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Smart Phones & Attention Deficit Disorders -- A Connection?

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posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:48 PM
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I'm as interested in hearing the thoughts and opinions of our members on this as I am hearing if anyone else experiences anything similar. Much of what I'm bringing forward is based on personal experience and I fully acknowledge that the phone's themselves are not to blame nor the company that produces them. The issue rests with the individual that uses the product. So please, don't read into this as some critique of the company's that produce the product and a failure to accept responsibility for decisions that I make myself.

 
 


I currently own an iPhone 3GS.

With this phone, I am connected all of the time. If I need to send an email, I send it. If I'm waiting on an email, I get it immediately. If there is a sports update I'm waiting on, I get it. A political news story breaks? Within seconds I'm informed. As amazing as the internet is and was, having to "log on" from a computer just isn't quick enough anymore. To have it with me in my pocket at all times is a luxury that I've never understood until I've experienced it.

I've become just what I never wanted to be.

If I don't have my phone with me, I feel "unconnected". I'm convinced that I might miss something. Having to "wait" just doesn't feel like an option anymore.

But the real problem, as I see it, is my ability to focus.

My phone is usually in my hand or in my pocket. If I'm stretched out on the couch and watching television, every few minutes I usually pull it out and check my inbox or a few favorite sites of my own. I'll then put it away and do the same thing in a few more minutes. It's like I'm never doing "one thing" anymore. I'm always doing several things at once and it's almost necessary to keep me sitting idle or focused.

I've noticed that when doing "one thing" at a time, I struggle to focus.

Driving.

The last two or three weeks, I've had a few trips to make. Each trip one way is about 4 hours. I struggle to focus at times and keep alert with the task at hand. My mind wanders and I'm not as aware of what the cars in front of me or around me are doing. This was never an issue for me in the past.

Reading this as I type it, I think I'm likely sounding like a crackpot who shouldn't own a phone or have access to the internet. This likely sounds worse than it is. But I am curious if others, who have smart phones and use them daily, have struggled to stay focused on certain tasks?

I do believe that in the not too distant future, attention deficit disorders will be connected to smart phones and other similar forms of technology.

Agree, disagree? Either way, I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.




posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


chisser,
i think i was going to post something concering the opening post, but i can't remember what i was thinking when i began to reply..

let me read it again and get back to ya,
et



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:01 PM
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There's some research that suggests constantly being plugged in is rewiring our brains. Making focused, contemplative thought fall to the back while the brain learns to work faster albeit less thorough on bits and pieces.

The difference between siting and reading a book for a paper or discussion and skimming a bunch of books on a subject to get the gist.

Whether that's good or bad is subjective.

The Shallows

Hooked on Gadgets, the Mental Price

I guess in the end what's important is that you understand what's happening and choose for yourself. The brain learns. If you feed it quick bits of infinite information day in and day out you're going to get a brain that processes quick bits of infinite information. If you sit and focus on a subject you're going to get a brain that sits and focuses.

Can you have both? I dont know.

By the way, I do all of those things with my iPhone too. It's wither in my hand or on my mind from the moment I wake up to right before bed no matter what I'm doing. I;m going to start leaving it in my desk at work over the weekends. Actually, I'll begin this weekend. Let's see if I can make it until Monday without shooting somebody.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by thisguyrighthere]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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Originally posted by chissler

I do believe that in the not too distant future, attention deficit disorders will be connected to smart phones and other similar forms of technology.


stop multi-tasking for one moment and follow one path, one logic...

if what you believe above is true, then drug companies will find doctors capable of supporting their drugs in commercials (inbetween news segments) who are willing to help sell new drugs to combat the side-effects of new technologies.


in my opinion, look how many new ways there are to communicate information compaired to how many ways there were to communicate information 30 short years ago.


why is our technologies running us faster than we can run?


these are a few thoughts i might think were relevent.

thanks Chiss, S&F,
et



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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considering deficeit disorders have been around longer than smart phones, id say no connection.

and i dont believe in a.d.d. just because people arent interested in boring school work doesnt mean they are a.d.d., it means the teachin is boring and not interesting



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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I've gotten to the point I just turn it all OFF. I have gotten extremely irritated at Every. Little. Thing. Needing my attention. People needing to talk to me RIGHT NOW- doesn't matter if I am napping, on the pot, eating, or anything else! Farmville and related 'toys'? I dont touch 'em, and I deride them every chance I get.

