A man in San Diego has been diagnosed with the first case of Internet addiction disorder, doctors have said.
During his residential treatment program, doctors identified that the man “exhibited problematic use of Google Glass,” which resulted in “a notable, nearly involuntary movement of the right hand up to his temple area and tapping it with his forefinger,” gestures which are used while using the device.
The 31 year old man had worn the device for up to 18 hours a day, and told doctors he would become extremely irritated and frustrated without the technology’s assistance.
He also reported having dreams where his vision appeared as though he was seeing through the lenses.
Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is characterized by the problematic use of online video games, computer use, and mobile handheld devices.
While not officially a clinical diagnosis according to the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), individuals with IAD were severely emotionally, socially, and mentally dysfunctional in multiple areas of daily activities due to their use of technology and the internet.
In this case, the addiction was related to a specific device rather than the internet. The reason, perhaps, why Google Glass had such an intense effect, is that the monitor is always visible and accessible, even when not in use.
Google Glass is yet to be released to the general consumer, with no release date announced. The ‘Explorer’ version was released in 2013, to a limited and exclusive pool of people. The effects of wearable tech on behaviour and society as whole are still being proven.
For example, in October 2013, a driver in California was ticketed for driving with Google Glass. The case was thrown out of court due to lack of proof the device was on at the time, but the judge noted that “Google Glass would fall under “the purview and intent” of the ban on driving with a monitor.
Glass being addictive could make consumers wary of the device, but over the course of the addicted man’s 35-day residential treatment, the patient did note a reduction in irritability and motor movements to his temple to turn on the device, as well as improvements in his short-term memory and clarity of thought processes.