Someone Got Google Glass Addiction And Had Real Withdrawal Symptoms

I was completely prepared to laugh at the idea that someone became genuinely addicted to Google Glass, but then I found out that the guy was being treated for alcohol addiction when his doctors found out he was also having symptoms of Google Glass addiction and it didn’t seem quite right to be amused anymore.

Anyway, this is a real thing: When you use technology constantly, your brain gets used to the neurological reward of using that technology and adapts to its availability. If you stop using it, you can go through withdrawal symptoms. This patient kept involuntarily tapping his right temple and became irritable and argumentative after having to surrender his electronics in order to go through treatment for alcohol addiction. He apparently also had dreams in which he saw through the perspective of wearing Google Glass. He’d worn the glasses all day except for sleeping and washing.

People who are predisposed to addiction obviously have a better chance of becoming addicted to technology, which stands to reason, but wearables are widening everyone’s opportunities to get way, way too used to having constant access to information. I wonder what the tipping point was with social concern about technology addiction — like, when the printing press was invented, did anyone say “This is too convenient”? What about dishwashers? If this (incredibly quaint) ’90s educational video about the internet is any indication, we were still optimistic about technology just twenty years ago. Does this all mean that we’ve reached the singularity?


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