iDisorder Book Review
How many times have you taken your smart phone to dinner with you and actually set it out on the table while you ate with your family? Better yet, how many times has everyone in your family set their phones on the table during dinner?
Larry Rosen, Ph.D. has written a new book,, iDisorder Understanding our obsession with technology and overcoming its hold on us (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) that provides research-based insights into how new technologies such as smart phones and the internet have impacted our psyche.
Rosen suggests that these technologies have the potential to either create disorders such as obsessive-compulsive or exacerbate such problems. He offers several supporting scenarios such as a case study with a high school student studying for a history final. At the same the student goes from reading a history textbook to checking his Facebook page then instant messages a couple of friends while listening to music on an iPod while watching his cell phone for incoming email or text messages.
Such scenarios have created a new disorder. The author writes, “What we are looking at is a new disorder, one that combines elements of many psychiatric maladies and is centered on the way we all relate to technology and media: an iDisorder.”
Rosen using one full chapter to define each of the common psychiatric disorders such as communication disorders, social phobias, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, hypochondriasis and schizoaffective and schizotypal disorders. He includes a direct relationship to using technology in each disorder he defines.
In one chapter, Rosen goes through the ups and downs of leading a cyberlife. He starts out by describing symptoms of bipolar and manic depression such as experiencing a long period of feeling high or overly happy, experiencing extremely irritable moods, talking very fast, being easily distracted, restlessness and sleeping little among others.