Information Age Wellness
Mind, Body, Spirit & Technology
Authored by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Information Age Wellness explores how information technology influences people’s physical, psychological, perceptual and spiritual well-being in relationship to self-preservation and humility. By incorporating safe and productive online practices, citizens reduce sensing perceptual disconnectedness by focusing on mind, body & spiritual endeavors fostering social engagement. Information Age Wellness views the mind, body, spirit and technology as a new homeostatic system capable of optimization.
This writer’s concept of Information Age Wellness is not just a tweak in terminology about the Mind/Body Approach, Holistic, Integrative and Complimentary Medicine. It is humanities inevitable future if it is to survive and thrive. Given the internet is less than half century old, the true definition, understanding and applications of Information Age Wellness is a merely an idea, yet to be formalized. It cannot be emphasized enough by stating that present day humanity is at the beginning of a larger macroscopic paradigm shift in which Cybernetics, Infocomm, Telemedicine, iPredators and Internet Safety will be a priori to future generations.
Without sounding fatalistic, one does not have to have an advanced degree in sociology, psychology or anthropology to notice that society has begun to show what this writer calls “perceptual disconnectedness” among its citizens due in part to the rapid growth of information technology. With the growth of mobile device technology, people are spending more time online and less time engaged in real world interpersonal relations. Homo Sapiens, humans, are social pack creatures genetically and psychologically wired to be a social and community oriented. Whether you subscribe to a religious dogma, are agnostic or atheist, few can disagree that humans are social creatures with community as central to all life functioning.
For some reason, and this writer hopes Information Age Wellness begins to address this societal trajectory, is the fact that a growing number of children, adults, groups and communities are becoming isolated, detached, disengaged and disconnected. It is as if information technology has somehow created a “detachment wedge” between humans. Not that this writer is calling for an internet shut down or return to pre-Information Age society, quite the opposite, but awareness and wellness; Information Age Wellness.
Also, since the beginning of human civilization and so will be ad infinitum, are those who are opportunists, parasites, criminals, deviants and depraved. As this writer has stated before, humans are the only living organisms on the face of the planet capable of brutalizing one another for reasons other than survival, procreation and self-preservation. Historians, philosophers and religions have attempted to define why this happens, but now, the Dark Psychology of the human mind has yet to be explained. Needless to say, the elegance and wonder cyberspace has given humanity is awe-inspiring. The downside is the Dark Side of Cyberspace.
Dark Side of Cyberspace is a term this writer uses to describe how, why and where criminals, deviants, depraved and the deceptive call their home. Within all human minds and within the artificial and abstract dimension of cyberspace, lies an area in which narcissism, depravity and malevolence reigns. As written above, “Whether you subscribe to a religious dogma, are agnostic or atheist, few can disagree that humans are social creatures with community as central to all life functioning.” If you subscribe to this statement, you also have to agree that charity, humility and selflessness are also part of the human psyche. Within the Dark Side of Cyberspace, charity, humility and selflessness are absent concepts.
Dark Side of Cyberspace & Rise of iPredator
For this reason, this writer developed the conceptual framework of iPredator, to help address the segment of humanity who embarks upon the journey to the Dark Side of Cyberspace. Information Age Education, Information Age Forensics, and this concept, Information Age Wellness, are concepts this writer hopes will one day trigger the “protect the flock” genetic wiring that resides within all socially centric sentient beings. The concept of Information Age Wellness attempts to encourage a community discussion on how mind, body and spirit interact with technology. To explain this writer’s observations and concerns, two recent personal experiences are as follows:
About a year ago, I went to visit my family physician for a scheduled checkup and his offices are across the street from one of the larger high schools in my home county. After leaving his office, it was also the same time that students were released from their day of classes and I came to a traffic light. As I was sitting there, waiting for the red light to turn green, I noticed a large group of students standing together and was quit intrigued by what I observed. Of the 23 students huddled together in their clique, and I counted twice, 17 of them were engaged with their cell phones and smartphones.
