First Case of Google Glass Addiction Reported

Internet addiction, however, is not yet recognized by the APA
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2014 7:11 AM CDT
First Case of Google Glass Addiction Reported
In this Feb. 20, 2013, file photo, Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

A 31-year-old enlisted service member who recently checked himself into the US Navy’s Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program for alcohol addiction began suffering an entirely unexpected withdrawal during the 35-day program. It turns out that when the program stripped him of Google Glass, which he'd been wearing 18 hours a day for two months, he became irritable, had a hard time focusing, experienced his dreams as if through the narrow view of the headset, and repeatedly placed his index finger to the right side of his face as if trying to turn on Glass, reports the Guardian. The patient said that withdrawing from Glass was "much worse" than withdrawing from alcohol.

The Navy doctor who saw the patient and wrote about his case in the journal Addictive Behaviors insists that though the American Psychiatric Association's latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders doesn't include Internet addiction, it exists. "People used to believe alcoholism wasn't a problem," he says. "It's just going to take awhile for us to realize that this is real." Moreover, he says it will only become more prevalent as we continue to be more connected to our gadgets, and suggests that nomophobia (fear of being without one's cellphone) will also be on the rise. Google has not yet commented on the case, reports NBC News. (Earlier this year, Google let anyone buy the headset for one day only, provided they could handle the price tag.)

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