Saturday, June 20, 2015

Don't be a Victim of Computer Syndrome

Try locking up your computer and TV and other electronic gadgets on a weekend. Impose curfew hour every night. You'll discover more in life than all the computers in the world combined.
Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Did it ever occur in your mind that many ailments are connected with computer addiction?

People, especially children and adolescents who sit before the computer for many hours everyday are victims of a new kind of addiction I call computer syndrome. A syndrome leads to a trap of slow, incipient signs and symptoms akin to various ailments and defying treatment until the very source of such ailment is removed. This is a thesis which I propose to help our youth from getting into the tender trap.

These are premises of my thesis.

Computerizing whether for school assignment, hobby or just entertainment, consumes precious time and energy. It robs our children of their wholesome hobbies, rest, reflection, exercise, socialization, or for quiet and peace. It disturbs ideal time management – the way our predecessor in pre-computer era made use of the 24-hour cycle, the 7-day and 30-day cycles. And the 365-day cycle. In short the computer has not only reset, but tinkered with, our biological clock.

We do not follow our regular sleeping habit, because the computer demands no strict time limit or schedule. Imagine also that a favorite program on TV is on the computer, especially DVD shows. Computer addicts may become night owls. Others have developed cat napping to compensate for lost or lack of sleep. Not following regular sleeping habits is not healthful, it retards growth and may lead to insomnia. Many drugs today are for insomniacs. Abuse of sleeping pills is reminiscent of some prominent victims, among them were Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Priestley.

The ever increasing features of the computer making today’s state-of-the art in computer shades the 1960 predecessor a hundred folds more proficient. Pretty soon we will be groping and grappling with artificial intelligence. Already chess games with the computer is like playing with Fisher or Karpov or Kasparov. War games need the intelligence and skills of Napoleon Bonaparte on land, and Horatius Nelson at sea. The computer does not only trace the campaign of Alexander the Great who attempted to create the largest empire on earth, but continue the campaign even after his death.

Entertaining, isn’t? Maybe, but at what price? Hear the testimonies of victims, which I analyzed and made into a check list. Check those that apply to you. Supply the details. The idea is to become aware on how close you are in getting into addiction with the computer, and television as well. This includes texting and use of other electronic devices. Seek for advice while it is still early.

1. Interruption of mental concentration
2. Short attention period
3. Irregular meal, often substituted with fast and “junk” food.
4. Strained eyes, and also ears
5. Sustained suspense
6. Nervousness, easily gets surprised or excited
7. Cold and perspiring hands and feet
8. Increased pulse rate and heart beat.
9. Muscle strain, poor reflexes
10. Coffee and tea drinking
11. Smoking and Drinking
12. Estranged relationships
13. Games, games, games
14. Dependence on tranquilizer and/or stimulants.
15. Headache and migraine
16. Hallucinations
17. Insomnia
18. Depression
19. Psychosomatric symptoms
20. Boredom

To sum it up, the Computer Syndrome has five general manifestations, namely:

1. Disruption of Mental Concentration
2. Social Detachment
3. Physiologic Imbalance
4. Wasted Time
5. Indeterminate Purpose

Are you a potential victim of Computer Syndrome? Get out of harm's way. Go back to your hobbies - sports and arts. When was the last time you went camping, fishing, hiking, biking? Shakes those lazy bones, build some muscles while you are still young. Get closer to nature, you will develop natural resistance against stress and diseases.

Are you the handyman type of a person. Make toys, renovate your home. Do you have a green thumb? How about raising some vegetables organically on your backyard. Have pets and love them, they have feelings. They reciprocate. The computer doesn't.

Take a break with the family. Bonding is the most beautiful thing to do for a busy family. Take time out, go to the countryside. Talk of sweet nothings. Tell jokes. Light moments contribute to good health and long life - the most practical therapy.

Join community organizations, church organizations. Support projects for a cause - like environmental conservation, saving endangered species, home for the aged, juvenile rehabilitation, projects for out-of-school youth, orphanage. Look beyond yourself - to and for others.

Try locking up your computer and TV and other electronic gadgets on a weekend. Impose curfew hour every night. You'll discover more in life than all the computers in the world combined.
x x x
The recent study found that children aged 8-18 were watching TV, playing video games, on their computers, and listening to music for a total of 6 hours and 23 minutes EVERY DAY! Many kids were doing two or more activities at once. Most of this time is still spent watching TV. Kids spent almost four hours every day watching TV. With so much time in front of TV and other media, perhaps Kaiser should have labeled it "The Media-Addicted Generation." 

Self-Administered Test:
Find out if you are part of "The Media-Addicted Generation":

1. Does your family have more than one TV set? Yes [] No []
2. Are you in front of a screen for more than 2 hours per day?Yes [] No []

3. Do you sometimes have trouble getting TV or video game
jingles "out of your head"? Yes [] No []

4. Is there a TV/video game/computer playing in your
home much or all of the time? Yes [] No []

5. Do you have a TV, video game, and/or computer in your
bedroom? Yes [] No []

6. Is it easy for you to turn off the TV/video game in the
middle of a favorite show/game? Yes [] No []

7. Do you ever rush home, ditching friends and family, to
catch a favorite TV show, play video games, or go on the
computer? Yes [] No []

8. Do you frequently eat meals while in front of the TV,
video games, or computer? Yes [] No []

9. Have you ever caught yourself unintentionally mimicking
a TV or video game character? Yes [] No []

10. Do you talk to and play with your friends more than you
watch TV, play games, and play with computers? Yes [] No []

11. Can you turn off the TV, computer, and video games OFF
right now and leave them off for three days? Yes [] No []

12. Do you ever mindlessly surf through TV channels or
the internet? Yes [] No []

13. Do you need TV, video game, or a computer to relax after
a rough day? Yes [] No []

14. Do you feel edgy, anxious, or "not right" if there is no TV,
video game, or a computer playing? Yes [] No []

15. Do you watch TV, play video games, and/or play on the
computer more than spend time with your family? Yes [] No []

16. Do you ever watch the TV, play video games, or surf
the internet longer than you intend to? Yes [] No []

17. Do you feel spend too much time with TV, video games,
or computer? Yes [] No []

18. Have you missed a special event with friends or family
because you were watching a TV program? Yes [] No []

19. Have you ever tried to quit watching TV, playing video
games, or going on computer, but were unsuccessful? Yes [] No []

20. Do you have difficulty limiting the time you watch TV,
play video games, or go on the computer? Yes [] No []

*Note: Time spent on the computer for homework purposes does not count:

To calculate your score:
For all questions, except for #6, #10, and #11, give yourself 1 point for every "Yes" answer and 0 points for every "No". For questions #6, #10, and #11 give yourself 0 points for every "Yes", answer and 1 point for every "No". Add your total.

Your total: ____________

0-6: Great! Your TV, computer, and video games are not in control of your life. You are. But keep an eye on how much time you spend with these activities to make sure an addiction does not sneak up on you.

7-14: You are moderately addicted to your TV, video games, or computer. Maybe all of them. The good news is that with a little effort, a list of fun non-screen activities, and a reasonable schedule you should be able to keep your addiction under control. "The TV-FREE System" also helps you create a schedule that keeps you busy with fun, goal-centered activities. Follow your dreams instead of staring at a screen..

15-20: Yikes. You probably have a serious addiction problem. You may need to take extreme steps, including getting rid of your TV or video games, to get in control of your time. Start with the device which squanders the most of your time. The good news is "The TV-FREE System" was designed to help even the most serious addict, and can be used for video game, or computer addiction as well.

Life is too short to "watch" it go by.~

Test by Katherine Westphal

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