As plain as day, 17 of the 23 children had their small black and silver devices no more than 2-3 inches from touching their nose. 17 out of the 23 students were more engaged with their mobile devices than chatting about talking about teen issues related to girls, boys and the upcoming prom or home-coming game.
Using my handy-dandy online percentage calculator, 17 out of 23 rounded off equals 58.9%. In my earlier life, as a practicing psychologist specializing working with children, teens, their families and forensics, I am very adept at understanding Developmental Psychology, puberty and pediatric maturation stages. Having previous academic and professional clinical experiences to judge what I was seeing before me, I could not understand why 17 out of 23 kids were more absorbed with their digital devices than how their friends and foes were acting in relationship to their own developmental needs to be accepted and recognized.
It truly seemed to be the total opposite of what I had learned, evaluated and experienced about adolescence. All I could conclude was that the Information Age, social networking sites, and the internet had become more important to their adolescent stage of individuation than their peer relationships standing inches away.
God Bless Octogenarian, Dr. Michael Kulla
Needless to say, I ended my mini-experiment after speaking with my earlier Octogenarian shrink and now mentor, Dr. Michael Kulla, and he was also quite intrigued knowing how information technology has changed the fabric of society behaves in the 21st century. Although he and I are on opposite ends of the political and philosophical spectrum, I trust him implicitly and view his insights as golden.
After thinking about this writer’s conclusions and how the professional world is also in the proverbial dark, Dr. Kulla became #47 allowing me to close my mini-experiment. Although retired from the world of private practice, he still works with a small pool of clients on a case-by-case basis. As #47, he is the first professional I know that makes it a habit to ask a new client about their cyber life. God Bless Dr. Kulla!
Information Age Wellness
Information Age Wellness: Information Age Wellness is the practice and study of how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) influences people’s physical, psychological, perceptual and spiritual well-being. By incorporating safe and productive knowledge and practices, citizens and their loved ones of the Information Age are both safer from cyber attacks and able to focus on mind, body & spiritual optimization endeavors.
Information Age Wellness incorporates mind, body, spirit and information technology for those seeking a healthy lifestyle. In essence, Information Age Wellness is a combination of Internet Safety, Spirituality, Integrative Medicine & Health Psychology while recognizing the growth and dependency of information technology upon people.
Information Age Health & Wellness should not be confused with online healthcare, telemedicine, e-health or any other medically themed field that interfaces with Information and Communications Technology. Not that these arenas are not relevant, because they are vital to the medical health and longevity of all citizens thriving in the Information Age. Information Age Wellness is more of a conceptual framework, which includes physical health, but also includes psychological and spirit health and well-being in relationship to technology.
Information Age Wellness is the practice and study of how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) influences physical, psychological, perceptual and spiritual well-being. By incorporating safe and productive knowledge and practices, citizens of the Information Age are safe from cyber attacks and able to focus on mind, body & spiritual optimization endeavors. Information Age Wellness incorporates mind, body, spirit and ICT for those seeking a healthy lifestyle.
10 Internet Safety Factors
Development of the theoretical constructs related to iPredator being pioneered by this writer and his colleagues, took hundreds of hours to compile and aggregate. This writer and his colleagues are also firmly aware they have only scratched the surface of a new dimension called the Internet and a new cultural paradigm shift in the way humans obtain, exchange and disseminate information.
Even after this extensive research project led to the creation of his theoretical postulates, this writer was confronted with a plethora of ever-growing questions and quandaries in the present and future importance of ICT and cyberspace. This being said, it is clear that the Information Revolution is creating changes in all forms of communication and lifestyle.
