Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 1: From, “Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality” By: Elias Aboujaoude

“The other crucial component to our cognitive life and to remembering is attention. All learning starts with the ability to focus and heed a teacher’s implorations to ‘pay attention.’ Yet our kids...and many of us, are showing an attention span in the classroom that is increasingly like their attention span on Facebook: Many have become more distractible and are unable to focus...for longer than it would take them to write a status update. This problem is suggested by the tremendous increase in the number of Ritalin prescriptions written over the last decade. Our children (and we) are less attentive than ever, and studies are questioning what role the virtual lifestyle may be playing in this.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of childhood, estimated to affect 3 percent to 5 percent of children, although adults are not spared. Children with ADHD typically show impairment across multiple areas of functioning, including, home, school, and peer relationships, and can have long-term problems with academic performance, professional success, and social development...

To date, several studies have shown a link between ADHD and excessive internet use. The largest of the studies conducted in school-age children involved 752 elementary students in South Korea and found that 33 percent of those who suffered from ADHD were ‘addicted’ to the internet. A study of an older age group- 216 college students in Taiwan- compared the rate of ADHD in adults who met the criteria for internet addiction to the rate of ADHD in adults who met criteria for Internet addiction to the rate of ADHD in those who were ‘normal’ users of the internet. The results showed that 3 percent of internet addicts had ADHD, compared to only 8 percent of non addicts. While these studies son not prove causality, the correlations are certainly striking and form a legitimate basis for questioning whether the internet may be making us attention-deficient.” -From, “Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality” By: Elias Aboujaoude

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