This blog is written by Alex, updating us on his growing awareness regarding his addictive cyber tendencies. If you compare this with his earlier post, I think you will see an unquestionable evolution in him.
For me, the cyber world is a double-edged sword. The sword metaphor is more than appropriate for me, due to the amount of time I’ve spent playing fantasy role playing games fantasy role playing games (RPGs) that require using such a weapon. However, in my case one edge (the negative side) is far sharper from a social standpoint. I can look back to a Saturday last month, for example, while spending the evening deeply engaged in a game called, Mass Effect. I completely failed to notice any of the other three people in the room. This came to my attention the following morning, as well as during my job that same day. My social skills had diminished overnight, and I had far more problems controlling my tendency toward negativity. True to my ADHD nature, I was impulsive as well. My coworkers kept asking me, “Alex, is something wrong?” I ended the work day wondering what had gone wrong, and how? I realized that the cyber world had once again thrown me into the social abyss.
Recent studies Recent studies show that spending extended amounts of time (3+ hours) in front of a computer, game console, or even using a smart phone can impair social skills. After reading up on this study, I began to set aside specific times during the day (for me, this is usually at night), when I could safely enjoy a period of screen time without suffering from a negative interpersonal backlash. I limit myself to an hour. This seems to be the “magic” number. It makes intuitive sense that excessive time spent in cyber pursuits can exert an impact on our interactions with others. A new generation of video games promises to make us smarter and even more athletic. I think that the cyber world exerts an overall positive benefit on humankind. But, as Mark Twain said, “All good things in moderation, including moderation!” We must take great care that our cyber pursuits do not diminish our ability to relate to others. As Kevin Roberts has repeatedly said, “Let’s use the cyber world to build up our chances for success and fulfillment, not destroy them.”