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By Joel Klebanoff

A Bit Addicted

A sinister disease is quietly, with shockingly little media attention, ravaging humanity. Among the affected, its progression may be either slow or rapid, but it is generally inexorable. The consequences are dire. Victims retreat into themselves, eventually blocking all personal contact with others. They then build high, impenetrable walls between themselves and reality.

Unlike other ailments, which often inflict more pain and hardship on the poor than the rich, this one is limited primarily to the affluent, a consequence of some of their material pursuits.

The disease is treatable, although likely not curable. Unfortunately, because this scourge overtakes its victims so stealthily and insidiously, many of them are not aware until it is too late that they have become infected. Even when its symptoms are obvious to all around them, its sufferers often will not admit they have a problem.

I am, of course, talking about technology addiction. As a public service, here are some of the warning signs indicating that you may be hopelessly addicted to your technologies:

If you value your health and sanity, be ever vigilant for the presence of these warning signs. If you recognize one in yourself, take immediate action. Turn off your computer. Hand your cell phone, pager, and messaging device to a trusted friend with the request that they not give them back to you for at least two hours, no matter how hard you beg, not even if you resort to violence. Then go for a walk in a park. Try to find one that doesn't have a WiFi hotspot because you wouldn't want to accidentally run into any codependent enablers.

This article originally appeared as part of a weekly series of "Tech Tirades" in MC TNT from MC Press Online. The first year's worth of Tech Tirades does not appear here. Instead, you can find them in BYTE-ing Satire.

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