Nicholas Carr has genius take on the conversation about “Internet addiction”:
By dismissing talk of “Internet addiction” as rhetorical overkill, which it is, we also avoid undertaking an honest examination of how deeply our media devices have been woven into our lives and how they are shaping those lives in far-reaching ways, for better and for worse. In the course of just a decade, we have become profoundly dependent on a new and increasingly pervasive technology.
There’s nothing unusual about this. We routinely become dependent on popular, useful technologies. If people were required to live without their cars or their indoor plumbing for a day, many of them would probably resort to the language of addiction to describe their predicament.
To put this in context, read Carr’s excellent post Not addiction; dependency. I just finished reading an excerpt from his forthcoming book The Shallows in Wired, and I’m looking forward to reading the entire book now that I see the kind of consideration he is giving to how we live with technology today.