THE ISLAND
SYNDROME

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Young Girls and
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Part I:
Understanding the
Island Syndrome

Part II:
Biology and
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THE ISLAND SYNDROME

A Link Between Biology and Technology


Understanding the Biology

So far, I have described two very different types of excessive behavior dependent on modern technology: text messaging and using pornography. I chose these two because they are interesting and provocative but, in fact, there are many other activities, mediated by technology, that lend themselves to excess: email, instant messaging, online gambling, video games, online games, buying psychoactive drugs, shopping, listening to music, using the Web ("surfing"), participating in virtual worlds, and so on.

To this list, I would like to add a variety of substances and behaviors that don't necessarily involve technology but are related in an important way (which will become clear in a moment): alcohol, junk food, eating too much, caffeine, cigarettes, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, sex, and so on.

All of these behaviors and substances act upon the human brain in a similar fashion.

You will have noticed that most of the items in our list are not inherently bad. Indeed, some of these activities (eating, sex, music, shopping, email, and using the Web) are a normal part of life. Others (alcohol and caffeine) can be fine in moderation. A few (cigarettes, cocaine, and amphetamines) are best avoided completely. What they all have in common is the potential of being used to excess. Why? Because all of these behaviors and substances act upon the human brain in a similar fashion.

Specifically, everything I have just mentioned stimulates the "pleasure center" of the brain, thereby making a person feel good. Once you understand how this works, it will be easy to describe the link between biology and technology, so let's take a few moments to talk about biology.



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THE ISLAND

A Link Between


Part I —  UNDERSTANDING THE
ISLAND SYNDROME
The Island Syndrome
1. What Is the Island Syndrome?
2. What's in the News?
3. Difficult Questions
4. Why the Nature of Communication...
5. No Man Is an Island
6. Putting a Name to the Malaise
7. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
Living in the Bubble
8. What's in the News?
9. The Three Mandatory Machines
10. Life in the Bubble
11. Why We Keep On Keeping On
12. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
The Importance of the Brain's Biochemical Environment
13. What's in the News?
14. The Story of Dave
15. Importance of Neurotransmitters
16. The Stuff of Moods, Feelings and...
17. What Does Dave Need?
18. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
Part II —  A LINK BETWEEN BIOLOGY
AND TECHNOLOGY
19. Introduction to Part II
20. The Island Syndrome
21. Excessive Text Messaging
22. Excessive Pornography Use
23. Understanding the Biology
24. Hormones and Neurotransmitters
25. The Pleasure Center
26. Too Much, Too Fast: Craving and...
27. The Female and Male Brains
28. Biology of Excessive Text Messaging
29. Biology of Excessive Pornography...
30. Conclusion: The Island Syndrome...
31. References