Relating to technology.



Fondness, especially an abnormal love for a specified thing.


The following comment reflects a growing problem that falls under the broad rubric of Technology Addiction:

Everywhere I look outside my home I see people busy on their high tech devices, while driving, while walking, while shopping, while in groups of friends, while in restaurants, while waiting in doctor offices and hospitals, while sitting in toilets – everywhere.  While connected electronically, they are inattentive to and disconnected from physical reality.

Comes of course in many colors, shapes and forms:

  • Texting
  • IPad
  • IPod
  • Cell phone
  • i-Phone
  • Internet
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Emails
  • Laptop
  • Internet gambling
  • Gaming disorder

Computer Addiction (and Technology Addiction) can have deleterious consequences as noted below:

Harvard Medical School’s Computer-Addiction Services identifies the following symptoms of computer addiction.

1) Having a sense of well-being while at the computer.
2) Inability to stop the activity.
3) Craving more and more time at the computer.
4) Neglecting family and friends.
5) Feeling empty or depressed and irritable when not at the computer.
6) Lying to family and friends about activities.
7) Problems with school or work.


And in the following article: Study: Internet Addicts Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Like Drug Users.


Look for technology-based excuses and syndromes increasingly to exculpate criminal behavior.


For instance, Internet Gambling, included under Gambling Disorder in the DSM-5, can lead to criminal behavior such as “forgery, fraud, theft, or embezzlement to obtain money with which to gamble.”


DSM-5, APA, p. 586.


And Internet Gaming Disorder is listed in the DSM-5 as a Condition for further study:


Persistent and recurrent use of the Internet to engage in games, often with other players, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress….”


Id. at 795.


“Internet gaming disorder may lead to school failure, job loss, or marriage failure.”


Id. at 797.


These may, conceivably, result in legal ramifications. For instance, domestic violence stemming from increased stress at home.


Other forms of Internet use offer increased means of developing an addictive-like disorder with ensuing consequences including criminal repercussions (aka, the dark side of the Internet):


Revenge Porn: Scary & What to Do About It?


Cyberbullying Conference Tidbits


  • Excessive use of social media and cyberbullying
  • Cyber porn
  • Viewing pornography online (minors and transmitting images)


Recently, an HBO documentary, Love Child, told the story of “a South Korean couple whose all-consuming video game habit led them to neglect their 3-month-old baby. When real life shockingly interrupted the gaming fantasy they’d been sucked into, the couple was actually caring for a virtual child in 6- to 12-hour online binges.”


An estimated two million are addicted to gaming in South Korea.


The defense was based on “a previously unheard of legal precedent: Could online gaming be grouped with gambling, drugs, and drinking as an addition that impairs a person’s judgment enough to make such a fatal mistake?”


A problem in South Korea:


“The situation is serious,” says Lee Dong-hun, an assistant professor of Counseling Psychology in the education department at Pusan National University. “Internet addiction problems are not only seen in school age children, but also college students and adults with jobs. It’s a complicated psychological and social environmental problem and it’s not easy to help.”


And in the U.S. too:


While an Oklahoma couple was busy living out their fantasies in a video game, police say in real life their 2-year-old daughter was starving to death.


Mark Knapp, 48, and Elizabeth Pester, 33, of Tulsa, have been arrested and charged with child neglect and abuse after their young daughter ended up in a hospital in critical condition.


I once wrote about the “Affluenza Excuse”:


In a day and era in which most anything can be served up as an “abuse excuse”, how to distinguish between the bogus and non-bogus defenses and multitude shades of gray becomes an art form that requires keeping up to date with state of the art research and practice standards in forensic assessment. The standards are – and should be – high as the stakes are high.


Will Internet Addiction, Internet Gambling, Gaming Disorder, and other forms of Technology Addiction become the latest wave of “abuse excuses?” Time and the legal system will tell, if and as various defense strategies pass muster set by standards set forth primarily by Daubert and in some states the older Frye Standard, and to the extent that assessment methods garner empirical support.


How much of a fine line is there between Technophilia and Technology Addiction?


Note that philia and addiction are not synonymous.


Addiction refers to a loss control over what the person does, takes, or uses; a continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences.


To the extent that the suffix “philia” follows something that is not sanctioned by society and/or illegal, then we are looking at the philia as being unusual or abnormal. For instance:

  • Pedophilia
  • Necrophilia

If you tie in the philia with a continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences, then Philia + Conduct is likely maladaptive.


A close opposite of philia is phobia: love of v. fear of. I think that similar rules apply re what makes the phobia pathological and involves “adverse consequences.”


How maladaptive is a fear of snakes (ophidiophobia) in a context in which there aren’t any?


How maladaptive is a Cynophobia (fear of dogs) in the context of a U.S. Postal Service employee who is a letter carrier in an area in which many homeowners own dogs?


We are all familiar with well-known phobias of which I now add techophobia; here are a few more obscure phobias:


  • agliophobia: pain
  • agyrophobia: crossing the street
  • albuminurophobia: kidney disease
  • alektorophobia: chickens
  • amychophobia: being scratched
  • anuptaphobia: staying single
  • apeirophobia: infinity
  • arachibutyrophobia: peanut butter sticking to roof of mouth
  • athazagoraphobia: being forgotten or ignored
  • automatonophobia: ventriloquist dummies, wax statues
  • bufonophobia: toads
  • chrometophobia: money
  • eisoptrophobia: mirrors, or seeing oneself in a mirror
  • euphobia: hearing good news
  • genuphobia: knees
  • homilophobia: sermons
  • liticaphobia: lawsuits
  • oenophobia: wines
  • phobophobia: phobias
  • scriptophobia: writing in public
  • xylophobia: forests



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