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ADDICTED TO INTERNETS, Y’ALL!
(But srsly, think this whole thing is making us a little nutso? That’s our cover this week: How ‘connection addiction’ is re-wiring our brains.)
Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?
Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.
Want more? Read: Is the Web Driving Us Mad?
Help Name Newsweek Deputy Managing Editor Paula Szuchman’s Baby!
Our Deputy Managing Editor Paula Szuchman is pregnant. Like, really pregnant! It’s time to name the baby (it’s a girl!). She’s open to suggestions, any really, and mentioned in the morning meeting she’d love it if you guys would help her out. So take a look at this here momma and try and think reeeeeally hard what this baby wants to be named. Send us your suggestion with a reblog, message, or tweet (use #NamePaulasBaby) and we’ll have some kind of vote early next week. OK, go!
Does anyone know how we can fix our Tumblr page so the Twitter links on the left-hand panel actually work? Imagine it’s a tweak in the code, but honestly have no idea. This is what happens currently…we just get ol’ DenyBird, that freaky fowl.