I am usually tied to the computer thanks to my sloooowly building up my Shapeways shop inventory (I make 3d stuff that can be turned into real objects by a 3d printing company- SHOULD be making me money....) I am able to concentrate on one thing at a time... but I am getting frustrated far easier each day. if something doesn't work right- I flip.

More and more, I find the need to shut all off (or as much as possible and still do the side business when I am working on stuff) and just have quiet. Blessed, silent quiet.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by wylekat]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 03:39 PM
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great thread.
I have a palm treo smartphone and reach for it at every whim.........
ill probably lose everybody right here, but the underlying problem is that we- as conscious co-creators of our realties- are giving away our own power to 'information'............depending on the individual I guess owning a smartphone could be like idol worship.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Your brain is designed to have downtime. There are Alpha, Beta and Theta waves.

Since wimax was turned on in most metropolis areas, there is no rest period for your brain. This leads to eradicate behavior and irritability.

It is my thinking that the mobile devices are a distraction from the constant bombardment our brains receive.

When you are not using it you go through withdrawals while your body reacts to the bombardment.

Of course I am rambling now because I have checked my phone in 2 minutes even though I am in front of a PC

Peace



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


nothing to do with a smartphone imo
i own an old "flat" motorola because it does the job (i have a tiny tiny laptop for anything else) and have always felt lost without it, really puts me on edge



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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I like your theory. And its possible that it could be a new cause. But from what i know, it really started with TV. At least, thats how i ended up with it. All of those fast paced childrens shows made my toddler prone to very easy boredom that stuck with me as i grew.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by Myendica
considering deficeit disorders have been around longer than smart phones, id say no connection.


I'm not saying that our technological advances are the foundation of all deficit disorders. I'm saying that it is contributing. As society evolves, our problems evolve. And as our problems evolve, our contributing factors to those problems evolve. Which is what I'm discussing here.


Originally posted by Myendica
and i dont believe in a.d.d. just because people arent interested in boring school work doesnt mean they are a.d.d., it means the teachin is boring and not interesting


I'd suggest that you truly don't understand the concept of deficit disorders if you can provide a summation of the whole disorder with "boring school work".

 
 


The comments surrounding our brain needing "down time" is a great one, in my opinion. As we rely more and more on our smart phones, we provide less down time. In between socializing, television, work and everything else, we insert browsing on these phones in between. Thus no down time, with the exception of sleep. In time, these patterns would certainly have an effect on our brains. This technology has introduced a level of drain on our minds that the general public has yet to experience.

It has to have some sort of effect.

shiman, I agree that TV was a big contributor as well. I've authored threads in the past on children's programming and how their skits are very short and full of eye candy. Completely geared to keep a child's attention for no more than a minute or two. As they grow, their attention span has only been challenged to maintain threw these short spurts; thus contributing to deficit disorders.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


What i did notice about ADD, is its not truly a disorder. It's more based on how that person is raised. If you raise a kid without tv or electronics, but from books and playing outside, then theyre not going to feel the need to get bored. (I was raised around both, so im just weird.) School work will be interesting to them.

Oops, that was a bit off topic..



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 06:49 PM
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reply to post by shiman
 


I believe genetically, some children are more susceptible to this disorder. However, I think it is largely to do with the nurturing process. The upbringing isn't the sole contributor, however it is a large one.

 


This brings up a great point though.

When we discuss deficit disorders, we primarily talk about our children and youth. This is when diagnosis' are made and treatment is sought. With the technological advances that we're seeing with our society, I think our generation(s) are opening the door for the very first time for a population of adults to be developing this condition.

The "curve" of this condition is that a child is diagnosed and they experiment with a few supports from medications to behavior modification techniques and ultimately an approach is found to be best for that individual. As they grow into adult hood, they have a system that works.

But what we're looking at here, possibly, is adults developing this condition without any supports in place. And as adults, being stubborn and without parental guidance to oversee our needs, we could be looking at a population that is undiagnosed and unsupported.

