Are You Your Avatar? Book Details Dangers of the 'E-Personality'


First Step Is to Recognize That We Act Differently Online

"We're not nearly as good at compartmentalizing as we like to think we are," he said.

As a Silicon Valley psychiatrist, he said he has an interesting perspective on the psychological impacts of the Internet, but even he doesn't have the solution to the problems identified in his research.

He said he spends more time on eBay than he ought to and loves his apps as much as the next iPhone-toting American. But he said he has become more self-conscious about how he uses the Web and tries to think of ways to log off temporarily without sacrificing the professional or social connection it enables.

"Whatever the answer turns out to be, it has to start by recognizing the problem. It has to start by us acknowledging that we actually act differently online," he said. "This is the first step. When we get to that point as a society, we can figure out what the next steps are. But we're far from there."

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