The Social Addiction

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Do you shut off your alarm clock? Is that alarm clock actually your cell phone and do you wake up to ringtones? Is the first face you see in the morning your profile picture? The hum and glow of the television as you look for news, weather, or music to get you ready for the day? The newspaper you scan for headlines while you order your morning coffee? For many of us, media is so ingrained in our lives today that we don’t even notice it, taking the infusions of information, music, video and social networking we receive as a necessity rather than entertainment.

In a study reported in Oct. 2010 by the BBC, undergraduate students from 12 universities around the world opted into an experiment that asked them to completely cut themselves off from all forms of media. Not just the Internet, but television, radio, newspapers and cell phones as well. The experiment, called “Unplugged,” was conducted in a partnership between the University of Maryland’s International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA) and the Salzburg Global Seminar’s Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. The experiment asked students to abstain from media for a full 24 hours and comment on going “unplugged.”

Students at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom described their media removal experience similar to that of quitting hard drugs or dieting, associating their feelings with symptoms of addiction. Throughout the 24 hours, they were asked to keep a journal and record how they were feeling. Despite being able to read books and use land line telephones, many students described feeling isolated, anxious and upset about missing what was happening without them. This withdrawal from media has since been deemed Information Deprivation Disorder.

Not everyone suffered from the media shut out. Some students recorded that they went for walks, met up with friends and fully enjoyed their time unplugged. One common acknowledgment was the lack of being able to listen to music made students the most uncomfortable, noting the silence as especially unnerving. Without the pulse of music flowing through their earbuds and stereo speakers, students noticed the tweeting and chirping of actual birds, rather than Twitter feeds and cell phone alerts. Students heard the sound of conversation, of life outside the digital world.

“The extent to which we are using some of this modern technology and new media is changing us,” said Dr. Gerodimos, lecturer of communications at Bournemouth University. “Perhaps everyone should try going without it for a day every year.”

Lose Weight Faster By Busting Your Food Addictions

No matter how much you may want to lose weight, if you suffer from food addictions then you will struggle until you bust through this fat gaining affliction.

Many addictions have a powerful psychological and physical component. Food addictions don’t cause rapid addiction like nasty drugs but they can still impact heavily on a person’s life.

The word addiction isn’t quite accurate; it’s more like a strong mental connection. This is developed over time.

Carbohydrate has the effect of suppressing cortisol which is a stress hormone. This translates as you eat cake and you feel less stressed. It is actually true, but the side effect is fat gain and blood sugar problems.

This connection is often made early in life you are given treats as rewards for good behaviour or not behaving badly. As life goes on you start to reach for certain foods for comfort. This becomes a habit.

Blood Sugar Problems

A common cause of the food addiction is the food itself. If you feel bad you eat some chocolate, your blood sugar rises quickly and you get a sense of wellbeing. As you burn off the sugar your levels drop. Again you feel bad, so you eat more chocolate, and the cycle continues.

This can be any kind of carbohydrate. What appears to be a craving is just your body trying to balance its sugar levels.

Stress Eating Addiction

The first level is stress eating then it leads to food addiction. You create a strong bond with food and in time the food is used like a sedative. In order to head off bad feelings you eat these foods even before you need them.

If you don’t have these foods at hand you become agitated and seek to find them. Like all addictions the first step is to recognise the problems exist.

Next you need to understand exactly what need the food is meeting. What problems in your life are you trying to mask with food?

Next you must find a better way to deal with your problem. Seek out help. If you don’t then not only will the problem continue but you will continue to gain weight.

Food addiction is solved by addressing your blood sugar irregularities. This is easily achieved by eating good food at the right times of day and learning to manage your stress. Food can never solve your problems but it sure can make it worse.