Is the Internet making us crazy?
July 9th, 2012
04:00 PM ET

Is the Internet making us crazy?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Put down that iPhone or BlackBerry. Look up from your computer screen or video game and stop texting, e-mailing and chatting online. It turns out the Internet could be driving us crazy.

Newsweek magazine has a fascinating report on a growing body of worldwide research that shows just how much this technology might be damaging us.

Researchers find that the Internet might be making us more depressed, anxious, stressed, suicidal and prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders. The brains of Internet addicts even look like those of drug and alcohol addicts.

The statistics are staggering: Americans spend at least eight hours a day staring at a screen. That's more time than we spend doing anything else, including sleeping.

Teens fit seven hours of screen time into the average school day. It goes to 11 hours if you include the time they're multitasking on several devices. And more than one-third of smartphone users get online before they get out of bed.

Meanwhile, the average person sends or receives about 400 text messages a month. For teens, that number jumps to 3,700.

Time online often replaces sleep, exercise and face-to-face contact with real, live people.
These are just some of the reasons why China, Taiwan and South Korea have started treating problematic Internet use like a national health crisis.

It's no wonder experts are alarmed as they describe the computer as "electronic cocaine" that fuels cycles of mania followed by depression, and they say the Internet "encourages – and even promotes - insanity."

Here’s my question to you: Is the Internet making us crazy?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

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Filed under: Internet
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Richard Texas

    I wouldn't say crazy just ill informed because of all the rubbish and lies. The trouble with the internet is anyone can post to it without recourse for false information and there are no internet police. I can not tell you how many times I have already supposedly won the Nigerian lottery or all of the dead uncles I never had are trying to send me millions from the grave. The internet is one scam or con after another and has become the greatest lie on the planet.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Mel - Houston

    If by "crazy" you mean frustrated, yes. The reason by definition is that the internet is a patchwork of subsystems with no clear central controlling system.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  3. Ray in Knoxville

    No, Jack, we were already crazy, the internet simply allows more people to recognize the fact.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  4. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Yes, it is making us crazy! People instead of going out and getting a job mostly just sit at home now and watch Youtube and post on Facebook and Twitter all day long. Its making us all stir crazy!

    July 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Virginia - Atlanta

    It is addictive. Too much information and much of it is incorrect. News people try to vet what goes out under their names, (with the exception of FOX and a few like them.) On the internet, anyone can say whatever and hide his/her identity. It is mind numbing and dangerous.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  6. jk in MN

    I'm not sure the internet is doing it – I'd say the cable news channels are, Jack.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  7. David, in hot and sunny Tampa

    I would try to answer this question Jack but I can't seem to string together enough coherent sentences to express my thoughts and feelings...!!!??? They're coming to take me away.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  8. Gary H. Boyd

    I don't think so Jack. But it's certainly a faster way to communicate on a grand scale than ever before. As with any new device, there's always a fringe element among us that can get a little goofy over something and those are the ones you're probably referring to. But, beyond putting newspapers and magazines, libraries and bookstores, map makers and land line telephones on the road to oblivion, it's part of the future.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    July 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  9. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No, but the people that drive and text drive me crazy. How many more people in our country will have to die before we do something about this issue. Glad you're back Jack.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  10. jen seattle wa

    depends on how you use the technology,Jack.Unfortunately , there is a lot of Trolls in this world who drive others crazy with their wicked abuses of technology..I think what drives people more crazy is not understanding how to use the technology.If u.s. could get around all the curmudgeons who dont think we need this to survive , maybe the u.s. will start allowing ther people the education to compete .The last thing we need is wall st and 2 party monopoly helping 3rd world countries take jobs cuz they work cheaper , and are allowed to study and arent forced to work to prove value to community in helping pay bills wallst continue to repress citizens with

    July 9, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  11. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Anything will make you crazy if you leave it make you crazy. I love the Internet because I can do my own research and find out about candidates that the news media fails to report on. One thing I found out is Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts covers abortions and Obama's health care plan doesn't. But I have yet to hear anything from any news outlet about this.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  12. Al

    Hi Jack,

    I haven't been censored by you and your staff in a while. Responding to your well thought out questions makes me crazy.


