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Chase Doucet
Matt Bennett
Jesse Girot
Matt Fonseca
Walker Thole
English 1010-25
12-9-15
Automated Mind Control
Picture driving through a friendly neighborhood ten years ago. What does it look
like? There are kids outside playing tag, riding bikes, or swinging on a swing set. In the
same time period, picture a local coffee shop or restaurant. There are people talking,
paying attention to each other and maybe even becoming acquainted with someone
new. Now, fast forward to today. What do those same neighborhoods and coffee shops
look like? There are no kids in the street because theyre inside plugged into electronic
devices that they dont know how to control. People in coffee shops have their faces in
their cell phones, refusing to talk to those around them; but they dont need face-to-face
conversation because theyre all caught up in social media. It is called social, right?

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Todays generation heavily relies on technology to function. What once was a


want has now become a need. Technology has many useful features. Although we use
it to benefit us in medicine, transportation and connecting to the rest of the world, we
are also becoming dependent on it. These devices tell us how to get from place to
place, finds information for us, and even eliminate the need to use our imagination.
What would happen if we suddenly lost all access to the technology we are so
dependent on?
In todays world, technology has benefitted us in countless ways but is starting to
become a problem. Face to face socialization is almost nonexistent in younger
generations. Children are staying inside immersed in their virtual realities for countless
hours while nice, sunny days are right outside the door. And parents are too busy
spending time on their phones instead of spending time with their kids. Lets not forget
staying up late watching TV, playing video games or connecting with friends.
As a community, we need to understand that very few of us can confidently admit
that we arent addicted to technology. It is said that the first step to curing an addiction is
to acknowledge that there is one. We need to learn how to socialize again. We need to
find creative ways to pass the time instead of sitting around on our electronic devices.
We need to learn how to get by without a phone or laptop practically attached to our
bodies. In an interview, the owner and founder of Matts Mac Repairs, stated that
Technology addiction is a problem that people refuse to admit. (Thornton) Our culture
as a whole needs to address this problem and find ways to bring back some of the
better habits of our past. If not, technology will surely be our downfall.

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*Technology addictions have many forms. The most common being; gambling,
pornography, gaming, use of social media, and excessive online shopping. These
different areas of technology addiction show the underlying problem. For example,
someone may be addicted to the Internet because it feeds their shopping addiction, or
others might use video games as a form of escapism. (Hinders par 2)
It is unknown exactly where technology addiction stems from. However, we found
that there are two prominent theories. Addiction to technology is the result of an
underlying problem, the most common of which is believed to be depression. Others
include social anxiety disorder, autism, escapism and supplementing a previous
addiction. The other theory is that excessive use of technology can alter our brain
resulting in a dependency. (Hinders par 3-4)
According to a licensed psychologist and an international expert on Internet
addiction, Dr. Kimberly S. Young, with any element of addiction is an element of
escape (Young 5:07). She illustrates why people use technology to escape their lives
by saying you might have somebody who in real life has low self-esteem, is socially
very awkward but yet in the game they become a great warrior and now theyve earned
respect, theyve earned power and dominance and recognition from the other gamers
(Young 5:31).
Although technology addiction is psychological, we found several research
studies that have shown that Internet addiction disorder is associated with structural
changes of the brain and degradation in the areas that control emotional processing,
attention and decision-making. (Moffit 0:19). Researchers also found that participants

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had stronger, more frequent releases of dopamine when using technology. (Lin, et al,
par. 6). In addition to that, Dr. Andrew Doan, who has a PhD in neuroscience and is
considered by some to be the worlds foremost expert on the issue, has expressed his
concern in an interview on University of California television, that allowing children to
use too much technology can permanently rewire their brains (Doan 11:14).
These changes in the brain can lead to further addiction because, if your brain's
neural pathways are permanently rewired to require the use of technology, then you
could imagine it would be extremely difficult to break away from that. A member of our
group has been playing an excessive amount of video games since he was five. He is
now twenty-five, and he finds it extremely hard to put down the controller and do
something productive. He has recently quit playing video games to focus on school. He
still thinks about it every day. He has not found it any easier to abstain from them as
time passes. For this reason, we have looked into what people have tried to do to fix or
even avoid technology addiction.
Solutions to solve the ever-growing issue related to technology addiction are on
the rise with self-awareness. Dr. James Roberts, who is a consumer psychologist for
Baylor University, was a guest on ABC News, Good Morning. He discusses the solution
to support progress of controlling technology is to practice self-awareness. Taking the
action to put electronic devices on airplane mode while giving up your undivided
attention is not only important personally but also to the people you are giving attention
to. Some solutions that Dr. Roberts suggests are setting smart phone free zones and

