Technology Articles

Taking Too Many Selfies? Don’t Worry, It’s Not a Disorder

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Taking Too Many Selfies? Don't Worry, It's Not a DisorderA news article was recently published that described how the American Psychiatric Association had classified taking too many selfies as a new mental disorder.

The only problem? It wasn’t true.

Showing that far too many people don’t ever bother to check to see what kind of website they’re on, thousands of people tweeted and posted links to the fake news article. Nobody stopped for a minute to ask, “Hey, is this true? How come no other news website is reporting it?”

Don’t worry — taking too many selfies isn’t a mental disorder.

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

The Law of Unintended ConsequencesWhen I say the word commitment out loud, I cringe. The word alone makes me feel as if I’ve been sentenced to prison without bail, or that someone accidentally squirted a slice of lemon in my eye.

This is ironic, since I am a commitment advocate. I encourage friends to fight for their unstable relationships and engage in monogamy rather than becoming serial daters. Yet I find the word “commitment” loathsome. This enabled me to analyze my feelings and try to understand why people detach themselves from its meaning.

Bipolar & Mood Detection on a Smartphone

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Bipolar & Mood Detection on a SmartphonePeople who know me know that very little in the tech world gets me excited. I’ve seen so many tech ideas constantly recycled and repackaged from the 2000s, it makes me, well — I hate to admit it — but I’m a little jaded.

So a few years ago, when I first caught whiff of apps for monitoring your happiness in a completely passive manner, I was intrigued.

More researchers are jumping on this bandwagon, and it’s one of the few innovations in smartphone apps worthy of a mention.

Hiding Behind Your Phone?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Hiding Behind Your Phone?As technology advances, certain ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ continue to manifest. Among the pros: We can readily be in touch with friends and family; simple text messages yield instant communication.

Among the cons: Scrolling through the Internet on your smartphone during a party may remove you from the moment.

But what about confrontation? Not necessarily a crucial dialogue with another individual — confrontation with yourself. Do people hide behind their phones to avoid being completely alone? If alone, problems have to be addressed. Fears, vulnerability or emotional pain may surface.

Why Is There More Depression in the World?

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

jeffreymasson.wordpress.comT. M. Luhrmann, a professor of anthropology at Stanford, penned an interesting editorial recently in the New York Times called “Is the World More Depressed?

She recounts her recent conversation with Indian psychiatrist Rangaswamy Thara, who reported the influx of people seeking help for mental illness and the rise in suicide in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, which had a suicide rate last year of 25 per 100,000 people. (For comparison, the rate in the United States is 12 per 100,000).

Cutting National Healthcare Costs Through Broader Mental Wellness Access

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Cutting National Healthcare Costs Through Broader Mental Wellness AccessIn 2010, over 6.4 million emergency room visits involved treatment for mental health conditions or substance abuse. That number is up 28 percent from just four years earlier. Though many of these cases may be due to serious illnesses or related injuries, too many are preventable with ongoing mental wellness management.

These visits cost America’s already overburdened emergency rooms millions each year. In 2003, mental health visits cost hospitals $20.3 billion. By some estimates, that number will nearly double to a whopping $38.5 billion in 2014.

Stop the Drama: 3 Reasons Facebook Is Ruining Your Life

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

characteristics-good-online-support-communities-support-groupsFacebook is, after all, the villain in our lives.

A recent article detailing Facebook’s role in the demise of women’s self-esteem came as no surprise. Facebook is after all, the villain in our lives. It is a virtual bulletin board of our possessions, a bragging battle ground and an undercover detective’s most prized tool.

Is Facebook the root of the dramatics in your own life? Here are four different kinds of drama’s that can spark from Facebook — have you been a witness to any of these?


The Pathological Potential of the Prep Pad

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

The Pathological Potential of the Prep PadNew York Times health columnist Catherine Saint Louis recently covered the many upsides of a spanking new food analyzing device called the Prep Pad. In addition to weighing just how much food you’re about to consume, this unassuming 9-inch-by-6.25 gadget syncs easily with an iPad (generation 3 or higher) to tabulate the grams of carbohydrates, protein, and fat whatever edible hits its scale has to offer — along with the total number of calories these macronutirients add up to.

Exciting as this may be for well-meaning dieters and family food planners trying their best to be “healthy,” I can (un?)comfortably say I’m already concerned.

5 Ways to Cope With Heartbleed Bug Anxiety

Friday, April 11th, 2014

5 Ways to Cope With Heartbleed Bug AnxietyBy now you have probably heard about the Heartbleed Bug that has the Internet community shorting out its circuits. With headlines, tweets and posts with titles like “Why Heartbleed Is the Ultimate Web Nightmare” its a wonder any of us got any sleep last night. That Heartbleed logo alone is enough to kick up my flight/fight response!

So what can we do to get a grip, calm our bodies down and take action to do what we can to address the problem?

Narcissism and Millennials in the Digital Age

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Narcissism and Generation Y in the Digital AgeAccording to, narcissism is defined as “an inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity; self-centeredness, smugness, egocentrism.”

As a 20-something myself, I observe how individuals frequently throw this infamous word around, specifically referencing Generation Y, otherwise known as Millennials: “Look at how they tweet and talk about themselves — such a narcissistic generation!”

And while indulging in Twitter/Facebook updates and Instagram photos could be superfluous, I find that it’s a reflection of the digital age. Social media outlets have now become another prominent platform for communication and instant disclosure.

Why People Mock & Hate New Technology Like Google Glass

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Why People Mock & Hate New Technology Like Google GlassGoogle Glass, if you haven’t heard of it or seen it, is a miniature computer that’s integrated with a pair of non-prescription lenses with a small heads-up display attached. It can take pictures and look up things on Google or Facebook. It has both a limited feature-set and battery life, despite being available for 2 years (at $1500).

Google Glass, in its current incarnation, is similar to the first versions of smartphones that came out 5 or 6 years ago. The only difference is that it resides on the side of a person’s head instead of inside their purse or pocket.

So why is this seemingly-inconsequential, limited piece of technology the focus of so much hatred and mocking?

8 Characteristics to Look For in a Good Online Support Community

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

8 Characteristics to Look For in a Good Online Support CommunityA good online support community or support group can help you with virtually any health or mental health concern. A good one can give you information about your concern, help you understand your treatment options from a personal perspective, share the latest treatment research and breakthroughs, and most importantly, provide emotional support from others who are going through or have gone through something similar.

However, a bad support community can leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. In the worst case scenario, you could be hurt by a community that wasn’t designed to foster your growth. Or one day when go to visit the community, you might find yourself trying to visit a forum that no longer exists.

I believe in the power of good online support communities to help virtually anyone with a health or mental health concern — as long as you’re opened and willing to engage with others. Best of all — virtually all of them are free and cost nothing to join.

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