Technology paranoia gives teens trouble

Naris Barseghian

(September 19, 2012) — “I’ll click the button like 50 times, mostly because I’m bored or just waiting for something but there’s no notification,” said senior Rouzanna Arzoumanian. According to the article “Wired Worries” by Kathleen Kelleher, students are increasingly experiencing “phantom vibration,” which means that people think their phone has vibrated with a new text or notification when the phone was still. Constantly checking for new texts from your friends and always messaging them might be comforting and fun, but little do we know how much it influences ways of thinking. However, this paranoia is not just towards cellphone usage; it could be anything that connects you to others through social networking sites such as Facebook notifications or new tweets. Living in a generation so consumed of technology, this is no surprise to some people. All this technology can be beneficial to some parts of our lives, but it also creates disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), narcissistic personality disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, according to Larry Rosen from the psychology department at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Aside from the disorders, this “paranoia” can also cause overall lower grades since attention spans are becoming shorter as technology grows more into our lives. Author of iDisorder , Rosen writes that “you can get about three to five minutes of focus before your attention is directed to technology.” Besides the short attention span, so much multitasking between technology and other daily activities can cause a “popcorn brain,” according to David Levy, a professor at University of Washington Information School. The fast-pace of technology may cause other things in life to seem bland and boring. According to Rosen, though some parents might think that by confiscating a device might help their child focus better, they still will get distracted over thinking about who texted them. For the most part, really being able to put a phone away both physically and mentally can only be up to the user. Technology is a big part of everyone’s life now, and for most it can cause a behavioral addiction to quickly respond to the ding of a new text. Just like Arzoumanian, senior Lilia Iskandaryan also checks her phone pretty often. “Even if I’m not expecting any notifications or texts, I need to periodically check my phone for peace of mind, or else I just won’t feel at ease,” Iskandaryan said. Cell phones and similar devices have become the best friend of many teens and even younger children. All we can do is train our minds to not get so caught up in what’s going on online, and focus on real life.