    July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Pete in Georgia

    The internet is like a Vice.................some risk, some benefit and pleasure.
    We just have to decide if the risk is worth the benefit and pleasure.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  14. Gary in San Jose, California

    Yes because people just don't know how to turn it off. I'm still amazed when I go hunting and fishing with my sons and they give us a Wi-Fi access code when we check into the camp grounds. I miss the simple days when mom would turn off the TV and kick us out of the house to play.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Dave - Phx

    It must be making us crazy. People are so informed with misinformation that they still think Republican politicians care about anything other than their pocketbooks.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  16. NurseLisa in CT

    I think it has contributed in at least two ways – first the speed of our processors and transactions keeps being enhanced and it has made us go nuts to wait for anything – slow computers, slow drivers, someone taking too long in line at the supermarket, etc ;and secondly because there is no way to be 100% sure what you're reading is true or untrue propaganda. One can find websites calling our president a Kenyan muslim usurper whose family perpetrated an amazing hoax 40 years before their son was successful at running for president and other websites that completely disprove all these fallacious claims – with about half of Americans' beliefs leaning toward each side of those issues. Adding in the summer heat, we can expect a lot of acting out although most Americans would probably say "can we all please just get along?" It is nice to be able to blame the internet for our bad behavior.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  17. Brad, Portland, OR

    I think the Internet just lets crazy people find one another and lets them reinforce each other's dysfunctions.

    I don't think it turns previously-sane people insane.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  18. calaurore9

    I don't know, Jack. My alter is telling me yes, but my imaginary friend says no.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    July 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  19. Paul Austin Texas

    Without it one seems to be able to do so little. As for making us crazy I think we all have been there for a while already.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  20. Peg in NY

    YES! We all need to step away from technology, get outside, engage with real people and live!

    July 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  21. EdfromMd

    Yes, and I can hear Al Gore laughing in my brain as his plan comes into fruition.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  22. Doug Ericson

    The internet has allowed the Human Race to enter a whole new era. I can chat with someone from Turkey, or Moscow even, for free. I went on a Moscow, Occupystreams Site Chat Room once, and asked them what their secret plan was, and they asked me who I was. I wrote back, Bond. James Bond. They got a kick out of that, you could see them laughing. The internet is fun. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  23. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Indeed, stupider, and insaner.

    July 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
  24. Gigi Oregon

    I do find after reading today's topic, that I have OCD. I can't wait to get my house work, shopping etc. done before rushing to see what strange topic Jack will tickle my brain with today. I don't know if I'm crazy yet... but I do a lot of research and reading that has replaced my love for old movies.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:05 pm |
  25. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    If it wasn't for the fact that the internet gives voice to people who would otherwise be silenced by authority, I would agree with most of what you state. That is why you, and your site, are so valuable to millions of citizens like myself.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  26. Thomas Herzel, Vienna, Austria

    Yes, indeed, it has become so fast and easy to spread around nonsense, stupidity, rumours and conspiracy-theories. Everyone is parting, posting it on facebook and believing. Now, when I go out in bars drinking quietly my beer, I meet people and they tell me all this nonsense, those stupid conspiracy-theories like 9/11 that they read somewhere on the internet. So it´s better not to go out anymore and drink with real people. You could get paranoid...

    July 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  27. Kimmy, Salisbury NC

    The computer, the internet a tool to make our life easier has quickly become an addiction!

    July 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  28. Jennifer M in Winnipeg

    I was crazy long before the internet Jack. In fact in my retiring years I find the internet acts like a soother to me. LOL

    July 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  29. Bob in Ohio

    Not communicating with anyone is also seen as abnormal behavior. So whether I email or tweet Jack a response or not, I'll still be considered crazy. I think I'm in good company.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  30. Sandstone

    "Not me. I only use this one system (Desk-Top), don't have a mobile anymore, and anything else would be useless to me. I have everything I need right here, don't watch Tv either. When I'm not using this I use another and do some writing. I even get to listen to you, Jack!"

    July 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
  31. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Hey Jack there is an old saying about computers that is still applicable today and that is "Trash in Trash Out". The Internet is only what we make it.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  32. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    With all this damage caused by the internet people are going to prosecute it's creators. Al Gore will have the perfect defense..."innocent by reason of insanity"!

