The Corliss Group

The morning's topic glowed on a big screen: "Social Media Burn-out." Strange, but the 70 hash-tag junkies who attended the August breakfast for Kansas City's Social Media Club appeared mostly fit and happy. Joking, checking their phones, tweeting here and there, munching fruit and whole-grain bagels.

They didn't look sick.

Yet consider the terminology many therapists and researchers use to describe our tight embrace of new technologies: Internet addiction. Or IA, for short. Mental health experts debate the breadth and meaning of the term - if such a malady even exists.

Some contend that excessive computer time leads to insufficient outdoor time, or "nature deficit disorder." The worst sufferers, perhaps, could benefit from digital detox, a getaway from the gadgets that can hook us.

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