There have been many studies on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Typical OCD behavior in day to day life has been well documented. Repeatedly checking that the stove or iron has been turned off being two examples.

I can surmise that OCD behavior, within using information technologies might involve the excessive back up of files, overboard security measures, compulsively running scans, using multiple firewalls simultaneously, inability to ignore application notifications eg from Facebook, diverting phone calls, forwarding emails, ...as some examples.

Has OCD behavior within the use of information technologies been examined and if so, what are some typical behaviors associated with OCD and the use of IT?

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    $\begingroup$ I have touches of OCD. I now also back up my photo files (5K+) after having a hard drive go down & having paid $600 to recover all my photos of life in the Philippines while I lived & worked there for 6 years. $\endgroup$
    – user3469
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ @MarkRowntree This is not a forum, but a Q&A site. Don't expect a discussion on your particular experiences here. If you contribute to this topic, try to answer the question. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ To put it simply, OCD is a symptom of being alive and having the ability to learn from the environment- the varying degrees, and higher forms of response may be an evolutionary advancement, even contextually. To some degree, if one is more responsive to sensory input or basically opportunistic, they may be diagnostically considered to have OCD because they will be more likely to respond to these environmental cues more often-leading to more feelings of security now, and in the future. If these compulsive behaviors or round-about thought patterns become detrimental to everyday life, then si $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ OCD is a disorder not something to be promoted as boosting efficiency. $\endgroup$
    – user3832
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 11:30
  • $\begingroup$ Please don't just answer for the sake of answering. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Yes this topic has been discussed in detail. There are two main ways of describing mental illness: Continuous and Discontinuous spectrum of behaviour. (Most clinicians favor discontinuous.) The Continuous spectrum of behaviour states that OCD and other mental illnesses are just extremes of normal behavior. The Discontinuous spectrum of behaviour states that while mental illness has some traits with normal behaviour they are not on the same spectrum as normal behaviour. Both theories hold to the fact that enough extremes of normal behaviour can cause mental illness. Whether someone actually has OCD involving technology or is just at an extreme normal behaviour can only be determined accurately by a psychologist/psychiatrist.

I can't say that I agree with "iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us". Some of it is silly like counting the number of first person pronouns but some of the concepts it relates are interesting.

Obsessively checking in with technology seems to be the biggest attribute.


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