More is less?

August 3, 2016 admin

Short Attention SpanIn developed countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, mobile technology is omnipresent. And that’s the problem, at least according to some who believe too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

If you use the Internet, are familiar with texting or chatting, and have not been living in a one-room log cabin in the remote woods of Idaho, then you probably know NetLingo acronyms such as LOL (laugh out loud), OMG (oh my god), JK (just kidding) and YOLO (you only live once). But do you know FOMO? How about IAD?

FOMO is the acronym for “fear of missing out,” thus the desire to always be “connected.” IAD stands for “Internet addiction disorder,” which is pretty self-explanatory. And with the pervasiveness of technology, personal devices and the Internet, you can add to the lexicon other technology-related disorders, such as “nomophobia” (fear of being without your mobile phone) and “NetBrain, ” a disorder characterized by increased levels of narcissism, poor attention span, a fear of missing out and antisocial behavior.

So what’s the problem? Recent studies have reported an “alarming rate of technology dependence.” This can result in a loss of productivity in the workplace, stunted development of social skills, increased narcissistic behavior, and health issues including social anxiety, insomnia, hearing damage and repetitive stress injuries.

For example, in an April 2015 journal entry in JAMA Internal Medicine, doctors discuss the case of a 29-year-old man who approached physicians after his left thumb became painful and he lost active motion. It turns out the patient had been playing the matching game Candy Crush on his cell phone “all day for six to eight weeks.” (It’s unclear whether or not the man had a job, but I’m thinking probably not.)

The tendon that controlled his ability to extend his thumb had to be surgically repaired. (OMG, LOL)

However, the main contention and concern espoused by many researchers is people are spending so much time online cultivating their virtual relationships that they are missing out on developing deeper, personal “real world” relationships.

Because of mobile technology dependence and the widespread use of social networking, some employers complain millennials in the workplace lack social skills, including appropriate phone skills, conversation skills and eye contact. Not to mention that they need constant feedback and immediate gratification. (JK)

But then again, maybe it’s a case of the old generation trying to apply dated ideas and principles to a changing new-world order.

As a young intern might comment on the office chatter, “WTBD?” (What’s the big deal?)

LarryFinalwebv2The views, statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Institutional Real Estate, Inc.

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Larry Gray is editorial director of Institutional Real Estate, Inc.

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