IT addiction a reality

September 10, 2013 by Henry Benjamin
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Well-known TV personality Steve Liebmann will moderate a panel discussion in Sydney dealing with the addictive effects of social media and the Internet.

The Q&A on IT addiction is an initiative of the Wolper Jewish Hospital


Steve Liebmann

Steve Liebmann

Liebmann agreed that we live in unusual times when diners will sit around a host’s table staring into their handhelds waiting for a and argument which they believe can be settled with a Google search. He said: “It’s extraordinary. They believe of ot is written in Google then it must be true. Byt the truth of the matter is that Google may proffer many varied answers to the same question. When I was younger one didn’t have the advantage, or maybe the disadvantage of all today’s IT tools.”

He added” I’m 69. It’s very disconcerting how my children’s generation seems to always have their phones in their hands checking their emails and Twitter etc. Maybe more people should leave their phones out of reach when they are in a social environment. Personally, I am very accepting of today’s technology and frankly would be lost without it it. But I use it mostly in its commercial capacity. But I do find it aggravating when people are on their phones at a dinner party and I feel inclined to say ‘turn the bloody thing off and put it away'”.

J-Wire mentioned that the panel included an expert in cyberpsychology. Liebmann responded: “I didn’t realise there were so many contemporary experts around who are in a position to discuss this current phenomenon.”

He added: “I will be curious to see the demographic of those who come to attend the discussion because I think some people consider it to be the problem of the generation behind me. I don’t think that’s right. First of all you have to define what is IT addiction and when that’s done I think you will find it’s a problem across all age groups.”

Liebmann said that he has a grandchild of only five “who probably knows more about computers, laptops, tablets than I do and my next door neighbour has a two-year-old who is already using an iPhone to play games.”

Liebmann referred to elderly people leading a solitary life for whom “their computer becomes their companion…their ticket to a wider, broader world”.

According to Steve Liebmann, today’s technology has its upside and downside. Although he found laughable the habits of some people to post the minutiae of their lives on Facebook, he said that his brother-in-law overseas had told him that someone Liebmann did not know was going to call him. “I used Google and found out a lot about the person who was going to call me…that’s a plus…and he will have done the same thing about me”.

He agreed that an hour’s work on the net could equate to three days’ work for a TV research team twenty years ago.

Even though I am out of the news media business now, I do use Twitter a lot. I don’t think you can afford not to if you want to know what’s going on. I am still a journo at heart and I find that stories are breaking first in Twitter.”

Liebmann said that today’s younger generation expect to get their news when they want it…nit when the networks decide they are going to broadcast it. Enter the net…I wonder where it’s all heading. But we do have 24 hour news services on TV.”

He finished off by saying: “It will be an interesting night as I cannot work out why so many people appear to be addicted to inane topics on their Facebooks….”

Wolper Hospital’s Q&A “Investigating the Effects of Social Media and IT Addiction on Mental Health” will be held at Cinema 8 at Westfield Bondi Junction on Wednesday September 11 at 7:30pm

Steve Liebmann will moderate a panel including:

Dr Andrew Campbell…a psychologist specialising in cyber psychology

Melissa Sevil…an Internet specialist with the Australian Federal Police

Yvette Vignando…publisher of

Gary Case…Director of Learning at Emanuel School






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