Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Patrick Gagliardi

Patrick Gagliardi '74

Former Michigan State Representative

Former House Majority floor leader

Appointed to Michigan Liquor Control Commission

LSSU Outstanding Alumnus Award '88

Parents at Lake State

Technological Addiction and Isolation

It's a beautiful, sunny day, the kind of day that makes it impossible to stay inside. Yet, your student is hunkered down, fiddling on the computer for hours, with little regard for the world outside. If this scenario sounds about right, your student may be addicted to technology.

Warning Signs of Internet Addiction:

  • Obvious preoccupation with the Internet. You may notice this firsthand in students, or they may express to you feelings of being preoccupied with being online.
  • Choosing to spend time on the Internet over real time with friends.
  • Using the Internet to escape from problems.
  • Jeopardizing school, relationships or career because of time spent on the Internet.
  • Having a hard time connecting directly with other people, but freely interacting online instead.
  • Denying the amount of time spent online.
  • Checking for messages repeatedly, constantly talking about being online or wanting to be online.

None of these signs individually is an immediate indicator of a more serious problem, but when they are combined or happen repeatedly, outside assistance may be helpful. After all, you don't want your student isolating himself so much that he misses out on the larger world out there.

Plus, spending too much time on the computer can lead to physical problems such as:

  • eye strain
  • wrist and hand problems
  • backaches
  • weight gain (through lack of movement)
  • stiffness
  • neck strain

The cumulative effect on your student's body–as well as his emotional well-being–can take a definite toll. So, encourage your student to step away from the computer and to step into real life.

Other Technological Isolators

Besides the Internet, students may get wrapped into technology via:

  • Video games
  • Online gambling
  • Text messaging over the phone
  • Instant Messaging
  • Chat rooms
  • Gaming (such as Sims City or other interactive games)
  • Cyber communities

Hands-on Training...

Brian Applegate

Brian Applegate
Fire Science

LSSU's dedicated three-story fire lab made all the difference to Brian Applegate.

"Our certification training classes offered real situations," Brian says. Students practice victim search techniques while controlling and extinguishing fires. Applegate says his favorite exercise was the live fire flashover simulation. "We saw how fires evolved as they burned," he says. "It’s as close as you can get to the real thing."

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