iDisorder: changes to your brain´s ability to process information and your ability to relate to the world due to your daily use of media and technology resulting in signs and symptoms of psychological disorders – such as stress, sleeplessness, and a compulsive need to check in with all of your technology. Based on decades of research and expertise in the “psychology of technology,” Dr. Larry Rosen offers clear, down-to-earth explanations for why many of us are suffering from an “iDisorder.” Rosen offers solid, proven strategies to help us overcome the iDisorder we all feel in our lives while still making use of all that technology offers. Our world is not going to change, and technology will continue to penetrate society even deeper leaving us little chance to react to the seemingly daily additions to our lives. Rosen teaches us how to stay human in an increasingly technological world. NOTE: Matar Cohen, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, developed a short animated commercial for the book that can be see here: http://youtu.be/3EDBpNm9-Kw. Enjoy!
Reviews of iDisorder
“iDisorder” is a pleasant surprise — lean, thoughtful, clearly written and full of ideas and data you’ll want to throw into dinner-party conversation. Did you know that psychologists divide Twitter users into “informers,” those who pass along interesting facts, and “meformers,” those who pass along interesting facts about only themselves? Or that 70 percent of those who report heavily using mobile devices experience “phantom vibration syndrome,” which is what happens when your pocket buzzes and there’s no phone in your pocket? (I thought I was the only one.) Or that heavy use of Facebook has been linked to mood swings among some teenagers? Researchers are calling this “Facebook depression.” (And I thought that my children were just having a lot of bad days.)
One strength of “iDisorder” is Dr. Rosen’s cleareyed view of technology and its uses. He doesn’t oppose it. In fact, his view is quite the opposite. What we need, he says, is a sense of restorative balance and self-awareness. It is unavoidable that many of us will fall prey to an iDisorder, he says, but “it is not fatal and we are not doomed to spend time in a mental institution or a rehab center.” By using a few simple strategies, he says, “we can safely emerge from our TechnoCocoons and rejoin the world of the healthy.”
Parents will find this book particularly helpful. Dr. Rosen suggests a whole set of remedies for children’s techno-addiction. Two popular methods are to make sure your child gets a full night’s sleep, and to convene regular family dinners where technology is forbidden at the table. This is especially useful, it appears, in reintroducing children to normal interaction after hours spent in cyberconversation.
Rosen (California State) is a recognized expert in the “psychology of technology.” As he did with the term “TechnoStress” in his 1997 book by the same name, he has coined the term “iDisorder” to describe society’s growing obsession with technology. Whether it will enter the popular lexicon is hard to say, there there is much about this book that is interesting and important, making it required reading for anyone who divides the day between various electronic devices. Rosen notes that those who routinely engage with devices can be suffering from mood/personality disorders as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; 4th ed., 2000). He realizes that technology is a permanent part of daily life, but he promotes balance and moderation. In each chapter, he examines known psychological disorders and links them to technology-affected behaviors. Drawing on behavioral/neurological research, he illustrates why people display “disinhibition” when communicating behind the “safety of our computer screens.” Chapters conclude with basic advice on how to avoid iDisorder. Rosen writes with a wide readership in mind. Though he is not immune to occasional hyperbole or awkward phrasing, these occurrences are few/minor. Valuable for readers interested in their increasingly complex relationship with technology. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.
“My concern is that we have become very enmeshed with our technologies … it is affecting every single aspect of our world. It’s gone past the stage of ‘this might be a problem’ to ‘it is a problem for many people.’ Technology today is “so user-friendly that the very use fosters our obsessions, dependence and stress reactions,” Rosen says in his book. “I am not arguing that we are all crazy and technology is to blame. I find, however, that our actions and behaviors when we use technology make us appear out of control. But is our attachment to smartphones, tablets and apps really so bad? “If it interferes with you having social relationships, then it is a problem, and it really is what I consider an iDisorder,” Rosen says.
“Rosen notes that many individuals now interact obsessively with technology, cannot be without their mobile devices and must use them during meals, for fear that they will miss something. This overreliance on gadgets and websites can lead to significant psychological problems, which the author calls an iDisorder. While aspects of iDisorder may affect any technology user, Rosen shows it is those who make compulsive, unusually frequent use of mobile and other devices who are most prone to adverse effects.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Rosen makes it very clear at the outset that he is not by any account anti-technology: “Far from it. I have always been an early adopter, starting back in the 1970s… I have owned at least a dozen computers… I carry a smartphone and an iPad and spend hours texting my kids and friends.” This personal qualification is important, as it alleviates any fears that Rosen is on a crusade to extirpate technology from the lives of all people, young and old. Rather, Rosen understands the powers these technologies can hold over us, and, more important, he understands the possible ramifications that can result. As might be assumed, there is little in iDisorder over which to argue. The content is solid, the studies referenced are germane and compelling, and the tone in which Rosen writes is well-suited to the task at hand. Rarely does Rosen overstate his argument, as all conclusions are backed up with empirical data. With little conjecture and an abundance of wisdom, iDisorder is a book worth reading for both its prescience and its timeliness. Rosen has dedicated his career to understanding how we use technology, and for that, as well as this book, he should be praised.” - PsychCentral (the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health and psychology network)
“Rosen explores the consequences of modern technology and media-saturated culture, comparing the behavior current gadgets induce to symptoms of psychological disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction. Rosen theorizes that while the technology may not create a disorder outright, it replicates many of the symptoms and can exacerbate tendencies already present in an individual. Each chapter describes a specific disorder and how modern tech behavior mirrors it, presents relevant research, and, most helpfully, offers practical suggestions on how to alleviate the problem and protect psychological health. Professional assistance is recommended for help with serious problems, but anyone feeling a negative influence from technology will find assistance here. Consider this an update on Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan’s 2009 iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, which takes a similar approach. Verdict Rosen’s ideas are thought-provoking, and the changes he suggests are realistic to implement. Very readable, the book strikes a balance between being accessible for the general reader yet remaining interesting and stimulating for those more familiar with the psychological field.” - Library Journal
“The beauty of Dr. Rosen’s book is that it provides readers like me with strategies and tactics to help them avoid iDisorders (such as narcissism, technology addiction, disconnectivity anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, social phobias, hypochondriasis, body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders, and electronic voyeurism) without completely eliminating technology from their lives. In the book, Rosen helps readers understand how various iDisorders come to be and, more importantly, how to combat them if you find that they resonate with you or someone you love.” - PositivelyPresent