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times, using apps to limit device usage, and create rules for technology uses and
penalties when the rules are broken. (Schiavocampo)
In our interview with Matt Thornton he discusses his solution to the technology
problem; The best example I have found is probably family. I have an aunt and uncle
that have two little daughters so I guess they would be my cousins. They are four and
six and not getting into different parenting styles they have decided to allow their kids
use iPads for a few hours a day. Where the addiction comes in is when something
happens like the iPad dies or there is no Wi-Fi around. The kids really throw a temper
tantrum Every time you pull your phone out just click a little timer and at the end of the
day see what it looks like. For some people it may be an hour throughout the day for
some people it may be six hours. And so I would challenge people to be honest with
themselves. Because like any addiction thats the first step in overcoming is admitting it
to yourself. And so I would challenge people to take a good honest look at how much
time they spent and then evaluate if they want to do something about it. (Thornton) The
addiction technology has on your mind and body could be unhealthy. Taking self-notice
to be aware of the strong hold your cell phone has on you, for example, is the first step.
Other suggestions are to leave your smartphone in airplane mode while in class or at
dinner, leave it in your backpack, vehicle, bedroom or even the dinner table basket.
Our solution to technology addiction is to show people how addicted they are and
to provide a way to control it. The way we will do this is by creating an app that shows
how much time you spend on each app you have on your phone. Along with the app
monitoring how much time you are spending on your electronic device, it will give you

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an option to disable websites. This way you wont be able to access websites that can
distract you for those times that you need to get something done. This app will be able
to help people come to see that they are addicted to technology and then it will give
them ideas on how to use their time more effectively.
This app will be able to be downloaded onto any piece of technology and will do
what was described in the previous paragraph. It will not only be available for phones
but for video game consoles, televisions, and mobile phones. Netflix, Hulu, Halo, Call of
Duty, and so on will all be timed, and you will have the ability to disable it for a period of
time. Parents will also be able to monitor how much time their kids are spending on
devices.
To advertise the app, we will be setting up links all over social media feeds that
will go to our website. This way people will be able to look at the website and get ideas
on how to overcome their tech addiction. The website has information on what
technology can do to us. It also has a video called Look Up. This video is about an
English male who tells a story about how he met his wife. He stopped her in the street
to ask her a question. He then tells the story of how when his wife crossed his path and
he was too busy looking at his phone and she walked on by. His life would be so
different. (Turk)
Our group is hoping that we can challenge people to use the app to see how
much time they are spending on Technology. We are hoping that it will become viral just
like the ice bucket challenge for ALS awareness. People will post a video of themselves
saying how much time they have spent on their devices. They then will challenge their

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friends to use the app and post a video just like the person who challenged them did.
People who accept the challenge will be able to see what life would be like without
always looking at electronic devices for an answer or the only way to communicate.
Our solution will be likely to work better than other solutions have because, from
our research there is nothing like this app out there. The human species like things to
be convenient. This app is exactly that. They wont even have to push a start or stop
button when they get on the app. It will do it for them. People will want to use this app
because of what it will do for their lives and those around them.
We are not trying to convey that all technology is bad. Obviously technology is
very good and has given us opportunities that some people didnt think were possible.
The medical field has had much success because of technology and now we can carry
a computer in our hands. But along with all the great things that come with technology
there are some aspects that dont benefit us. And in some cases can be detrimental to
our health.
With our solution, we want people to notice that there are better ways to spend
their time than spending countless hours on YouTube, Facebook, playing video games,
etc. We want people to spend less time using technology and spend more time with
their friends, families, or even meet new people to share new experiences with. We
want children to play outside again and spend time using their imaginations with friends.
This is what we want our solution to accomplish. We hope that people will unbury their
heads from their screens, look up, and see the world.

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Works Cited
Andrew, Doan Technology Addiction - Health Matters University of California
Television. 13 Aug, 2014. Web. 27 November, 2015 <http://youtube .com/watch?
v=HEj8t0SfTsc>
Hinders, Dina. What Causes Internet Addiction. 3 Aug. 2015. 25 Nov. 2015. Video.
<Http://livestrong.com/article/135346-what-causes internet-addiction/>

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Lin, Fuchun, Yan Zhou, Yasong Du, Lindi Qin, Zhimin Zhao, Jianrong Xu, and Hao Lei.
"Abnormal White Matter Integrity in Adolescents with Internet Addiction Disorder:
A Tract-Based Spatial Statistics Study." PLoS ONE 7.1 (2012): n. pag. Web. 28
November, 2015. http://journals.plos.org/plosorg/article?
id=10.137/journal.pone.0030253
Moffit, mitchell. 5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now Asap
Science. 7 Sep, 2014. Web. 30 November, 2015 <youtube.com:https://watch?
v=hffWFd_6bj0>
Schiavocampo, Mara. How Much Time Do Families Really Spend on Their
Cellphones? December 7,2015. Video.
Thornton, Matt. Personal interview. November 12th 2015.
Turk, Gary. Look Up. Gary Turk. 25 April, 2014.Web. 5 December, 2015.
<http://garyturk.com/portfolio-item/lookup/>
Young, Kim. What You Need to Know about Internet Addiction. "TED | TEDx Events |
TEDxTalks." RSS. TEDx, 7 Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
<http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/time-families-spend-cellphones-35321477>