Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teens and Brain Games

Are Brain Games Addictive or Healthy?
Today, technology is being used not just for work, but for entertainment purposes as well. People not only surf the net and do other things online to while away their time, most of them also play games with virtual strangers (friends?) too. Most of these games are so addictive that people end up playing them all day long. You may ask, if the games are mentally stimulating and improve your coordination and response time, why are they considered detrimental? If something is good for you, why should it not be addictive? Are all addictions unhealthy?

Now I’m not addicted to Facebook by any length; what I am addicted to is the game of Scrabble that you can play with other online gamers. To me, it’s not a waste of time if I spend a few hours a day playing this word game, simply because I’m using my brains and playing with letters, something that is right up my alley because of the nature of my job. Even so, there are others who would consider my addiction unhealthy, simply because they feel that I could be more productive at work if I did not waste so much time on Scrabble. It may help sharpen my mind no doubt, but the addiction is also taking me away from my job and lowering my efficiency and dedication to my job.

Therefore, if we’re analyzing whether brain games are healthy or addictive, we must draw a line that demarcates the boundary between the point where it’s healthy and the instant that it crosses over to becoming an addiction. Remember, an addiction is something you have no control over, and even if it’s a good thing, when you cannot control it, it stands to reason that it controls you.

Look how addictive technology has become today – we can see how children, teens and adults are becoming addicted to Facebook and other social networking sites. It’s true that we spend more time in our virtual space than in the real world; we interact more with people who are online than with people who we can see and touch; and we’re so addicted to technology that it’s impossible to imagine our world without it today. But if we look at technology through different eyes, we see that it is highly advantageous too – information is available in an instant, we’re able to keep in touch with loved ones who live afar, and we’re able to boost our knowledge and widen our experiences even if we’re constrained by location and other factors.

So how then do we classify technology? Is it healthy or addictive? Again, it’s the crossover from healthy to addictive that we must be aware of and enforce self restraint. It’s the same with brain games too – no doubt they’re good for you, but when they cross that line and start to become addictive, they’re more detrimental than advantageous.

This guest post is contributed by Patricia Duggan, who has completed her Bachelors in Psychology and now pursuing her Masters of Science in Psychology.  She is the co-founder of the website and she like to write on the topic of Psychology Degree . She welcomes your comments and suggestions at her email id: patricia.duggan70<@>gmail<.>com.