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Author Topic: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.  (Read 2940 times)

Paul Keith

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The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« on: June 17, 2010, 07:09:14 PM »
High Tech Gadgets: Addiction, Dependency or Hype

Quote
Addiction is associated with individual choice to smoke, drink, and take drugs. It connotes personal weakness. Yet consider the spread of popular technologies as they have become habitual features of the culture. Think indoor plumbing, telephone, cars, planes, and television. They have become daily patterns in our lives. In short, Americans have become dependent on once “new” technologies. And that is normal. Addiction, however, is abnormal.


Stoic Joker

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 07:29:10 PM »
I've seen people with Crack-Berries ... They're weak.

Renegade

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 07:58:18 PM »
I loathe that sort of screwing around with words. It's just BS. To depend or RELY on something for a purpose is normal, but does a lot of that "dependency" have a purpose? A real purpose? I don't take "getting high" to be a real purpose.

Face it. A lot of us are just techno-junkies. Period.

The author links to this.

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The addiction metaphor also distorts the nature of technological change by suggesting that our use of a technology stems from a purely personal choice - like the choice to smoke or to drink. An inability to control that choice becomes, in this view, simply a personal failing. But while it's true that, in the end, we're all responsible for how we spend our time, it's an oversimplification to argue that we're free "to choose" whether and how we use computers and cell phones, as if social norms, job expectations, familial responsibilities, and other external pressures had nothing to do with it. The deeper a technology is woven into the patterns of everyday life, the less choice we have about whether and how we use that technology.

How is it different to squander time/resources/whatever on Facebook vs. heroin/alcohol/tobacco/sex/pron/gambling/whatever else people consider "addictive"?

From the comments:

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I remain unclear why you think "internet addiction" should be considered "rhetorical overkill"? There is a growing body of evidence that would suggest otherwise, though admittedly it is controversial and I doubt you are trying to make a psychological argument about the merits of including it in the next DSM...

Nope. Some people are just techno-junkies. Other commenters think so as well:

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Internet addiction is real according to 69% of my respondents

http://stark-raving-...-addiction-real.html

(admittedly, perhaps a somewhat biased group) Only 4% did not believe that internet addiction was real, and 27% voted "maybe."

I've also noticed that "If there's one thing we're addicted to these days, it's the word 'addiction'" as you pointed out:

http://stark-raving-...gs-white-people.html

I propose that we drop the words "addict" and "dependent" and adopt "junkie". :P :D

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Paul Keith

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 08:03:16 PM »
For the most part, these word plays seem pedantic until it's used politically against people.

Not saying that's the author's intent but judging by the educational slant at the end, he may be trying to prevent the act from being demonized.

cmpm

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 08:26:51 PM »
I understand the difference between addiction and being dependent.
And I don't want to be long winded or harsh on this subject.
Or a distraction from the point.

But this article does not describe addiction as it is in reality.

Quote
Addiction is associated with individual choice to smoke, drink, and take drugs. It connotes personal weakness.

Addiction does not connote personal weakness.
If personal weakness is saying there is a flaw, by choice or design, in the person.

Addiction is prolonged, habitual use of synthetic or natural substance to attain a certain state of mind or body. That which the mind and body can achieve on it's own is replaced by these other substances for a period of time long enough to kill the normal naturally occurring effect.

When the only way to achieve the desired state of mind or body is by way of these synthetic or natural substances, the body and mind becomes addicted to these and the effects are not produced without them. They can't be, because these effects or feelings or state have been replaced habitually until the body and mind cannot do it by themselves anymore without the substance that has taken the power from the normal naturally occurring effects.

And this isn't Wikipedia but what I know by personal experience as well as searching and finding the answers to why something else took the power of my own control over certain desired results and unexpected affects in every aspect of my life.

If the substitutes are stopped for a long enough period of time the body and mind will respond eventually. It is designed to heal itself. And the naturally occurring effects will return to the normal naturally occurring effects.

-in other words, for example and quite real

If investigated one will find that the natural firing of endorphins is normal and can be achieved without substances to trigger them. Continual use and over use of substitutes will kill or stop these natural endorphins from occurring, and will not work with out stimulation from the substances. Withdrawal will occur when stopped. Leaving the person powerless to stop the addiction.

Until Intervention by one's own will to regain control, the addiction continues.

If there is any weakness in addiction it's in the failure to recognize it for what it is.

---------------

Anyway.......yes I would miss my computer but I could still function. :)
« Last Edit: June 17, 2010, 08:29:56 PM by cmpm »

Renegade

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 08:44:16 PM »
For the most part, these word plays seem pedantic until it's used politically against people.

Not saying that's the author's intent but judging by the educational slant at the end, he may be trying to prevent the act from being demonized.

I think you're right.

There's a nice way and a mean way to say things. I think they're trying to force niceness on things there. Which is what I really hate. Let people expose their attitudes through their word choices. Forcing things down a specific road is not going to solve the problem. e.g. You may have KKK members calling people "black" or "African-American", but that doesn't mean that they still don't think that they are "<n-word>".

In any event, I don't think that it matters much whether we call Facebook-junkies this, that or the other thing, but it does matter when we try to artificially impose language where it isn't required. I think it would be better if racists actually used the n-word out in the open, because it would make them easier to identify. Well, maybe not. But it would make them easier to identify.

I for one am both reliant on the Internet and a junkie. I see those as 2 different things.

