm. One wouldn't normally expect to see an association with the fast-food industry and people's health to be a positive one.

Zynga says, Farmville bad for your health...but your addicted so give us your money...#cigarettes #fastfood

Hopefully soon the news media can develop a boilerplate for these stories where the addictive thing/destroyer of society/whipping boy is automatically filled in and the article auto-published so journalists don't have to waste time writing these every six months to a year when the new bringer of the cultural apocalypse (television, video games, rap music, whatever) arrives...

I think they are reporting on an actual trend that is affecting real people. I think this is worthwhile.

There's a good reason why people get addicted to their devices.

They're using the devices to learn, to connect with others, to be entertained, to work.

The devices are core to many activities we do.

Is it that we're addicted to the devices?

Or are we addicted to learning, connecting, entertainment, and work?

Or is it that we do not know how to overcome ennui without a device?

That's what television and movie theaters and restaurants are for!

There's an article I saw referenced on hacker news once. Something about a "resting state." the article's author wrote about smartphones and social media now being the go-to activity for said restful state. Cannot recall the article though.

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