Online shopping, repeatedly checking Facebook updates, and getting sucked into Pinterest for hours on end are definite hazards of web life, but now there's a new one: an addiction to a certain tech gadget.
A paper published in the journal Addictive Behaviors tracked the case of a 31-year-old man who is being treated for addiction to Google's smart glasses. The writeup reads like a parody straight from the The Onion.
The man, it seems, was admitted to the Navy's Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program to treat alcoholism, as he seemed to be exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. He had a history of mood disorder. Upon further observation, experts realized that the guy's obsession with Google Glass might be the issue. He was reportedly wearing Glass for up to 18 hours a day, only taking the frames off when he slept or bathed (and, one hopes, during sex).
When the patient couldn't wear his beloved cyber specs, he would get visibly irritated and frustrated. He also developed a Pavlovian response to accessing information: One doctor noted, "When the therapist would ask him a question, he would have this repeated movement of placing his index finger to the right side of [his] face, similar to turn on the Glass."
The patient, it seems, is doing fine having completed a 35-day residential treatment program, although it's unclear whether he was allowed to take his Google Glass home with him.
It's only a matter of time before the NIH reports on the dangers of Instagram addiction.