I just experienced another short geek break, not having access to Blackberry’s and phones and minimal access to computers during a 2 week backpacking tour of Eastern Europe, Finland and Sweden. It offers a new perspective from one who is not so obsessed with all things tech, doesn’t spend hours online and relies only partially on cell phone activity. It always amazes me that people don’t know about Skype or the many Google services or even what a podcast is. A new article on tech obsession outlines the other side of this brave new world. Here are some of the highlights:

Real-life examples of people who have taken their love for technology too far

2000: The first of many text scandals envelops Shane Warne with claims he repeatedly sent obscene messages to a married woman.

2002: A Massachusetts man commits suicide after an apparent addiction to the computer game EverQuest.

2002: A 24-year-old South Korean man dies after an 86-hour gaming session.

2003: An Alabama man who killed a policeman blames his addiction to Grand Theft Auto for the crime. A jury later dismisses the excuse and finds him guilty.

2004: Conscripts in Finland use internet addiction to avoid military service.

2004: A Shanghai man stabs his friend for selling a cyber sword they jointly won in a computer game.

2005: A South Korean man dies after 50 hours of non-stop computer gaming.

2005: A 19-year-old man is named Scotland’s first e-addict after spending $11,200 on text messages over 12 months and sending 8000 emails in a month.

2005: China opens its first internet addiction clinic.

2005: PG Tips invents ReadyWhenUR, a kettle that turns on when you text “switch on” to its personal phone number.

2005: Taiwan police follow an armed fugitive to his hideout by tracking down the computer on which he had been playing online games.

2005: A Scottish couple are sentenced to jail after neglecting their children because they spent too much time on internet games.

2006: A 13-year-old Chinese boy jumps to his death after playing online games for 36 hours straight.

2006: An English bus driver is sacked for playing games on his handheld device while driving.