Monday, March 17, 2008

I Think I'm Addicted!

Can it be? Is my attraction to learning via the Web, truly an addiction?

"Like other addicts, users experience cravings, urges, withdrawal and tolerance, requiring more and better equipment and software, or more and more hours online, according to Dr. Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Block says people can lose all track of time or neglect "basic drives," like eating or sleeping."

According to an article in today's Windsor Star, compulsive emailing and text-messaging may soon be classified as an illness. Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) is not due for revision for a few years, I think my own desire for online interaction has many of the same the hallmarks of obsessive compulsive disorder.

While I suspect many of my colleagues and friends may have already reached this conclusion about my desire to make authentic connections in the virtual world, knowledge of the addictive nature of today's modes of communication, may be something worth discussing with students. Maybe that glaze in the eyes of teens and tweens at 8 a.m. has less to do with lack of sleep, and more to do with withdrawal from their evening 'habits'?

Late addition 1: My addiction led me to discover a really cool innovation... find out more on today's Teacher 2.0 Podcast.

Late addition 2: Will Richardson has found a book that makes my addiction sound more palatable... Maybe I'm just an 'infovore'.

Photo Credit: Tim O'Bryan