It's a lot to think of.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by chissler
 


perhaps technology plays a part in this disorder you speak of, but its only because it is more interesting than what it is the people of a deficeit towards...

case in point, if talking in person with you was more exciting than talking to you on here while I look up other useful information, I wouldn't be on here and I'd be trying to find you to have this conversation.

I know first hand this disorder. My brother has what they consider, a lot of disorders. But the only thing is, he was diagnosed because he spent his time, be it at school, or church, or even at home, thinking and doing things he cared about, instead of what those around him wanted him to be focused on.


So is it a deficeit disorder, or not caring what others want you to be focused on.

to me its free thinking. free will.



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:16 PM
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I think we diagnose things improperly to boost a drug industry that has more control over you and more say than you.

So you have whatever it is thats going to make it seem like you aren't operating at your potential, and this blue round compressed powder will solve your problem, that you don't necessarily realize you have.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by Myendica]



posted on Jul, 16 2010 @ 09:58 PM
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Originally posted by Myendica
I think we diagnose things improperly to boost a drug industry that has more control over you and more say than you.

So you have whatever it is thats going to make it seem like you aren't operating at your potential, and this blue round compressed powder will solve your problem, that you don't necessarily realize you have.

[edit on 16-7-2010 by Myendica]


I know what you mean. Did you know that some scientists are trying to push being picky about what you eat is a mental disability? thats probably already a thread on here



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 04:41 AM
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Originally posted by Myendica
So is it a deficeit disorder, or not caring what others want you to be focused on.

to me its free thinking. free will.


There in lies the flaw with your thinking. It's not necessarily free will.

Think of it as a "leaky brakes" system. I first heard this term from Dr. Duncan MacKinlay who has turret syndrome and he discusses the associate disorders, such as attention deficit disorder among others. And he phrased it as, you can see it coming through the windshield. You know it is coming and you know it is coming. A healthy person applies the break and is able to stay in control. In this situation, they'd be able to focus on the conversation. A person with ADD, who doesn't have a good breaking system, sees it coming and when they apply the break, their breaks don't work. So the next thing they know, they're already moved onto something else. It's not quite under their control because they lack the system in order to control it.

We know how it feels to be itchy. You get that itch on your arm or on your leg. It's a terrible feeling and when we scratch it, it's like world colliding. Well think of the worst itch you've ever had and times it by a number. Then force yourself to not scratch it. You couldn't. The desire to scratch that itch would be mentally and physically numbing. You couldn't operate until you scratched it.

That's the case here. Turret syndrome, attention deficit disorder, etc., are all similar in this way. The individual who suffers from it lacks the "breaking system" to stay in control and they can't fight it any better than we can fend off scratching that terrible, terrible itch.

The only difference between us and them is that our scratching of the forearm goes unnoticed. Someone who twitches because of turrets or ignores you because of their deficit disorder, it breaks societal norms and we tell ourselves that these individuals need support in order to follow societal norms. I applaud those that say this is who I am and I don't need to medicate myself in order to hide who it is that I am. Those that seek support, I completely understand why and would never even consider passing judgment. I doubt I'd have the strength to pass on treatment to fight this itch.



posted on Jul, 17 2010 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by chissler
 


well after watching a documentary called Deception with Keith Barry, it may be that half of what we think isn't free will.

I understand your point, and I understand the "diagnostics",
I just choose to see it as an excuse.


can I have an opinion?

If a Dr. came out and said everyone with blue eyes is a psychopath, and you have blue eyes but you're not a psycho, I bet he could convince you you were a psycho.


I think we should stay away from medications. Plain and simple.


Now I will allow you to continue on with your thread without m y interuption.


addition: I must say I agree with your core concept, which is technology helps us be distracted, and I believe technology is destroying us. And I appreciate your concern with these disorders, I just think, just like here on ATS how sometimes people just accept things without looking into them, we accept what "Profesionals" say too quickly.

My wife had depression when I met her. Has been prescribed to countless meds. She is fine now, not because of the meds, shes off them, shes fine because I said the right words to her, and showed her the right aspects that she realized it was in her head.
[edit on 17-7-2010 by Myendica]

[edit on 17-7-2010 by Myendica]



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