This writer strongly believes there are 20 facets of ICT’s interface with criminal, deviant and abusive behaviors that will be central themes for many years to come. In addition to understanding the Dark Side of Cyberspace and iPredator, this writer has chosen the factors below as a priority for understanding in relationship to Information Age Wellness and how self-preservation and safety are key to this wellness practice. Although ICT will continue to advance in both applications and purposes, the terms and themes presented below will always be integral to ICT safety and security practices. Below, ten of the twenty Internet Safety Dynamics factors are as follows:
Information and Communications Technology
ICT: Information and Communications Technology (aka, ICT) is an umbrella term used to define any electronic or digital communication device or application used to obtain, exchange or disseminate and information. ICT stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications, which enable users to create, access, store, transmit and manipulate information. ICT consists of all forms of telecommunication, information technology, broadcast media, audio and video processing, transmission and network based control and monitoring functions.
Information and Communications Technology means computer-based management of data or ideas. ICT has rapidly become one of the basic building blocks of modern society and will become increasingly important as the Information Age matures.
Many countries now regard understanding ICT and mastering the basic skills and concepts of ICT as part of the core of education, alongside reading, writing and mathematics. The importance of ICT to humanity lies upon a continuum of relevance ranging from minimal impact to vital requirement of an ICT user’s day-to-day activities. For some, ICT and the Internet are nothing more than tools of convenience for conducting their responsibilities. For others, their social, scholastic, business and/or financial affairs disclosed online are crucial to their self-esteem, self-worth, success and perceptual world.
iPredator: A person, group or nation who, directly or indirectly, engages in exploitation, victimization, coercion, stalking, theft or disparagement of others using Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. iPredators are driven by deviant fantasies, desires for power and control, retribution, religious fanaticism, political reprisal, psychiatric illness, perceptual distortions, peer acceptance or personal and financial gain. iPredators can be any age or gender and are not bound by economic status, race, religion or national heritage. iPredator is a global term used to distinguish anyone who engages in criminal, coercive, deviant or abusive behaviors using ICT. Central to the construct is the premise that Information Age criminals, deviants and the violently disturbed are psychopathological classifications new to humanity.
Whether the offender is a cyberbully, cyberstalker, cyber harasser, internet troll, cybercriminal, online sexual predator, cyber terrorist, online child pornography consumer/distributor or engaged in internet defamation or nefarious online deception, they fall within the scope of iPredator. The three criteria used to define an iPredator include:
- A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT.
- The usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information.
- A general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
Unlike human predators prior to the Information Age, iPredators include the multitude of benefits offered by Information and Communications Technology [ICT]. These assistances include exchange of information over long distances, rapidity of information exchanged and the seemingly infinite access to data available. Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using ICT in the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace. Therefore, as the internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity, if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.
Cyberstealth, a sub-tenet of iPredator, is a covert method by which iPredators attempt to establish and sustain complete anonymity while they engage in ICT activities planning their next assault, investigating innovative surveillance technologies or researching the social profiles of their next target. Concurrent with the concept of Cyberstealth is iPredator Victim Intuition [IVI]. An iPredator’s IVI is their aptitude to sense a target’s ODDOR [Offline Distress Dictates Online Response], online & offline vulnerabilities, psychological weaknesses, technological limitations, increasing their success of a cyber-attack with minimal ramifications.
“Malevolent in intent, iPredators rely on their capacity to deceive others using information technology in the abstract and artificial electronic universe known as cyberspace. Therefore, as the internet naturally offers all ICT users anonymity, if they decide, iPredators actively design online profiles and diversionary tactics to remain undetected and untraceable.” Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., iPredator Inc. (2013)
ICT Psychology: ICT Psychology is the study of cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual states in humans related to their interactions with ICT and cyberspace. ICT is an umbrella term used to define any electronic or digital communication device or application used to obtain, exchange or disseminate information. Cyberspace is an abstract concept used to describe the non-physical terrain created by ICT.
Within this terrain, people obtain, exchange and disseminate information relevant to their needs, goals, developmental requirements and responsibilities. ICT Psychology examines ICT in relationship to the human interactions using ICT to interface with cyberspace.
