The first recorded case of Google Glass addiction was noted last September in California. How is this case, and the numerous other instances of Internet addictions, going to change the way we look at recovery?
A Navy alcoholism treatment center in San Diego has reported that a 31 year old man was checked in recently for addiction to his Google Glass. Doctors at the center noted that the man would grow extremely irritated and anxious when not allowed to wear the device. He entered the treatment center because he had began wearing the device for 18 hours a day in the months leading up to the treatment. The man also had a history of substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. He said that he wore the device to feel more comfortable around others and would even leave it on during work hours. The man’s addiction to the device had progressed so that he would only remove it to bathe and sleep.
The eyewear has aroused controversy since its release earlier this year. Google Glass allows its wearers to maintain a constant presence on the Internet by allows them to browse the web, take and send pictures, email, and chat. The wearer controls the device by using voice commands or tapping a small keypad near their temple. Early into its release, the Google Glass was reported to cause headaches and disorientation in its wearers.
The man who entered treatment for Google Glass addiction says he become extremely angered and defensive when asked to remove the device at work. He also told doctors that he would find himself compulsively tapping at his temples even when the device wasn’t on.
This first case of Google Glass addiction is only part of a growing number of Internet addiction cases around the country. Google Glass addiction is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Health Disorders used by medical professionals, but it does cause some of the same symptoms as other Internet addiction disorders. These include mental, social, and emotional handicaps that affect relationships of all kinds in the addict’s life.
The San Diego man completed treatment for Google Glass addiction after 35 days, during which he underwent withdrawal symptoms as severe as those associated with alcohol addiction. He reports that his irritability and compulsive tapping has all but subsided, but he continues have dreams that he is wearing and using the device.
Signs of Internet Addiction and What Can Be Done To Treat It
The country’s first Internet addiction treatment center recently opened to help the growing number of people with this impulse control related disorder. This type of addiction can have a devastating effect on relationships with loved ones and others, and normal day to day life. Internet addiction can include addiction to online gaming, pornography and cyber sex, gambling, shopping, messaging, and social media use. Some symptoms of an addiction include:
- Strong preoccupation with the Internet
- Gradually increasing the amount of time spent online in order to feel satisfied.
- Numerous unsuccessful attempts to stop or cut down on Internet use
- Feelings of anxiety, restlessness, depression, or irritability when Internet usage is restricted.
- Spending more time online than you planned to.
- Risked or lost a relationship, job, or school opportunity because of Internet usage.
- Lying to others about how much time is spent online.
- Using the Internet to cope with feelings of depression, helplessness, guilt, etc.
- A feeling of euphoria or a “high” when engaged in online activities.
- Neglecting one’s health because of online activities, such as losing sleep, not eating, experiences chronic pain, or carpal tunnel syndrome.