Excessive Email and Texting a Sign of Mental Illness

Social networking draws tin foil hatsOkay, as a forum administrator, my initial response was to say “Well, gee, of course it is…” but then I realized that not everyone else might recognize this. News.com.au is reporting that an article in the current American Journal of Psychiatry “has found addiction to text messaging and emailing could be another form of mental illness.”

Any of us who have suffered the slings and arrows of an online community malcontent know what it’s like. You get email after email arguing points that make no difference to you. You have told the clown to knock off his rants or go away, and he immediately turns his flame throwers on you. Eventually, you stick his head on a pike (ban him) and get on with you life. Only to find he’s still emailing you his diatribes. You finally put him into your ignore filter.

Honestly, to my mind this thing doesn’t sound like a new disease, it sounds like Aspergers Syndrome, a mild form of autism that manifests in an inability to behave normally in social settings, aggressiveness/irritability, obsession/compulsion as well as an adherence to non-functional ritualistic behavior.

It stands to reason that any form of mental illness that might affect social interaction would almost by definition affect participation in online social networking/social media. After all, it’s merely an extension, right?

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