ICT Psychology investigates the cognitive, affective, behavioral and perceptual motivations and drives directly employed using ICT to communicate with an abstract digital environment. ICT Psychology requires a person to interact with ICT as part of their pursuits and responsibilities and assumes these interactions act as a virtual extension of the human mind and social interactions. Just as the field of Psychology has sub fields of specialty, ICT Psychology also has variations in scope. Whereas Cyber Psychology and Internet Psychology examine human behavior related to cyberspace, ICT Psychology includes ICT as well.
Cyber Harassment: Cyber harassmentis the use of ICT to harass, control, manipulate or habitually disparage a child, adult, business or group without a credible or implied threat of harm. Unlike physical harassment requiring physical contact, cyber harassment occurs in cyberspace using ICT and is verbal, emotional or social abuse of a person based on their race, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, physical attributes, sexual orientation or beliefs. Cyber harassment is a tactic used by an ICT assailant that may or may not be rooted in trying to control, dominate or manipulate their target.
Although cyber harassment pertains to unrelenting taunting and disparaging information directed at a child, adult, public figure, group or business using ICT, the motivations of the assailant may be rooted in their own psychopathological drives and motivations. Cyber harassment differs from cyberstalking in that it is generally does not involve a credible or implied physical threat.
Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose. In a rapidly expanding digital world, an ICT user’s privacy and reputation becomes more vulnerable to corruption. As anonymity via the Internet becomes more possible, cyber harassment continues to flourish. Cyber harassment is the adult form of cyberbullying to a minor.
Cyberstalking: Cyberstalkingis the use of ICTto stalk, control, manipulate, threaten or make unwanted advances towards a child, adult, business or group. Cyberstalking is both a tactic used by an ICT assailant and typology of pathological ICT user. Cyberstalking tactics include false accusations, threats of harm, habitual monitoring, surveillance, implied threats, identity theft, damage to property and gathering information to manipulate and control their target.
To meet the criteria of Cyberstalking, the information and tactics used must involve a credible or implied physical and psychological threat to the target. An example of physical threat involves bodily harm to the target or their loved ones via ICT.
Examples of psychological threats involve disparagement, humiliation, disinformation dissemination and environmental damage to the target’s reputation, credibility or financial status if the target does not acquiesce to the cyber stalker’s demands. The Internet is a global medium regardless of frontiers and this creates new possibilities for the growing class of cyberstalkers. Given the Internet is inexpensive and easy to access; distance between cyberstalkers and their targets are no longer a confounding factor. Cyberstalking is both a strategy to target other ICT users and a psychiatric pathology. When cyberstalking is a tactic, the assailant does not need to be motivated by psychiatric illness.
Digital Reputation: Digital Reputationis a term used to describe the reputation of an ICT user or business that is disseminated online and available to peers, superiors, loved ones and consumers. This information can be positive or negative and vital to the health, success and reputation of an ICT user or the business. Digital Reputation is created and sustained by peers, school or work associates, loved ones, acquaintances, consumers, competitors, adversaries, online strangers and Internet assailants. Given the widespread growth and expansion of ICT, a positive digital reputation is vital to people, communities and business to thrive, survive and the attainment of personal endeavors.
Digital Reputation and the growing risks confronting ICT users and businesses have become increasingly endemic due to the escalating use and significance of the Internet as a communication platform. With the ascent of social media, the formation of Digital Reputation is an increasingly common process and the practices of Digital Reputation Management have become crucial for both people and corporate entities.
An ICT user or business’s Digital Reputation are directly correlated to their Digital Footprint. Like Digital Footprint, an ICT user’s Digital Reputation is directly correlated to the quantity, quality, accuracy and extent of personal information they post or share online available and used by other ICT users.
