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Hot Topic Tuesday: Do You Need to Unplug?

Is she laughing because of someone's witty Tweet? (Photo by Laura Doss)


Could you go a week without the internet and tech gadgets? That's right, no laptop, Kindle, iPad, iPhone or even your Garmin. This woman did, and we're part jealous, part amazed. To be honest, you might have to shuttle us to an empty mountain cabin and lock it to stop us from going online. But a recent decision to include Internet Addiction in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) is making us think twice before we log on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Gchat. According to the American Psychiatric Association, signs for Internet Addiction would include "withdrawal symptoms when Internet is taken away; unsuccessful attempts to control Internet gaming use; has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of Internet gaming use." While we may need to cut back on browsing through those Instagram photos (your food shots are making us hungry!), we think we've still got a handle on our real life relationships and tasks that don't require smartphones that a full-on internet cleanse is not quite necessary. Though we'll have to start checking our inbox less frequently: New research found that taking email vacations decrease stress and increase productivity. What about you? Do you need to cut back on your Web use?