Digital Media Addiction

A Modern Phenomenon Through the Lens of the Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society

Articles and Videos

Birmingham News

An article summarizing the adverse effects of digital media addiction was published in the Birmingham News on August 28, 2019.

A digital version appeared earlier, on August 19, 2019, on View the digital version here.

Tuscaloosa News

Dr. Larry Clayton, a retired history professor from the University of Alabama, writes an op-ed on digital media use in college students in the Tuscaloosa News.

The work of the CSTS on digital media addiction is directly mentioned in the article.

Click on the image to open the article in a new tab.

WVUA 23 Health Matters

The CSTS had the opportunity to record a short news segment with WVUA 23 in February of 2018. Sourced directly from the WVUA 23 website:

By WVUA 23 Web Writer Annie Milbourn

In this day and age, technology is constantly evolving, but new studies show it could be physically harming us. Dr. Rick Streiffer sits down with Dr. Alan Blum, a family physician at the University Medical Center, about the addiction we’re seeing to phones, devices and computer screens.

Streiffer notes that the creation of the smart phone and computers has been a remarkable addition to our society with all the benefits it has brought. But as he looks around, he realizes people are addicted, and they are ignoring other people because of it.

There is recent increasing evidence showing that harm is coming from this phenomenon. Dr. Alan Blum said he has seen the medical effects of “text neck,” a spinal curvature that lasts the more you text.

Blum said this is something you do simply by walking down the street and staring at your screen. He believes it’s going to have permanent effects that leads into something called computer vision syndrome.This potential eye strain, headaches and neck strain is due to staring into a screen all day.

“We’re clearly not going to be getting rid of our cellphones,” Blum said. “We’ve become dependent on them and they bring benefit, but we need to be aware of the downside, we need to think about how to balance. Balance is perhaps the key in this particular area.”

The original article can be found here.

Active Minds

In 2018, the University of Alabama’s chapter of Active Minds, a mental health awareness organization, partnered with Tom Gruchala to share handouts about digital media addiction to students.

Webpage built as part of a research project between the CSTS and the RRSP.

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