Digital Footprint:Digital Footprint is a term used to describe the trail, traces or “footprints” that children, adults and businesses leave in cyberspace from their online activities using ICT. This is information that is obtained, exchanged or disseminated between ICT users. An ICT user’s Digital Footprint is created by social media information, forum registrations, e-mails, attachments, videos, digital images and other forms of communication via ICT that leave traces of personal and/or corporate information about someone and/or a business available to others online. An ICT user or business’s Digital Reputation are directly correlated to their Digital Footprint.
An ICT user or business’s Digital Reputation is created by a culmination of their Digital Footprints over time. Like Digital Reputation, an ICT user’s Digital Footprint can be positive or negative and vital to the health, success and reputation of an ICT user or the business. Personal information disclosed or shared online all give to an online user’s Digital Footprint in the age of social media.
Like Digital Footprint, an ICT user’s Digital Reputation is directly correlated to the quantity, quality, accuracy and extent of personal information they post or share online available and used by other ICT users. It is for these reasons that a child, adult or business must be diligent in monitoring their Digital Footprint.
High Risk ICT
High Risk ICT: High Risk ICT factors are defined as actions and behaviors an ICT user participates in online, which increases their chance of becoming a target of an Internet assailant. These actions and/or behaviors differ depending on the age, gender, environmental influences and psychological status of the online user interacting with ICT. High Risk ICT factors tend to be rooted in non-compliance, ignorance or oppositional defiance of following proper Internet safety and Internet Assailant Protection tactics when engaged in high-risk online behaviors.
High Risk ICT factors are highly susceptible to environmental stressors and psychological dysfunction. High Risk ICT factors tend to be most problematic for children, but adults can be equally susceptible. Of the myriad of high-risk behaviors, an ICT user can engage in leading to an increased risk probability of being victimized, the following six behaviors are strong predictors of online victimization for children and correlated to adult online victimization:
I. Interacting online with unknown ICT users,
II. Having unknown online users on their “buddy” or “friends”lists
III. Interacting online with unknown ICT users engaged in topics on sexuality
IV. Viewing or downloading pornographic or “dark” content online
V. Behaving in a rude, harassing or abusive way towards other ICT users
VI. Posting or sharing personal and/or contact information available to unknown ICT users.
ICT Awareness: The ICT Awareness factor is the level of awareness an ICT user or business has related to their practice of Digital Citizenshipand how other ICT users perceive them. This factor examines an ICT user or businesses’ understanding of Digital Citizenship, cyber security and how other ICT users translate their ICT practices. ICT Awareness is a conscious state and overture that is part of a strategy, practice and consistent sustained approach to reducing the probability of being misrepresented by others or becoming an online victim.
These strategies involve a concerted effort to understand how other ICT users perceive them. The ICT Awareness factor also describes the amount of information a parent, family member, support group, educator, loved one or business has accrued related to Digital Citizenship and Internet safety measures used to insulate a child, adult or business from becoming a target of an Internet assailant. The ICT Awareness factor includes:
I. The ICT user or business support system’s understanding of ICT & Digital Citizenship,
II. An Internet assailant’s technique and tactics used in Cyberstealth with ICT,
III. An ICT user’s conscious effort to engage in Digital Citizenship and Internet safety habits
IV.An ICT user or businesses proactive self-monitoring of how other ICT users perceive them.
Mobile Device Technology
Mobile Device Technology: The Mobile Device Technology factor is a collective term representing the portable genre of ICT that describes the various types of mobile devices used by children, adults and businesses. Examples include cellular phones, smartphones and tablets. The Mobile Device Technology factor also relates to a child, adult or business’s knowledge and application of mobile device safety. The term, Mobile Device, is a generic term used to refer to a variety of devices that allow people to access data and information from where ever they are. This includes cell phones, smartphones and various other portable devices.
The Mobile Device Technology factor also examines the child, adult or businesses’ understanding of how they interact with their mobile devices and how Internet assailants use mobile device technology to target and locate their victims. However, mobility has far-reaching effects on the enterprise in areas such as security risk, use policies, manageability and governance.
