Man in Treatment for Google Glass Addiction
A man was admitted to the U.S. Navy SARP program after wearing Google Glasses for 18 hours a day. One symptom was temple tapping after the device was removed.By Jim O'Reilly Google Glass, essentially a personal heads-up display in a lightweight headset, has been in use for around 18 months. Experimental work to use it during surgery and other uses has made this a well-followed item to even the nontechnical public, but the very visible head-band and the tapping method to activate the unit have created reactions among the general population that range from fear and violence to derision. Now, the publication Addictive Behaviors is reporting on what they believe is the first known case of Google Glass addiction. The article reports that a 31-year-old man exhibited "problematic use of Google Glass" and that he underwent residential treatment at the Navy's Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation Program (SARP) for alcohol problems. While in treatment, the patient was frustrated at not being able to use his Google Glass unit, which, as is customary, was taken away with other electronics items at the start of treatment. The patient wore the Glass unit all his waking hours, taking it off only to sleep or shower According to Addictive Behaviors, he demonstrated a "notable, nearly involuntary movement of the right hand to his temple area and tapping it with his forefinger. He reported that if he had been prevented from wearing the device at work, he would become extremely irritable and argumentative."
He had a 35-day treatment, which resulted in a reduction in the temple tapping and his irritability. However, the report conclusions note, "He continued to intermittently experience dreams as if looking through the device." This was described as the "Tetris Effect," whereby gamers would see shapes in their dreams. The patient's problem with the involuntary tapping of his temple may be part of his diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The article noted the patient's employer let him use Google Glasses at work to access data quickly, so this may also qualify as the first work-related problem with the technology.