PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION
Technology is taking over all aspects of life. Education, work and leisure are all becoming increasingly dependent on being able to interact with technology. But what of the academic or career prospects of those who do not want to interact with this technology? Before taking this English 305 class, I tried to avoid computers as much as possible. I didnt have any interest in cyberspace such as chatting, email, and gender swapping. Through this class, I had a chance to contact others through cyberspace. However, I still have a fear of computers. I decided that I want to know more about computers and cyberspace. I will first discuss cyberspace, then I will discuss about technophobia. Its well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldnt ordinarily say or do in the face-to-face world. The virtual world is quite different from the real world. People cant see a person in cyberspace. People cant see a persons facial expressions and body language. The sensory experience of encountering others in cyberspace-seeing, hearing, and combining seeing and hearing is limited. For the most part, people communicate through typed language. In cyberspace, people will probably never be able to physically interact with each other. There are no handshakes, pats on the back, hugs, or kisses. The limited sensory experiences of cyberspace have some significant disadvantages- as well as some unique advantages - as compared to in-person encounters. Since communicating only with typed text, people have the option of being themselves, expressing only parts of their identity, assuming imaginative identities, or remaining completely anonymous. Anonymity has a disinhibiting effect that cuts two ways. Sometimes people use it to act out some unpleasant need or emotion, often by abusing other people. Anonymity also allows them to be honest and open about some personal issue that they could not discuss in a face-to-face encounter. Sitting quiet and staring at the computer monitor can bring a person to an altered state of consciousness. Some people experience a blending of their mind with that of the other person. Some people experience a state of consciousness that resembles dreams. These altered and dream-like states of consciousness in cyberspace may account for why the Internet is so attractive for some people. It might also help explain some forms of computer and cyberspace addiction. In cyberspace, birds of a feather easily can flock together. Support groups devoted to helping people with their problems can be a very beneficial feature of cyberspace. For people with antisocial motivations, thats a very negative feature of cyberspace. In most cases, everyone in cyberspace has an equal opportunity to voice his or her opinion. Everyone, regardless of status, wealth, race, gender, etc. starts off on a level playing field. Some people call this the net democracy. Although ones status in the outside world ultimately will have some impact on ones life in cyberspace, there is some truth to this net democracy ideal. Now, I want to write about technophobia, which is a resistance to talking about computers or even thinking about computers. Although technology is taking over all aspects of life, there are up to half of the population is technophobic, possessing negative opinions about, or having anxiety towards, information technology such as personal computers. I found a study the book, Technophobia (Mark J. Brosnan). Thirty-seven per cent of the general public report regularly using a personal computer, a far higher percentage than mobile phones, electronic organizers, pagers, modems, etc. (MORI, 1996). When the factors of anxiety and attitude, or, more specially, of computer anxiety and computer attitude, are combined, the concept of computer phobia indeed begins to emerge. Since I was a technophobic person, I want to know how this psychologically impact peoples life. There was an...
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