Given the rapid growth and inevitable broad expansion of mobile device technology, this area will become increasingly more relevant to all ICT users practicing cautious and proactive mobile device safety. Given the fast pace nature of human civilization, mobile device technology will become mandatory requirements for anyone seeking to connect with their loved ones, colleagues, peers and community resources.
In order to effectively educate, test, investigate or advise any ICT user on Internet safety, whether they are a child, adult, group or business, it is paramount to grasp the basic concepts and terms vital to all ICT users. The importance of ICT and the Internet to humanity is different to everyone and as unique as a fingerprint.
For some, ICT and the Internet are nothing more than tools of convenience for conducting mundane tasks. For others, their social, scholastic, business and/or financial affairs disclosed online are crucial to their life functioning, self-esteem, self-worth, success and perceptual world. In an abstract way, ICT and the Internet are extensions of the human mind, but made available to all who engage in benevolent & malevolent activities.
“The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines mind-body medicine as the interactions among the brain, mind, body and behavior, and on the powerful ways in which emotional, mental, social, spiritual and behavioral factors can directly affect health. It regards as fundamental an approach that respects and enhances each person’s capacity for self-knowledge and self-care, and it emphasizes techniques that are grounded in this approach.” NYU Langone Medical Center
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a New York State licensed psychologist and forensic consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology in 1994 from Adler University. In 1997, Dr. Nuccitelli became a licensed psychologist in New York State. In November 2011, Dr. Nuccitelli and his colleagues established iPredator Inc. offering educational, investigation and advisory services regarding internet predators, cybercrime & the dark side of cyberspace. In June 2013, Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. launched their internet safety website, iPredator, and two blogs, Dark Psychology & Dr. Internet Safety offering site visitors an incredible amount of information, education and advisory services. Over the last 25 years, Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field in a variety of capacities with various clinical populations.
iPredator Inc. is a New York State based Information Age Forensics and Internet Safety Company founded in September 2011 to provide educational and advisory products & services to consumers and organizations on cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyberstalking, cybercrime, internet defamation, cyber terrorism, online sexual predation, internet addiction and the new fields they are pioneering called Cybercriminal Psychology & Profiling. Created by a NYS licensed psychologist and certified forensic consultant, Michael Nuccitelli Psy.D., their goal is to reduce victimization, theft and disparagement from online assailants.
Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. consultants are always available, at no cost, to interact with online users and media. In addition to professional services, Dr. Nuccitelli has authored a variety of internet safety tools, cyber-attack risk assessments and diagnostic tests available to purchase as hard copy PDF files. For tweens and teens, iPredator Inc. created Dr. Internet Safety. For young children, K-5, Cyber Tyger, Troll Man and the Cyber Tyger vs. Troll Man struggle are used to introduce basic internet safety concepts.
Although iPredator Inc. has joined a multitude of social networking sites, feel free to visit the social sites listed below they use as their information and announcement vehicles. Dr. Nuccitelli and iPredator Inc. consultants are always available, at no cost, to interact with academia, law enforcement, legal professionals and the media. To invite Dr. Nuccitelli to conduct training, educational service or consultation, he can be reached by calling 347-871-2416 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Google Plus: iPredator
- Google Plus: Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
- Linked In: iPredator
- Twitter: TheiPredator
- YouTube: iPredator Team
- Facebook: The iPredator
- Pinterest: iPredator Inc.
“The Information Age technocentric concept of being “connected” is a paradox of disconnection causing us to lose control of our instinctual drives for social cohesion, allegiance and selflessness. As our dependency upon Information and Communications Technology (ICT) grows, spreading throughout our collective human consciousness, the less we care for our neighbors and the more we delude ourselves into thinking that online connections are far more valuable than reality based relationships.” Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. (2014)
- IPREDATOR INC.
- CEO: Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
- NYS Licensed Psychologist
- New York, USA
- Ph: (347) 871-2416
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: iPredator
- Blog I: Dark Psychology
- Blog II: Internet Safety