Are You an Information Addict?

Incredibly, “Information Addiction” is a recognized psychological disorder.    I suppose I can see how somebody could be obsessive in collecting information and how that could interfere with their life, but I’m a little worried that overzealous pseudopsychologists are going overboard with this type of silly diagnosis.   People we formerly would have called  “bright” will soon be lumped in with the methamphetamine pushers.

Dr. Kimberly S. Young, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, commented, “The Internet only feeds America’s ‘fast food’ mentality towards information. People are craving immediate access to the most up-to-date, current information and then find themselves trapped in enormous information gluts.”

Trapped in enormous information gluts ?      Maybe Dr. Young’s happy to live in blissful ignorance but in my book “enormous information glut” people are better called ….          ‘well informed’..

11 thoughts on “Are You an Information Addict?

  1. The quality of the information is important. Large amounts of false or misleading info will lead to an “information glut”. That doesn’t necessarily translate to “well informed”. I want to know where Terry Lakin gathered his information before he made his fateful decision.

    • Sure quality matters, but I think it’s a mistake to think that having access to lots of information is ever a bad thing. People certainly screw up the analysis and choose to focus only on info that supports their views, but I’d like to see us work on improving our feeble intellects and stupid biases, not changing the rich information environments.

  2. After skimming through the doctor’s book I don’t get the impression she lives in blissful ignorance, nor is she advocating that. Where did you get that quote, I’d like some more information before I decide you uh, screwed up the analysis.

  3. overzealous pseudo-psychologists

    There’s a glut of them, too. Notwithstanding the lack of empirical support for Freud’s theories, pop-Freudian counseling-lite remains as popular as like Dr. Phil.

    • It’s going to be interesting to see how things shake out as neuroscience begins to model the brain accurately, and we can finally test the varied and sundry assumptions about how we think. I think ….we will find that our thinking … is less impressive than we tend to … think.

  4. Items about Dr. Young’s work and her Website:

    FYI It seems to me that her general concerns about problems with some types of online behavior are valid (gambling, porn, obsessive behaviors,etc), but her “information glut” concerns are probably misguided.

  5. The first part, Joe, is recognizing the behavioral-compulsion problem exists–be it web surfing, gaming, chats, blogs, e-business, or the dark alluring world of cyberporn–and admitting you are a net-addict.

    Then and only then can the healing process begin: that is when you grant yourself the freedom to make it a reality, Joe.

  6. (j-k JD. Bad satire of psychobabble. Actually, I’m in agreement with Dr. Young re Net addiction, at least in regards to gambling, chat, and porn. Many humans can’t handle the freedom thing…and the Net does harm many, and leads to financial problems, poor work etc. )

    • Horatiox you were scaring me a bit there, and unlike Dr. Phil I could not bring myself to turn off the screen.

      Many humans can’t handle the freedom thing

      Yes but I think the alternatives to giving people the freedom to be fools / fail / flounder are worse. The internet’s efficiency at delivering info probably pushes more people over the edge, but when balanced against all the good stuff I think it’s an internet info win, but as with everything there are problems created from the innovations.

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