New Documentary, 'No Time to Think', Focuses on Technology Addiction

By Paul Gaita 01/10/14

Directed by Brian Huston, the film arrives at a time when people are more and more tuning out to technology.

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The independent documentary No Time to Think focuses on the problem of technology addiction – a concern that has, in recent years, drawn considerable attention from media outlets, scientific research and, most significantly, parents of children and young adults who use technology for social contact and education. A 2009 survey published by the Cranfield School of Management showed that more than one-third of the 11-18-year-olds interviewed for their research admitted that text shortcuts hindered their written English skills.

In an interview with the Oregonian, filmmaker Brian Huston said his interest in technology addiction was sparked by observing how many people had “checked out and [spent more time] on their devices.” Through research, Huston soon learned overuse of technology and the internet could be considered an addiction due to its negative impact upon an individual’s physical and social well-being, with weight gain, inactivity, and decreased social interaction among the many side effects. Physical and social skills are not requirements for technology use, and as Huston notes, “A young brain, and even an adolescent brain, will slough off the things it’s not using.”

As with sex and food addictions, technology is an ever-present fact of life, and therefore difficult to completely avoid. Huston’s research brought him in contact with Dr. Hilarie Cash, a psychiatrist and co-founder of the ReStart Internet and Technology Addiction Recovery Program, which attempts to break the cycle of technology addiction by re-introducing patients to the natural world without their devices while introducing new ways to regulate their time with technology. Three ReStart patients are interviewed in No Time To Think, and reveal the roots of their issues in immersive experiences with online gaming and social media. The film also cites parents as a key component in aiding individuals struggling with technology addiction by regulating both the time children and young adults spend on technology and the content viewed during those periods.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.