    July 9, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
  33. chris

    no it is not it is helpful for us and after all if we all had to mail our responses to you it would take 3 to 5 days dependign on how far the person responding to your question lives

    July 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  34. manning

    The brains of Internet addicts are children at age 2 or 3 are already being bombard by all kinds of electrical toys computers, then 5 or 6 they are already Tech in to one another which consume them and you see their parents and they are tech in and they are consume by internet too. They do not speak to each other, they are all on the cell phone on even while they eat together.Then we wonder how they became internet addicts.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  35. andy in Gaithersburg

    the Internet has only made us more crazy...

    July 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  36. curtis in philadelphia

    You tell Jack, before the internet I never answered questions posed by a talking head on TV, but for the past seven years I've been answering these questions almost everyday, religiously, and since I'm at work when you read the answers to your questions, I have no idea if you really exist.... Short answer: yes.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  37. Boomer in Mo

    It makes us crazy, less informed and mean. There is too much incorrect information and out and out lies on the internet. And the "be afraid of everything and send us money crowd" keeps the masses whipped up into a lather.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  38. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! The internet is a train wreck in progress and has been since it was opened to the public. With the obsessiveness we devote to it, viruses, worms, Trojans, SPAM and all manner of malware, not to mention the US government and the NSA having a direct line to all our online activities, the only reason we aren’t all on the farm is because our collective “insanity” is so common now, that it is the “norm,” hence not insane only by definition.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  39. John from Alabama

    Jack: The internet is a wonderful way to communicate, but there are the disadvantages with the internet. One, it takes up to much of our time; two, to many people use shortened words and symbols to communicate, which hurts the use of the English or American language, and three, we are addicted to the internet like we are to our cell phones. One, all internet should have spell check which can not be disabled; two. we need to set limits on our use of the internet, and three, do not allow the internet to replace human intetaction. Glad your back, Jack.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  40. calvin

    no the people on due. you can say anything and if they belive you they will spread it around. check the fact before you agreed. but do not listen to CNN MSNBC NBC CBS they bend everything to make you believe there way. like the case in fla. now on the murder of a young boy.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  41. Cee.La

    One would think that it would allow people to become more enlightened on the issues of the day, but no, so many people will go to the most bizarre, spooky sites and post what they read, as fact.......so in that respect its driving us crazy.....

    July 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  42. Leo Fish

    TV was making us crazy and now it's the Internet + TV. They are both screens

    July 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  43. DC

    It's not causing insanity...it's just exposing it.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  44. Jamie Helton

    There is no way that the internet makes us crazy. PURPLE! After all, it's part of our daily lives now GET OFF MY FACE and we're used to its effects. STOP WATCHING ME! MOSQUITOES!!!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  45. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jack, you must be crazy to ask a crazy question like that. Of course the internet is making us crazy and you should know better than anyone based upon some of the crazy responses you get.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  46. T. Muhammad

    Jack, you can't make people that are already crazy, crazy.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  47. Andrew

    Seems ironic that you're asking us to go on line to comment about an anti-online story

    July 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  48. Tim from Tx

    I guess you would know better then anybody Jack...your whole career is framed around the web...so u tell me

    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  49. John Hawkins

    Crazy? The internet makes us crazy, really? I had no idea, I've been too busy browsing and brushing away those goblins that come from the taskbar.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  50. Vance, Savannah, Georgia

    The internet is not driving us crazy–politicians and Congress are!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  51. Michael Stout

    Do guns kill people? Does drinking cause accidents? The internet isn't driving people crazy. People are driving themselves crazy. There are good ways to use the technology, and dumb ways. It all comes down to people. It always has and it always will.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  52. Jan Quinn

    Ironic that I'm posting here in response to your TV request about Internet addictions?? I can't reach my children, ages 18 and 27, except through texting. My sig other (age 62) just got an I Phone and I can't any longer get his attention. It seems like games and apps have become more important. It is no different than drugs or alcohol addictions, I believe.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  53. henry W.

    Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! And I am crazy as a result because I'm addicted to my iPhone.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  54. R of ELPTX

    i am going "crzy" "tweety" "facing" figuring out how to answer the question...!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  55. Kathy

    No, the Internet is not making us crazy, but Congress is.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  56. Jeremy

    How ironic to ask us to go to Facebook or your blog to answer such a question. Could this be the new definition of insanity?

