The internet is addictive … We're overloaded with information … Facebook destroys relationships … There's a cyberbullying crisis …
Technology has always copped its share of negative coverage, but in recent times there has been a surge in reports blaming it for everything from ruining our sex lives to making us fat and stupid.
There is no disputing Australians' enthusiasm for technology. A recent Google survey found 37 per cent of us now use a smartphone, which is the second-highest penetration in the world.
In addition, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that there are now more than 12 million internet subscribers (not counting mobile users), up 10 per cent in just a year. Sixty per cent of adults go online daily.
But the sheer numbers using the technology tell only half the story. The pace at which it is erupting into our lives is the other key.
In the US, it took the fixed-line telephone 39 years to go from 10 per cent to 40 per cent penetration. The smartphone reached that point in less than three years.
Twitter, which seems to have been around forever, was launched only about six years ago, Facebook has barely reached the grand old age of eight and Pinterest has existed for only a couple of years.
Leslie Posen is a psychologist with a particular interest in technology and its effects.
''We are now living in a time where the uptake of technology is faster than at any other time in history,'' he says. ''Every generation has to come to terms with the changes it will experience due to technology.''
And each generation can learn from the way others before them have adapted to technological change in the past.
When previous revolutionary technologies have emerged they are inevitably accompanied by concerns that it is all happening too quickly.
From the introduction of the printing press in the 15th century to the spread of the automobile, humans have always said, ''Whoa! Slow down. This is all happening way too quickly for me to get my head around.''
But, of course, we did get our heads around the implications of extraordinary inventions such as the printing press and internal combustion engine and can do the same with internet technology. We will just have to do it more quickly than ever.
Another consequence of the sheer pace of change is the way different methods of communication are springing up before many of us have considered what the ''rules of engagement'' should be. People end up saying and doing things online that they would never dream of doing face-to-face.
So-called ''flame wars'' erupt easily and anonymous ''trolls'' post things online one would hope they would never consider saying in real life. ''People disconnect a little bit and forget that what they are doing is just a continuation of other forms of communication rather than something that is fundamentally different,'' a lecturer in internet studies at Curtin University, Tama Leaver, says.
In the early days of the internet, we used to talk about ''cyberspace'' as if it were a separate place we could go and behave differently from how we did in the offline ''real'' world.
Leaver says this myth is gradually being eroded and users are realising the same rules apply whether you are communicating on Facebook or chatting at a party. ''Cyberspace was this place that was somehow disconnected from the real world but now most of our technologies are about the online and offline being deeply connected,'' he says.
''They are not tools for doing something 'in' cyberspace, they are communication tools that use networked communication as a medium, not as a place.''
In other words, when your parents taught you to mind your manners and think carefully about what you said before saying it, that advice applies equally online.
What your parents didn't teach you, however, was how to deal with the vast amount of data to which we are all now exposed daily.
There is a popular idea that we are ''drowning'' in information.
''We are organising, patterning creatures,'' Posen says.
''This is how we are hard-wired. It can feel overwhelming.''
Using tools to sort information and, critically, to be able to know what is worthwhile and what is rubbish is a skill that many experts believe is as important as basic literacy.
Commentators also argue that we need to move beyond the idea that there is something ''bad'' about, say, Facebook or internet-connected smartphones.
The technology is neither good nor bad, but rather it comes down to the way we choose to use it.
And of course, you can also choose not to use it at all. No one is forcing you to own a smartphone or be on Facebook.
''Our task is to choose those technologies that best suit the way we live rather than blindly going along with the next latest and greatest thing,'' Posen says.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (or DSM) is the bible of the American Psychiatric Association, listing all the mental health problems that can be diagnosed and treated.
It's a controversial publication and, with each revision, stirs up fresh debate about what's ''in'' and what's ''out''. (For instance, it was only in 1974 that being gay was no longer officially listed as a ''disorder''.)
Recently, there has been a flurry of moral panic-type stories saying that internet addiction, or to give it its formal name, internet-use disorder (IUD), has been identified and will be listed in the fifth edition of the manual, due next year.
But while there is some research showing changes in the brains of people who spend unhealthy amounts of time online, IUD is in fact a long way from being officially classified as a mental health disorder.
The new DSM will list internet addiction as ''recommended for further study'' alongside ''caffeine-use disorder''.
So, presumably, if you drink a lot of coffee while indulging in late-night Facebook sessions, you could really be in trouble.