The morning's topic glowed on a big screen: "Social Media Burn-out." Strange, but the 70 hash-tag junkies who attended the August breakfast for Kansas City's Social Media Club appeared mostly fit and happy. Joking, checking their phones, tweeting here and there, munching fruit and whole-grain bagels.
They didn't look sick.
Yet consider the terminology many therapists and researchers use to describe our tight embrace of new technologies: Internet addiction. Or IA, for short. Mental health experts debate the breadth and meaning of the term - if such a malady even exists.
Some contend that excessive computer time leads to insufficient outdoor time, or "nature deficit disorder." The worst sufferers, perhaps, could benefit from digital detox, a getaway from the gadgets that can hook us.
The American Psychiatric Association recently recommended further research into a condition it labeled Internet Gaming Disorder. In the latest version of the APA's diagnostic manual released in May, the group pointed to warning signs in Asia, where too much gaming has landed kids in hospitals.
Can online, all the time, really make you ill?
Try Googling "cyberpsychology." The verdict is split.
One speaker at the burnout breakfast - Brooke Beason, who specializes in social media for an ad agency - recalled the withdrawal symptoms she experienced when giving up Facebook for Lent.
For "40 days and 40 nights," Beason said, she fought the impul...