A 31-year-old service member was treated not just for alcohol addiction but, as doctors found out, for Google Glass withdrawal.
It seems like something straight out of The Onion but Dr Andrew Doan of the Naval Medical Center in San Diego co-wrote a paper about the strange case. Doan is the head of addictions and resilience research at the centre.
18 hours of Glass
The patient used Glass for up to 18 hours a day, using it at work but taking it off when sleeping or bathing. He said that his Glass withdrawal was “much worse” than his alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
He even took to acting as though he was still using the Glass when asked questions by his therapist – tapping his index finger to the right side of his face as though turning on his Glass. He even claimed to see his dreams as though the lens of his device.
After completing the 35-day residential treatment program, the patient was discharged and was reported to be suffering fewer withdrawal symptoms. No news however, whether he’s gone back to using Glass but he still returns to the centre for outpatient treatment.
Doan believes that “Internet addiction” is real and that he expects to see more cases of behavioural disorders. He thinks that “nomophobia” or “no-mobile-phobia” might soon be a real thing, which would include being afraid of being out of mobile phone range. This despite Internet addiction not yet being listed under official registers of mental disorders.
With more Glass users and soon, perhaps, more wearables that could compete with Glass, will we soon become a society so chained to our tech we need rehab from it?
Tech should be a boon, not a bane. Perhaps in future we might end up needing tech to wean off tech. That would be a truly scary thing indeed.
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