Hooked, an exhibition about addiction at Science Gallery in London

The new Science Gallery London at King’s College’s Guy’s campus opened its doors the 21th of September with Hooked, a multidisciplinary exhibit examining issues of addiction and recovery. Hooked analyses addiction as a fundamental risk of being a modern human and the addictive nature of new technology and social media. Leading voices on the science of addiction from King’s College London, including researchers from the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (IoPPN), are featured into video installations, interactive artworks and immersive experiences. Visitors are asked to challenge the stigmas associated with addiction, consider addiction as a health issue and explore the different roads leading to recovery.    

Developed in association with people who have a lived experience of addiction, Hooked features established and up-and-coming artists and photographers from across the globe, including Rachel Maclean’s Feed Me, photographs from Olivia Locher’s Another Day on Earth series, Richard Billingham’s Tony Smoking Backwards, PlayStation and Jason Chopping, Melanie Manchot’s Twelve and Joachim Koester’s The Hashish Club.

“Addiction and recovery is a pressing issue that affects us all,” said Head of Programming Jen Wong “HOOKED explores this in an inclusive and socially engaged way, by weaving insights from art and science into a season that invites visitors to connect with provocative new ideas and consider their own attitudes towards addiction and addictive behaviors.”

“Hooked explores the issue of addiction in an engaging way, by weaving insights from art and science into a season that invites visitors to connect with provocative new ideas and consider their own attitudes towards addiction and addictive behaviors.”

HOOKED will run at the Science Gallery London from September 21 to January 6, 2019. For more information, visit london.sciencegallery.com

Join Scroll Free September

Scroll Free September is an initiative being run by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and being backed by the NHS . The Royal Society For Public Health , which is leading the campaign, expects tens of thousands of people from 56 different nations to quit the most popular social media apps for the month. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube will be off limits to all who are joining the month long digital detox.

The charity points to growing evidence of the negative impacts of social media in young people. Research from 2017 that inspired the campaign shows that anxiety and depression, negative body image, cyberbullying, poor sleep and FOMO (fear of missing out) are all affecting young people online.

There are five levels of challenge – Cold Turkey, Social Butterfly, Night Owl, Busy Bee and Sleeping Dog.

Cold Turkey is complete break from all social media for 30 days but if that is too much then you can choose Night Owl and take a break after 6pm.

Taking a break from social media at social events and actually taking to your friends is the challenge set by the Social Butterfly Level.

The Sleeping Dog means avoiding to check your social media accounts last thing before you go to bed and first thing in the morning.

Finally, the Bust Bee level is aimed at improving your productivity by logging off social media while in school or work.

A decade of digital dependency

The average person in the UK spends more than a day a week online, according to “A decade of digital dependency”,
a new report released by Ofcom, the communications regulator in the UK.

According to the report, people in the UK spend on average online  24 hours a week, twice as long as 10 years ago, with one in five of all adults spending as much as 40 hours a week.

This is the result of the rise in use by those aged 16 to 24, who average 34.3 hours a week on the internet. For the first time, women are spending more time online than men. They spend half an hour a week longer online than men of the same age.

Ofcom associates the surge in time online to the rise of smartphones, now used by 78 percent of the population compared with just 17 percent in 2008, when the first iPhone was launched.

Fifteen percent said smartphones made them feel they were always at work, 54 percent admitted they interrupted face-to-face conversations with friends and family and 43 percent admitted spending too much time online.

More than a third felt stressed and “cut off” without their phone and 29 percent “lost without it”  and one in 10 said taking a break from their phone was “liberating” or made them more productive.


Reactions to be unable to connect to the Internet

(graphics: ofcom.org.uk)

Almost half of adults said they would miss it more than TV (28 percent) and a desktop or laptop computer (10 percent), the opposite of ten years ago, when 52 percent said the TV was more important than the mobile phone (13 percent). Among 16 to 24-year-olds, 72 percent now say the smartphone is the device they would miss most.