    July 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  57. Josh

    Your report ask if the Internet is making us crazy and yet you ask us to go on the Internet and leave a comment on your blog kind Of redundant don't you think? Truth of the matter is we need the Internet, it has truly revolutionized the way we live. It is what it is but we shouldn't blame the Internet for what we have control of.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  58. ken hartel

    Well, that explains my x wife.........

    July 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  59. Gary from Miami

    I didn't think so until now. This explains all the craziness of the political situation we find ourselves subjected to. Take away all devices except land-based phone lines from politicians and their staff, that would be a good start.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  60. Larry in Houston

    Is the Internet making us crazy?
    First of all, welcome back, Jack – I don'tblame you for taking a long needed vacation, and Just think, in 3.5 years from now, you will be working 3 days a week, instead of 4.
    To the answer to your question – It really doesn't make me crazy – I use it for my personal e-mail, use it for part of my Business, and use it for looking things up, that I used to go to the local library, or if there was something that I needed to know facts for – 50 years ago I had to go to either world book, brittanica, or colliers. So – NO it's Not making Me crazy. I'm typically on line for a cpl hrs a day, and my phone is a regular 'ol flip open cell, without all the gadgets.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  61. RickFromDetroit

    We may be spending more time online, but we spend less time researching subjects in libraries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, magazines, newspapers, etc. Everything is now organized in one place.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  62. Lewis in Toronto

    Social media sites are a breeding ground for a multitude of personality disorders. Spend just a few minutes on Facebook and you'll be hard pressed not to notice the pictures of budding narcissists, borderlines and sociopaths. Scary to think what society will look like a few years down the road.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  63. dahoov

    YES! My son spends 16 hours a day on it! He lost his job because he got caught chatting on the internet. He is depressive and suicidal.... he even met a stranger on the internet that he went to go live with and that was a HUGE bad scene! He thought they were really his "friend" because they chatted for three years. But face to face is so much different. He's been playing an online game since 16 years old he's addicted to. It NEVER ends! He's sunk cash into the game and gone without food to pay for it. He is 29 now and believes if he loses this game, his life is over. When the power went out, he spend the entire day depressed and in bed! This is addiction to the extreme. YET... the psychiatrist he saw didn't listen to me about this problem and said that it's other factors making him manic/bi-polar. I say it's the INTERNET!!!!! He needs diet, exercise, sunlight and people to talk to! REAL LIVE face to face people!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  64. Guy-Hawaii

    Aloha Jack,
    Making our society crazy? We've been crazy for a long long time! The Internet just puts it right in our face. If you'd like to read more about my thoughts about this go to my blog, follow me on Twitter, visit my web page, like me on facebook, or text me over a cup of coffee!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  65. Lou

    Absolutely, if not US, it is making me crazy. I am on U-Tube and Facebook. I am spending too much time on the interent, the internet invites too many difference of opinions, and it gets ugly, in my opinion life is difficult enough and just like when you go out for a drive and have to deal with motorists, when you get on the interent you have to deal with ego's and opinions and people are just right nuts anymore.It gets to the point they even check your grammarbut yet write LOL instead of the Laughing out loud. It seems I am always clashing with someone or something and it is annoying. And it is a situation i bring on myself when I sign on. It's a cruel world, why bring it into your home?

    July 9, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  66. William Grimm

    I find it interesting that a story is being reported then the people reporting it as people to go online to give their opinion about it. The problem with the internet is that it feeds America's addiction of self importance. People aren't addicted to the internet itself; they are addicted to the feeling of happiness they get from seeing their thoughts and opinions ( whether from facebook, twitter, or that work email your boss was supposed to read) was important to someone. It is people who want to believe their lief has meaning, the internet preys on these people. And the media feeds them by asking for their opinion. And yes, I understand I am talking about myself in this post; understand that this is my first post, I don't have a twitter, I rarely use facebook, and I don't check my email when I'm off work.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  67. Lili

    Jack, I think this is an international crisis. It is just not about adults but children as little as one are also addicted to the internet crase. If u dont believe me, present a toy or an iphone to an 18 month old baby. You will be surprised what he chooses.....and he will also know the use for it.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  68. Fareed

    There are many who spend endless hours on the Internet and are considered to have normal behavior. Does law school make people crazy? It's a subjective assessment. Internet has caused changes in human beings, that doesn't mean it's driving people nuts. 500 years ago you were "crazy" if you said the earth isn't flat.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  69. Jason (Lebanon, PA)

    Yes! Just ask Greg's List killer!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  70. Mike from Dallas

    Jack, the internet is not making us crazy it is making us crazier. We were already crazy. I think it is information overload that our brains cannot possibly process.. It takes too much time to sort the wheat from the chaff and tell what is fact From fiction. Perhaps we need to go back to the basiics and have a Walter Cronkite type news and they can finish by saying "And that's the way it is".

