Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Over the past ten years of fieldwork, research and personal experience governing the cyber-powered home, there can be no doubt for me that internet connectivity does intensify the role of emotion in daily life. There is just more hype; there is more excitement and anxiety in response to the influence of devices, apps and social networks. Also, the science of addiction affirms that outside stimulation from things like drugs, sex, gambling and internet can alter the brain by activating the brain’s dopamine reward system (neurotransmitters that make us feel good) which in some cases can cause an individual to become dependent upon the external stimulation to feel okay. Addiction experts will tell you that people do not become addicted to the drug or the vice (gambling/sex); rather they have a pathological relationship with intoxication which can only be corrected by the individual suffering from addiction. Hence exposure to so much cyber stimulation is a very real experience of modern life – making it more challenging to maintain a state of peace in our own inner worlds.
On top of that, regulating summer emotions intensified by cyber connectivity can be a terrific challenge. We all know that summer can offer fun experiences and it can also be a season of stressful experiences with extreme high and low emotions in response to change of routine, boredom, summer friendship dynamics and conflicts, anticipation and disappointment of vacation plans, body image issues with summer clad fashions and bathing suits, financial stress to pay for summer childcare and other activities, etc., and so it is no surprise that the greatest time of risk for kids to start using drugs and alcohol in response to intense emotion happens in June and July.