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    January 22, 2021
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Business Insight presented by Arlington Dermatology Health and Addiction It is very unfortunate, but COVID-19 brought not only dangerous infections. One of the most chronic side effects of it is a massive addictive behavior of almost entire society. Bad habits came back and new bad habits got created, out of isolation and desperation. Alcohol and drugs have done enormous damages to human health and behavior and we all know it. What we do not know or rather do not recognize is that social media has done a similar if not more wide-spread damage. Addiction to tangible habits has been known for centuries. Getting out of an addiction requires a lot of discipline and often, assistance from medical professionals. I am not sure what we can do to de- tox our society from the addiction to computerized phones delivering messaging with a speed beyond imagination. It is a problem seen for several years but becoming impossible to deal with. You see it in private lives and professional lives. You see it indoors and outdoors. You see it in males and females. Young and older. Massive. Some time ago, I wrote a column about my adjustments to work with younger generations. Now, I realize, that, in many cases, our adjustment took the habits developed by youngers but not quite taught them our old principles. So, what happened? Here is my take and I hope you will see your views in it: technology has been speeding for years. The last 20-30 years brought more developments than ever before. Many of technological discoveries changed our lives for good-we can do things better, quicker, more accurately. What a cell phone did 30 years ago was awesome: we could talk and communicate regardless of where we were. But cell phones are not for talking anymore. They became computers with so many options that one cannot even remember. The number of 'social'applications traveling through the cloud space is unlimited. So is a number of messages. Human brains are still better than computers, do not get me wrong. But the amount of messaging the brains are receiving every minute is far beyond what they can absorb. Or memorize. Or re-think of. Or reflect on. There is no reflection or critical thinking. There is only a superficial registration of a message after message, without any correlation to reality. Try to take away an iPhone from anyone. Try to block their Facebook or Twitter. What is left is a void. It creates a notion of being lost and disconnected. It creates anger. Exactly like in a person with a smoking habit who is trying to quit. Workplaces struggle with the phone and social media addiction. I serve as an adjunct for some medical schools in Illinois. My medical practice is the rotation site so we get level of a large social group. And it is an addiction medical students once a year. I had 3rd year medical students unable to spend 10 minutes with me in a patient's room without looking at their phone and texting. This is not a joke. I also know of some people who lost their jobs because they were so addicted to constant checking their social media applications that they could not focus on their jobs. It is not so uncommon. How can a human brain, even the smartest one, register and rethink 20, 30, 50 messages a minute, coming from 'friends, 'teams, or 'interest groups? You cannot. Physically impossible. Some of the messages are comments and some are answers to yet other messages from before. Many coming from unknown individuals who claim the same interest but may be in a different state, different country, they may even be someone else they claim to be. One of the adverse results of using our phones as computers is that we cannot control who is who and who is where anymore. What is the truth and what is a product of sick imagination. There is no way for us to go back and think about something twice because going back means time during which we already got 30 more messages. And it goes on and on. If you run a small business like mine, you can come up with policies and disciplinary actions. But in a private life, there is no policy on how to control the internet. The only thing we can pray for is that individuals have self control and self discipline. But what if they do not? Addiction to our phones and social media is bad for our health, physical and mental. It is bad for our families and communities. It is bad for our society and the country. And there is no de-tox center for it. We can only count on self- control. And if we see no self-control, we need to create an intervention. In my case, it is a disciplinary action towards an employee or kicking out a medical student. It is much more difficult at the that might destroy us one day. Michael Bukhalo, MD Arlington Dermatology 5301 Keystone Court Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 Tel. 847 392 5440 | www.arlingtondermatology.net Business Insight presented by Arlington Dermatology Health and Addiction It is very unfortunate, but COVID-19 brought not only dangerous infections. One of the most chronic side effects of it is a massive addictive behavior of almost entire society. Bad habits came back and new bad habits got created, out of isolation and desperation. Alcohol and drugs have done enormous damages to human health and behavior and we all know it. What we do not know or rather do not recognize is that social media has done a similar if not more wide-spread damage. Addiction to tangible habits has been known for centuries. Getting out of an addiction requires a lot of discipline and often, assistance from medical professionals. I am not sure what we can do to de- tox our society from the addiction to computerized phones delivering messaging with a speed beyond imagination. It is a problem seen for several years but becoming impossible to deal with. You see it in private lives and professional lives. You see it indoors and outdoors. You see it in males and females. Young and older. Massive. Some time ago, I wrote a column about my adjustments to work with younger generations. Now, I realize, that, in many cases, our adjustment took the habits developed by youngers but not quite taught them our old principles. So, what happened? Here is my take and I hope you will see your views in it: technology has been speeding for years. The last 20-30 years brought more developments than ever before. Many of technological discoveries changed our lives for good-we can do things better, quicker, more accurately. What a cell phone did 30 years ago was awesome: we could talk and communicate regardless of where we were. But cell phones are not for talking anymore. They became computers with so many options that one cannot even remember. The number of 'social'applications traveling through the cloud space is unlimited. So is a number of messages. Human brains are still better than computers, do not get me wrong. But the amount of messaging the brains are receiving every minute is far beyond what they can absorb. Or memorize. Or re-think of. Or reflect on. There is no reflection or critical thinking. There is only a superficial registration of a message after message, without any correlation to reality. Try to take away an iPhone from anyone. Try to block their Facebook or Twitter. What is left is a void. It creates a notion of being lost and disconnected. It creates anger. Exactly like in a person with a smoking habit who is trying to quit. Workplaces struggle with the phone and social media addiction. I serve as an adjunct for some medical schools in Illinois. My medical practice is the rotation site so we get level of a large social group. And it is an addiction medical students once a year. I had 3rd year medical students unable to spend 10 minutes with me in a patient's room without looking at their phone and texting. This is not a joke. I also know of some people who lost their jobs because they were so addicted to constant checking their social media applications that they could not focus on their jobs. It is not so uncommon. How can a human brain, even the smartest one, register and rethink 20, 30, 50 messages a minute, coming from 'friends, 'teams, or 'interest groups? You cannot. Physically impossible. Some of the messages are comments and some are answers to yet other messages from before. Many coming from unknown individuals who claim the same interest but may be in a different state, different country, they may even be someone else they claim to be. One of the adverse results of using our phones as computers is that we cannot control who is who and who is where anymore. What is the truth and what is a product of sick imagination. There is no way for us to go back and think about something twice because going back means time during which we already got 30 more messages. And it goes on and on. If you run a small business like mine, you can come up with policies and disciplinary actions. But in a private life, there is no policy on how to control the internet. The only thing we can pray for is that individuals have self control and self discipline. But what if they do not? Addiction to our phones and social media is bad for our health, physical and mental. It is bad for our families and communities. It is bad for our society and the country. And there is no de-tox center for it. We can only count on self- control. And if we see no self-control, we need to create an intervention. In my case, it is a disciplinary action towards an employee or kicking out a medical student. It is much more difficult at the that might destroy us one day. Michael Bukhalo, MD Arlington Dermatology 5301 Keystone Court Rolling Meadows, IL 60008 Tel. 847 392 5440 | www.arlingtondermatology.net