    July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  71. Renee, Illinois

    Well, I'm happy to say that none of those statistics apply to me, I still watch more tv than I spend time on the internet. But it does kind of make you wish for a worldwide EMP, doesn't it?

    July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  72. John P OBrien

    It might be this simple: Is your life better off from all the "interaction"? I find myself ignoring more and more attempts from people I don't know trying to communicate with me and becoming more in control of my time. Was life all that inferior ten or more years ago? I think not. I think life was of higher quality due, in part, to people talking with people, face to face and working with people, side by side. Please skip the email reply, Jack, and enjoy one more moment without clicking.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  73. Julia

    Jack with all that's going in this "crazy" world the ? is almost not worth answering. I'm surprised @you. Of course it's not crazy, please Jack look around you and really tell us if it's crazy or not.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  74. jeberhardt

    Jack, insanity is not caused by external circumstances but how we choose to deal with them. Now stop imitating Andy Rooney, because if I wanted to hear him I could just watch his old segments on YouTube.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  75. flashtrum

    "The average person sends 400 'text' messages daily'. I doubt that. Most of the ADULTS I know only use text to keep in touch with kids or line up dinner times. This doesn't take up 15 texts per day. Maybe for people who don't have email this is realistic because I am easily receiving and sending probably 1,000 messages per week as part of my job working for a global organization.

    For a people that rarely talk to each other we sure are saying a lot.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  76. Ryan K.

    No kidding. But CNN promotes it all the time. Your website banner ads "Power of CNN on your Windows Phone"....

    July 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  77. Karen, Idaho

    The internet isn't making us crazy–it is making us into rude, nasty, "me-first", anti social Americans. We have lost the ability to communicate face-to face with another human being. Even our politicians communicate with voters with demeaning, nasty ads instead of going door to door with their message. Online we can be unknown and can say anything we want without consequences. I think it is sad that we have come to this.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  78. Doug in Texas

    People DRIVE while on the cell phone and while texting. This pretty much tells me all this techno stuff is addictive since people don't care about their own life.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  79. Rosse Fevver, Charlotte, NC

    as a victim of OCD, I know for a fact that at times, my problem has been augmented by frequent use of the internet. This is proof enough for me. I often will repeat answers to questions posed by a network a preferred number of times, and of course repetitive style behavor where the answer is the same is part of OCD. Need I say more??? The only thing I can add is that I have seen similarly repeated answers by other readers to posed questions by CNN, etc, which proves to me that I am on the right track in my assumption. The internet is definitely a "can-be" malicious invention of our time!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  80. Dave in WA

    Crazy meaning too much time online and not enough spent with people or outside is one problem. Crazness like being misinformed, anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-government, booing the golden rule, being bystanders to a currupt system, etc. are a sign of poor leadership in the media meeting willful ignorance head on.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  81. Donaldo in ATL


    All the internet has done, has been to prove George Carlins point, that people are really stupid. And they make that you know it.....

    July 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  82. MR. D.E.B.T. in Baltimore

    The internet doesn't cause people to go crazy. It's just a medium used by crazy people to seem normal. Just sit back and think about it. If someone is offline and he or she expresses all their thoughts and follows people around, we would consider him or her crazy. But if they do it online; its normal. The internet is just a way for crazy people to extend their reach.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  83. rbf09

    Yes and No and Maybe So..... So now what????... Health care adjustments underway? Detoxing centers for Internet Cocaine addiction?....Kill switch? Internet meters? Is it a disability or an ability to reach out and learn and communicate in new ways..? How many lives have been saved how many healed how many good stories to tell?.. Not too News worthy I guess... Ur right Electronic Cocaine catchier....Better headline...Carry on...CNN....

