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

Social media addiction increases the risk of ADHD

Nonstop notifications from social media websited cause young people to have problems to concentrate for long periods of time, researchers said.

“More frequent use of digital media may be associated with development of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms,” said Professor of Preventative Medicine, Adam Leventhal of University of Southern California, in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Further research is needed to see whether the association is caused by social media alone but scientists suggested that the distraction and instant gratification  could aggravate the disorder.

The scientists asked 2,800 15 and 16-year-olds at 10 different schools in Los Angeles County to fill out surveys about ADHD symptoms and their social media use.

The ADHD survey asked students to evaluate whether they related to statements like “I’m easily distracted” or “I don’t listen when spoken to directly.”

The students also filled out a questionnaire ranking how often they used 14 different types of digital media, including social media sites, online games and streaming films. Students who already had ADHD symptoms were eliminated from the study. The remaining 2,600 students retook the same surveys several times over the next two years.The 495 teens who reported infrequent use of digital media had a 4.6 per cent chance of reporting ADHD symptoms. That figure almost doubled to 9.5 per cent for the 114 students who reported using seven of the 14 digital media platforms frequently.

 

Your Happiness Was Hacked: Why Tech Is Winning the Battle to Control Your Brain--and How to Fight Back

For all its significant benefits, experts explain that technology has been instrumental in eroding security, privacy, and community. Researchers Vivek Wadhwa and Alex Salkever argue that the truth is even more dangerous: technology is actively robbing us of our happiness by making us addicted to it. Tech companies use all the weapons: tracking bots, GPS coordinates and algorithms that determine the optimal ways to distract us and even secret coding that defeats government monitoring and supervision. Vivek and Salkever also provide us with insights and techniques to fight back. They focus on four key areas: Love, Work, Self and Society. In each case they show how the promise of technology has mutated into addiction and despair and they present strategies to take back control by understanding the addictive mechanisms behind it.