20 Dec UNPLUG
I’ve recently been watching the new season of Black Mirror, a television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and time mainly focussed on the impact of technology and the internet. It made me realise, once again, how dependent we are from all our connected devices. Not meant as a conviction, but as an observation, since I am actively involved in this issue myself. We are addicted, I am and you are, but the good thing is, that we are finally starting to realise it…
In Algeria the first internet addiction centre has opened as local health experts now officially dare to state that this compulsion is a national matter. Some might raise an eyebrow now as in our thinking frame, addiction is being associated with stimulants such as drugs, alcohol or tobacco. In fact, the word means the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, obsessively checking internet every two seconds is there with an enchaining habit too.
That more and more consumers are getting aware of the impact and affects these 24/7 online society has is not new. In the last years, we’ve seen an increase in digital-detox camps, internet blocking applications, offline challenges but also the arise of terms as FOMO, phantom vibration syndrome or F.A.D.
“ Symptoms are comparable with hardcore drug addicts. When not able to go online, internet buffs can show anxiety and aggressiveness” – Dr Sihem Hemadna –
The fact that we know we have a problem, or at least a slightly unhealthy irregularity in live, doesn’t mean we feel the need, or have the discipline to change anything. That is where the internet addiction centre comes to the rescue, because it might seem a harmless epidemic but it changing our brain for the worst and people have died because of it already. The clinic, which is part of Bachir Mentouri clinic in Constantine developed a rehab program, fighting compulsive use of technology, with a focus on social networks. The clinic in Algeria is therewith the first official treatment for addicted internet fanatics.
Although little to none research is done yet regarding internet addiction in Algeria, the health experts are convinced about the importance of this treatment. I believe this clinic is a perfect example of our changing world, with its changing problems. Every new generation has it perks but also its difficulties, we can act like that is something astonishing or we can except it as the consequences of innovation. That doesn’t mean we do not have to work on betterment, as health and quality of life should come on the first place, always.
Source: Al Jazeera