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iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us

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Overview

iDisorder:  changes to your brain’s ability to process information and your ability to relate to the world due to your daily use of media and technology resulting in signs and symptoms of psychological disorders—such as stress, sleeplessness, and a compulsive need to check in with all of your technology.  Based on decades of research and expertise in the “psychology of technology,” Dr. Larry Rosen offers clear, down-to-earth explanations for why many of us are suffering from an “iDisorder.”  Rosen offers solid, proven strategies to help us overcome the iDisorder we all feel in our lives while still making use of all that technology offers.  Our world is not going to change, and technology will continue to penetrate society even deeper leaving us little chance to react to the seemingly daily additions to our lives.  Rosen teaches us how to stay human in an increasingly technological world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Psychologist Rosen asserts that the Internet puts people at risk of developing “iDisorders”—a broad array of ills ranging from narcissism to obsessive-compulsive disorder to hyperchondria that, he contends, can be triggered by the overuse of technology. Rosen says he’s not against technology, but concludes that “most people are being slowly pulled toward an obsessive iDisorder.” Though the author presents plenty of anecdotes of shy people who spend a lot of time on social networking sites, narcissists who write and rewrite their social media profiles, or “cyberchondriacs” who scour the Web for evidence of their supposed medical conditions, he doesn’t convincingly show that technology caused any underlying psychological problem. The book is full of data—but many are either obvious or have already been well-publicized: drivers who use handheld cellphones are more likely to get hurt in car crashes; some people sleep with an iPhone by their beds so they can read friends’ status updates upon waking; people seek medical advice online because they don’t want to wait for doctors’ appointments. Unfortunately, Rosen isn’t able to draw on the facts and figures to offer any new insight into how technology might be affecting us. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
A research psychologist argues that our overuse of technology and media is producing symptoms of serious psychological disorders. An early student of how the Internet, mobile devices and other technologies affect human behavior, Rosen (Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn, 2010, etc.) notes that many individuals now interact obsessively with technology, cannot be without their mobile devices and must use them during meals, for fear that they will miss something. This overreliance on gadgets and websites can lead to significant psychological problems, which the author calls an iDisorder. The new disorder combines elements of many psychiatric maladies and centers on our relationship technology. Much of his book consists of a discussion of common psychiatric disorders--e.g., communication disorders, ADHD, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, hypochondriasis, schizoaffective and schizotypal disorders, body dysmorphia, voyeurism and addiction) and the ways in which technology use either produces symptoms that match those of certain disorders or exacerbates already existing signs of a disorder. Often, the possible link between behavior and disorder is apparent: "all about me" rants on Facebook and narcissism, constant message-checking and obsessive-compulsive behavior, etc. Rosen draws on research, including his 2011 study of more than 750 individuals examining the level of a person's psychological health and use of technology. The study found younger people were often "very anxious" in checking text messages, while few older people became anxious about their technologies. While aspects of iDisorder may affect any technology user, Rosen shows it is those who make compulsive, unusually frequent use of mobile and other devices who are most prone to adverse effects. He offers checklists to determine how technology is affecting you, and suggests balance and moderation in using gadgets. A bit overstated, but a clear warning against becoming someone who brings a smartphone to the dinner table.
From the Publisher
"A clear warning against becoming someone who brings a smartphone to the dinner table." —-Kirkus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230117570
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 815,248
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Rosen is past chair and professor of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a research psychologist andcomputer educator, and is recognized as an international expert in the "Psychology of Technology." Dr. Rosen and his colleagues have examined reactions to technology among more than 30,000 children, teens,and adultsin the United States and in 23 other countries. Dr. Rosen has been a commentator on Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, and Lifetime Television, and has been quoted in hundreds of magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, and USA Today. He is a featured blogger for Psychology Today and has spoken to audiences around the world for the past 30 years on how technology is affecting our way of life. He lives in San Diego, California.

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Table of Contents

1. We Didn't Start the Fire

• 2. Mini Generations 3. Internet of the Future

• 4. Our Social Selves

• 5. Who Am I Anyway? Am I My Online Persona or My Real Self?

• 6. Is Anything Private Anymore?

• 7. Information Overload

• 8. The Myth of ADHD/OCD

• 9. Taking an Emotional Toll

• 10. How Does the Brain Work and What Are We Doing to Drive it to its Limits

• 11. Distracting Ourselves to Death

• 12. It's Not About Managing Your Time. It is About Managing Your Technology

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