    July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  84. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    My time on the internet is confined to the comments I make on yur questions and about ten minutes a day checking my E-mail which is mostly junk mail which I delete, time is up Jack

    July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  85. ArtInChicago

    No Jack, we were already crazy. The Internet simply allows us to look at each others lunacy quicker. Now, let me post this on my wall, pin a picture, send 140 character about this, then text all my friends what I just did. Oh Jack, when you get a second, "like" this post, ok?

    July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  86. Desmond

    As I sit on the internet right now anxiously looking for nothing, I do firmly the internet makes us crazy and directly actively detaches people from people. I also believe it dangerously gives people the courage to do, say and act things they normally wouldn't, which is what makes this "internet bullying " such a problem. There is no consequence for what is done. Absolute power would make anyone crazy.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  87. Kat

    I think that what's causing the problem is clearly not the internet itself, but the stupid people that use it. The real thing to blame for our depression and anxiety is the fast-paced capitalistic society that pressures us to study like crazy for 25 years, then work like crazy for the rest of your life, all to buy things that we don't need in this throw-away economy. We are conditioned to believe we must find true love and true happiness will come with that, and a very expensive house. The internet is just a reflection of the people who create and use it. Just like in the real world, there are good guys and bads guys. The www can be a movie theatre, a library, an art museum, a telephone, a postal delivery service, even a time machine. For the most part, the internet can be whatever we want to make of it.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  88. guest

    It's turned out to be one of the worst things to come to modern man and industry. Between all the hacking and stolen files, wasted time on social media, garbage news, and pushing the porno and other less than worthy of life values on even our children – all this from a device that was suppose to add time to the day to do "better choices" ... in 2 years when I can retire I will dump the internet completely, even cell phones ... I will keep a land line and spend my time outdoors of with friends ( in person not virtual ) ps I already got rid of all the social media, facebook, etc

    July 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  89. MM

    I suppose there is an element of liquid courage to it, in that it gives people a seemingly innocuous way of expressing themselves on topics they would normally (historically) would abstain from discussing. To suggest insanity though seems somewhat hyperbolic.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  90. Sheldon

    I agree.. Things like the Internet along with cell phones and text messaging seem to be the driving force behind why people are becoming so disconnected. We should try to shorten the amount of time we spend isolated staring at these screens, and spend more time by helping others and going out and gettin involved in our communities.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  91. opwernby

    I think it depends. People are either weak minded or they're not. As a programmer, I've spent most of my life sitting in front of a computer; I also use social networking and reply to threads like this one. However, I can disassociate readily; at weekends, for example, I don't go near a computer: not because I've decided that this is how I should behave, but simply because by the end of Friday, I'm sick of the thing. I have a feeling that people who are isolated or lonely enough could well become ensnared by the type of contact a computer provides, especially given Facebook and so forth, but in the case of people like that, if it were not a computer, it'd be cocaine or something else. People will invariably find a way to screw themselves up given the opportunity and a weak enough mindset: as has been pointed out earlier in this thread, the internet doesn't make us nuts; it just highlights the fact.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  92. sally

    I quite agree with William Grimm's comments, and here I am using the internet as a reply!! I do not tweet, I could not care less about Facebook. I do enjoy the internet as a resource(only among others). I think the nuances in personal communication are much more valuable to me. DO NOT "TWEET ME"-let me talk to you and hear your tone of voice if you really want to say anything meaningful to me. Text on a screen is no insight into what you really need/want to say .

    July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  93. Michael

    What does "crazy" mean? Crazy is a word that is misused. The internet is so many things to so many people. Is it abused? Of course. Is it not abused? Of course. I do think that the brain is able to make new connections over time and that the internet and the speed of information is making our patience less and possibly our impulses are increasing. When we are starting to have discussions about unplugging, then the internet and all electronic media maybe has too much time in our lives. We all could use a little balance/moderation in our lives.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  94. Vick, Orange Park , FL

    How would we know? I have a smart phone and a computer at home I am on the net all the time! So if I am crazy I am sure the internet would not tell me!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  95. Randall Fox

    I think the false and misleading information that gets circulated on the internet and via the various other main stream news sources are equally to blame. At the end of the day both are secondary problems compared to the primary issue which the general lack of willingness of people in general to really pursue the truth on their own.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  96. Charles