For example, here, I am basically a junkie. I'm not really doing much more than relaxing and chatting with people, and not being very productive. I spend too much time here quite often. I'm a DC-junkie. :)

On the other hand, I NEED the Internet to work. For example, yesterday and the day before I had a serious problem that I couldn't solve, and needed to find the root cause. It took a very long time for me to diagnose the problem, and I was entirely DEPENDENT on searching for answers. (Incidentally, the diagnosis for the problem was orphaned users in SQL Server 2008. Very simple to solve ONCE you know the problem...) I'm reliant on the Internet to be productive.

Meh... It's splitting hairs in a lot of ways. Horseshoes and hand grenades? Close is good enough? :D
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

Renegade

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 08:56:17 PM »
Is it possible for those endorphins to permanently stop? That would seem like permanent damage, and permanent addiction?

Quote
Addiction is prolonged, habitual use of synthetic or natural substance to attain a certain state of mind or body.

Sex & gambling are addictive, but don't involve substances, though they do produce an effect in the brain (chemical releases). In a similar way, Koreans in general are quite literally addicted to kimchi and Korean food. The hot peppers produce a pleasant effect as the brain releases chemicals to combat the pain in the mouth. By association, people crave that food. I've seen this in action quite a few times as people are "jonesing" for Korean food. I've heard similar stories about people from other countries.

I suppose the same goes for "thrill seekers" and "extreme sports fanatics"?

Do you know of any research on that? It seems like a lot of things, and almost anything can be addictive. I'm no expert in the subject, so I really am just blurting out nonsense.

From my own experience, I would have to say that "addiction" can be almost equivocated with "compulsion", in the sense that you are quite literally compelled to do something (cigarettes, drugs, booze, whatever).
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

cmpm

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 09:25:37 PM »
Quote
Is it possible for those endorphins to permanently stop? That would seem like permanent damage, and permanent addiction?


Although they can stop during withdrawal it is not permanent damage.
Though the memory of such addiction must be dealt with as well.

The question is, can one function without the "substance",
as you mentioned sex, gambling, sports, thrill seekers, etc....are substances.
Another question would be can you stop at will,
and still be able to function in other aspects of your life normally.

Alcohol is probably a good example of addiction when abused.
It is deadly, not only if used too much, but can kill in withdrawal.

In another light and respect for those who need synthetic or natural substitutes-
Dependent would be if you need something your body or mind cannot produce on it's own.

Renegade

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 09:50:59 PM »
In another light and respect for those who need synthetic or natural substitutes-
Dependent would be if you need something your body or mind cannot produce on it's own.

That seems like a very good definition. :)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

40hz

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2010, 12:20:14 PM »
Dependent would be if you need something your body or mind cannot produce on it's own.

Very nice! It's also non-judgmental in that it ignores whether the need is intrinsic (e.g. air, food, water); the result of some involuntary body malfunction or defect (insulin, most blood pressure medication); or is a learned or otherwise 'willingly' acquired dependency ('recreational' drugs, alcohol, cigarettes). 

That last category is what I usually think of when I use the word "addiction."

For me to think of someone as being an addict, there has to be an element of personal choice or volition. It could be no more than somebody's decision not to care. Or possibly the decision to not make a decision by allowing certain life events to chart their own course. But there always has to be some volition, no matter how slight, somewhere in the mix.

 

cmpm

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2010, 02:20:58 PM »
Thanks 40hz, although I didn't want to get to deep into the term addiction, I can address some questions about it.

Quote
For me to think of someone as being an addict, there has to be an element of personal choice or volition. It could be no more than somebody's decision not to care. Or possibly the decision to not make a decision by allowing certain life events to chart their own course. But there always has to be some volition, no matter how slight, somewhere in the mix.

This is true to point, and differs with the individual.
Lots of factors here, I know.

There comes a time when one must decide on priorities.
Knowingly choosing an addiction happens I'm sure.
That's easy, if the substance is readily available.

Choosing to stop an addiction is easy too, the follow through is the hard part.

For the most part an addiction will be realized after becoming addicted.
Help from others is needed most of the time imho, to break an addiction.
Even after a decision to stop it. It's not easy, because of the nature of it's backlash.
Being honest with one's own decision and those that help are key.

"an element of personal choice or volition"

Yeah, at first......
till the substance addiction is more powerful then the will to choose,
because it defeats the will to fight it,
till there is sufficient reason/s or reasoning to stop.




40hz

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Re: The proper word is “dependent,” not addicted.
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2010, 02:51:33 PM »
^No argument from me on any of those points.

I had to deal with a relatively minor addiction (cigarettes) some years ago. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to deal with, but it's nowhere near as difficult a habit to change as I'd suspect some others are. Took me two tries, but I finally did it. (Haven't touched a tobacco product in 20 years as of New Years Day 2010. Yay!)

The way I got through it was by going deeply inwards to examine exactly what was going on so I could reprogram myself to get around it. NLP was a great help in achieving that. It's an interesting moment when you can suddenly perceive the craving as something almost not a part of what you'd normally think of as yourself.

At any rate, I started smoking purely for my own reasons, and I succeeded in stopping purely for my own reasons, so the circle is finally complete. Talk about a "fearful symmetry" as William Blake once said.

An interesting and enlightening experience to go through.

One I wouldn't recommend to anyone.  :)