43% Of Americans Are ‘Constant Checkers’ Of Mobile Devices; Most Know They Have A Problem But Can’t Stop

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“If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a “constant checker.” And chances are, it’s hurting your mental health.” …

Social media use has skyrocketed from 7 percent of American adults in 2005 to 65 percent in 2015. For those in the 18-29 age range, the increase is larger, from 12 percent to a remarkable 90 percent. But while an increase in social media usage is hardly surprising, the number of people who just can’t tear themselves away is stark: Nowadays, 43 percent of Americans say they are checking their e-mails, texts, or social media accounts constantly. And their stress levels are paying for it: On a 10-point scale, constant checkers reported an average stress level of 5.3. For the rest of Americans, the average level is a 4.4.” …

“About 42 percent of constant checkers specifically point to political and cultural discussions as causing stress. And the impacts play out in real life—35 percent of constant checkers say they are less likely to spend time with family and friends because of social media.
If the first step toward recovery, however, is admitting there is a problem, Americans are on their way. Some 65 percent of respondents said “unplugging” or taking a “digital detox” is important. But alas, knowing you have a problem is not the same as fixing it: Only 28 percent of those Americans say they take their own advice.

– excerpts from ‘Social Media Are Driving Americans Insane – Almost half say they are “constant checkers.’, Deena Shanker, Bloomberg, February 23, 2017

‘Dysconnected’ Longlisted For The George Ryga Award

George Ryga [image from bcbookawards.ca]

We are pleased to announce that ‘Dysconnected’ has been long listed for the George Ryga Award. Ten books are on the long list, from a record 47 entries.
The award is ‘an annual literary prize for a B.C. writer who has achieved an outstanding degree of social awareness in a new book published in the preceding calendar year.’ It is administered by BC Bookworld.
George Ryga (1931-1987) was a playwright and novelist, probably best known for his play ‘The Ecstasy of Rita Joe’. A biographical sketch and appreciation by Alan Twigg can be found here. Much of his work demonstrated his strong politics, and his “abiding sympathy for the downtrodden”.
We are honoured that ‘Dysconnected’ is being associated with George Ryga in this way.

This excerpt from ‘In the Face of the Status Quo’ by Ken Smedley, a friend of Ryga’s:
“It’s time to re-evaluate the theatre of Ryga, just as we’ve been re-evaluating our values vis-a-vis the forces of globalization and technology and their dehumanizing effect, which inevitably impacts our sense of identity. It’s imperative that we do so before we become any further detached from who we are, who we might have been, and who we might still be, in exchange for becoming further co-opted by the faceless drummers and relegated to the no-man’s land of the virtual insignificant other.”