    Yes, the internet is a main contributor, along with cell phones. People are becoming ever more narcissistic and selfish, a dangerous combination for any society. How many Americans are aware of the world around them other than what their 100 closest 'friends' tweet/email/facebook/text them or what they see/hear on network 'news' channels. Conservatives must be delighted with this vegged out citizenry – ensure that only the wealthy can have a quality education, so others will not question malfeasance committed on their behalf by elected officials, and will not question how they are being manipulated into forgoing ethics and responding to their basest instincts. It's only getting worse – children no longer play with real friends their own age or, better yet, amongst nature. Increasingly there is little nature left, thanks again to efforts by the Right to allow the destruction of our environment. An entire younger generation is being encouraged to believe that instant gratification is more important than civil liberties or personal privacy – a situation brought about and perpetuated by Republicans over several years. It isn't so much the internet and the influence of corporate owned media to blame as the self-interest of far too many Americans, to the detriment of their fellow citizens and country.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  97. Anonymous

    I don't usually post, but I couldn't help but feel inclined to speak on this, because this is VERY VERY important. The Internet is one of our world's greatest weapons AND worst weaknesses, it makes us both powerful and vulnerable. I don't wanna make a long ramble (because I can lol), so long story short...mankind is straying away from living it's life in the REAL world because the internet literally allows us to connect, communicate, process, and share almost everything we can without having to venture out into the real world. This is a problem because we are genetically designed to connect, learn, and experience life in the real world, but if we can do that in a virtual world, then we create a virtual reality, and when a virtual reality exists, it can be manipulated, which means it's audience can be manipulated (aka you). Crazy? for the already obsessed people, yes, but I don't think the general population realizes quite yet how MANY people are obsessed with the internet and technology and the amount of those who are 'becoming' obsessed, especially our youth. This is a problem, not because the internet is available, but because we make ourselves available to the internet. In some cases now even dependent..I hope I made sense.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  98. momo0828

    No Jack;
    I do not believe the internet is making folks crazy. Rather; I believe that there are a lot of crazy people that are participating on the internet. Where else can one post something rude, obnoxious, false and inflammatory without having to face any repercussions form the public? Plausible deniability is relatively easy to maintain on the internet: so to all of you crazy folks. Rock on!

    July 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  99. Ron

    I don't know that I would classify the internet as making us crazy, but it certainly is a HUGH problem and getting worse. Almost too many areas (actually in every area) of our life it has taken control and not in a positive way in most instances. We will all become (as our kids already are) social morons.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  100. Luddite

    As in any other technology, the new instantaneous ability to communicate is a mixed blessing. I now work in golbal companies in which I can communicate via email, phone, and instant messaging on the spot, with people around the world. My FB account has given me some new friends I would not have met otherwise. At the same time, people now feel compelled to be heads down while driving, walking, sitting in restaurants or coffee shops, or at home. Though we can now communicate electronically with just about anyone, we do it at the loss of communicating face-to-face. I am old enough to remember when there was no such thing as a PC or email or a smart phone. Somehow, we managed to do OK without them. Now, we are always bombarded with information, news, ads (oh my god the endless ads), and it's overwhelming us. What is even worse is that those who shouldn't be given a public venue for their ideas and conspiracy theories now have a global presence. The pendulum will swing. People are becoming weary of the constant bombardment, and beginning to disconnect. I disconnected my land line (too many sales calls), and got rid of my smart phone. I now have a $50.00 phone that, *gasp" can only receive calls. As I sit here typing this, the thought crosses my mind that I should do something outside. I think I will. Bye. 😉

    July 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  101. larry simpson

    i don't know if it's the internet or these stories that are making me crazy lol

    July 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  102. Bill Keck

    It's not making me crazy, although I usually am not on the internet after Ten in the morning the rest of the day is my wife's. The only pet peeve I have is I find news on the internet that should be on national news. I think that the news media looks for sensational things rather than the things we should really be hearing.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  103. Barb, Shoreview, MN

    In a word, yes. Altho many would argue I was crazy long before the Internet was born. Awareness is key to moderating our use of the endless electronic stream. While fun to be able to archaic tidbits of info, it takes time & energy to sift through the inane & yes, insane postings that come with it. My therapist will have a great time adding this to my list of 'issues'.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm |