The Power of the Middle Ground: a Program for Couples

In this interview, I give explicit instructions on how couples can access, or think about approaching their Middle Ground. Reverend Jennifer and her husband, Ogun, brought out the heart of the Middle Ground concepts with their astute questions and comments. Here’s the show we did together: : Podcast

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HOT102.FM Interview with Beverley Anderson Manley

About my host: Beverley Anderson Manley, Former First Lady of Jamaica, is Jamaica's former representative to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and the OAS/CIM – the Women’s Section of the OAS. She is a gender and transformational trainer; consultant on Third World developmental issues, as well as issues of communications and gender. A Vice President of the Third World Foundation headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Anderson-Manley was active in the politics of the Peoples' National Party in the 1970's and early 1980's. She has written numerous papers on Third World political, social and economic issues as well as articles on communications and transformation. She is well known in Jamaica, the Caribbean and the Third World as an expert on Gender and Development with particular emphasis on Policy issues. This podcast interview is the part of a series of recent radio appearances I have made on HOT102.FM Jamaica.


Social Networking Addiction

Q: What are some of the causes of addiction to social networking? How and why do people get hooked? What is the allure of social media compared to attachment to people in a three-dimensional context?  How many Americans are addicted to social networking?

A: Social networking addiction is like any other: the dependent person gauges their self-esteem and regulates their emotions through their addiction rather than through direct connection with their "real" interpersonal surround.  

The causes for this type of addiction runs the gamut from depression, despair of making contact with people face-to-face, to anxiety disorders, fear of disappointment and potential confirmation of a core identity that is neither strong enough nor worthy enough to gain the attention of others without the use of the addictive medium as a go-between.   

If one is neglected in a Facebook foray, in contrast to a get-together with a friend, no other person is privy to the reality of this defeat.  The shame and loneliness that a person who uses social networking to shield themselves from the risks that contact with others can - at least for a time - remain private. Issues such as facing humiliation at one's need for others can
seem to be under control despite a characteristic sense of desperation that is the hallmark of addiction.

Current Facebook users number at approximately 30 million!   Because social networking addiction has not been formally recognized as a diagnosable condition there are no reliable studies or statistics on how many of users are addicted.  

I'd estimate that between five and ten percent of social media users - conservatively pegged at 5 million - are addicts.