Most people with iPhones have become familiar with the Scrabble-like game Words With Friends. Some people use the app to pass time, others play just for fun, while others use it to save lives. Yes, save lives. That was the case with a woman in Blue Springs, Missouri, who began playing with a stranger halfway around the world. Three months ago, a woman in Australia named Georgie Fletcher started playing against Beth Legler. The two women quickly struck up a friendship and began using a feature of the game, texting your opponent. During one game, Georgie mentioned to Beth that her husband, Simon, was not feeling well. Beth started relaying Simon's symptoms to her husband, Larry, who happens to be a doctor. Larry made an instant diagnosis and instructed Beth to tell Georgie to take her husband to the hospital right away. That's exactly what Georgie did. And wouldn't you know it, Simon had a 99 percent blockage near his heart. The blockage could have killed him if left untreated. Today, Simon is alive and well. He said, "I owe Larry everything ... I'm really lucky to be here." Georgie also reflected, "I just think Beth and I were meant to meet on this game."
Now we move from a story about the success of an online gaming encounter to one of the possible adverse effects of being connected.
Does it ever feel as if sometimes you just cannot pull away from the Internet? Well, you may be addicted. Seriously. Researchers have completed a study that finds that spending many hours on the Internet can affect the brains of adolescents and harm their social and personal lives. The results are startling. MRI scanners showed that a person's addiction to the Internet is similar to that of alcohol, marijuana, and even cocaine. If you're a gamer, you could be in even worse shape. The study indicates that gamers are more likely to go without food or drink for longer periods of time. Researchers also said that these results could reveal behavioral problems and lead to the development of new approaches to treatment. According to the study, an estimated 5 to 10 percent of Internet users are addicted, which means they are unable to control their use. There have been a number of accounts of people around the world being affected by what is now sometimes referred to as "Internet addiction disorder." Such people are so consumed by their online activities that they may neglect their health or the well-being of someone who they're responsible for. But even though this is a serious story, we know of one Internet habit suitable for daily consumption --viewing our posts on Trending Now.