Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Email Addiction? Get real, grandpa!

In law, we have this fiction of the "reasonable man" who always drives the speed limit and never loses his temper.

Similarly, the field of psychiatry has this notion of "normal" that they use as a yardstick for determining mental illness, but this is a fiction as well. There is no "normal" person, we all have neuroses and baggage from our upbringing. Bonnie Burstow does a great job of explaining this in her Critique of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the DSM.

So, when Sarah sent me this article which claims that excessive emails and text are a mental illness, I think these psychologists have forgotten that "normal" is a psychiatric fiction.

Being online all the time is just information-seeking behavior, even if it's a bit obsessive. Information is entertainment, socialization, professional development, and the basis of work these days.

The idea of normal constructed by some elderly psychiatrist is going to make any inhabitant of Second Life seem troubled and in need of intervention.

2 comments:

Cliff said...

That sounds like someone in denial. You have, like, 9 blogs. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Neal R. Axton (USA) said...

My name is Neal and I am an addict...