Technology addiction is a real thing that is frequently overlooked. The article defines technology addition, its various types, and how to deal with it.
Because society accepts the use of digital devices, technology addictions, also known as internet addictions, are frequently overlooked. Technology addictions can go unnoticed by loved ones because the addicted person appears to be attending to something important, such as work-related duties on their digital device, but in reality, something unnecessary is lying behind the screen. When a technology problem arises and is recognized, it is frequently not regarded as an immediate danger comparable to an addiction to alcohol or narcotics because it is regarded as not only more acceptable but also as less severe or fatal.
Despite these misconceptions, pathological technology use can be widespread and harmful to one’s health and well-being. Hazardous pathological technology use is a real possibility with the explosive growth of digital use that comes with an increasingly digital world.
What Exactly Is Technology Addiction?
While most adults who use technology will have no problems—in fact, there are benefits to using electronics for work and play—a small minority may become addicted and experience effects similar to those of substance abuse. In fact, research has shown that as internet addiction worsens, the risk of developing a substance disorder increases.
Technology use can become an obsession. People become engrossed in the excitement and begin to engage in activities such as online gaming, internet bidding, web browsing, social networking, texting, or cybersex. Soon, the emphasis shifts from providing pleasurable and rewarding experiences to being something people do to relax, be angry, or be unhappy.
Type of technology addiction
More people than ever before are playing video games, which are available not only on consoles and PCs, but also directly on your phone. World of Warcraft, Fortnite, League of Legends, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Roblox, and a variety of other games are currently among the most popular. Some of the factors that contribute to gaming’s addictiveness are built-in rewards, secret features, and side missions. Every time a player defeats a boss, defeats an enemy, unlocks a new player, or completes a level, they receive a dopamine boost, making video games more enjoyable.
YouTube falls into the category of highly addictive social media sites, which also includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and others. When someone engages through a “like,” “follow,” or “comment,” their brain produces feel-good neurotransmitters, making them want to engage more frequently. Social media, like social gaming, can create a false impression of social interaction, making people feel isolated and lonely. Continuously refreshing social media accounts, reading through them indefinitely, or binge-watching Instagram or YouTube clips are all ways to deal with boredom, loneliness, and other psychological voids.
While pathological gambling is a diagnosable addiction in and of itself, when pathological gambling occurs when gambling is done electronically, problematic digital use should also be identified and treated. Online gambling games such as online poker, casino, online sports betting, eSports betting, online day trading, and cryptocurrency trading are extremely dangerous in everyday life.
Compulsive buying syndrome, also known as online shopping addiction, is a behavioral addiction characterized by impulsive and obsessive online purchases of goods and services. Online shopping addictions frequently serve as a temporary distraction from unpleasant emotions and boredom, as well as a way to feel good and have fun.
Online Addiction at Work
While a strong work ethic is admired, problems can arise when people become overly reliant on their jobs. People who are truly obsessed with work are frequently praised for their diligence. As work becomes an escape, relationships, mental health, and general well-being may suffer. Although work addiction is distinct from digital addiction, it frequently involves technical issues, particularly for people in executive positions or who work in an office.
Is Technology Addiction Risky?
Addictions to technology can be extremely damaging, contributing to a variety of neurological, psychological, and societal issues. In some cases, digital addiction can be fatal. Even though a digital addiction can result in death, this does happen on occasion. The vast majority of fatalities involve people using digital devices while performing high-risk activities such as driving a car or taking photos or videos for social media on cliffs, bridges, or other perilous locations where one careless move can result in death. Extremely rare cases of people using technology for extended periods of time for several days without eating, drinking, or relaxing have also resulted in fatalities.
Addictions to technology are more likely to have other negative and destructive effects on people and their families. Digital addictions, for example, can harm a person’s career or education by causing them to spend more time using technology rather than focusing on their studies or jobs. People who are addicted to digital devices may put off or avoid doing their work.
Relationships may suffer as a result of a person’s preference for digital devices over social interaction or communication. Technology encourages isolation.
Technology addictions can have a serious negative impact on a person’s mental health, exacerbating or even causing issues such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder (ADHD). Anxiety, impatience, restlessness, and wrath can all result from technology addiction. Addiction to technology can also impair the brain’s ability to produce naturally occurring crave neurotransmitters such as dopamine and increase impulsivity.
Are You Addicted?
Let us look at some indicators that you may be a tech addict:
- Inability to exert control over technology use or avoid using certain digital media
- Being preoccupied with technology-related thoughts.
- Compulsively using technology or having desires or urges to use technology
- Putting technology ahead of important aspects of one’s life such as work, school, or relationships.
- Using digital devices despite the negative consequences for your life.
- Because of technology, people are losing interest in once-enjoyed social and leisure activities.
- Using a digital device in dangerous situations, such as driving a car or crossing a busy street.
- As a result of using technology, you may be experiencing undesirable mental health symptoms such as irritability, stress, depression, or anxiety.
- Out of shame or guilt, using digital technology to obtain pleasure or satisfaction, lying, or avoiding discussing one’s use of technology with family, friends, or coworkers
- Using technology devices for longer than intended or noticing a gradual increase in your usage.
Ask yourself these questions to determine how much technology affects your life.
Treatment Ways for Technology Addiction
If the person is motivated, self-corrective behaviors, screen-life balance, and support from technological innovations that aid in digital moderation, such as enabling app limitations or Wi-Fi restrictions, disabling notifications, activating “Do Not Disturb” mode, setting up fully automated email/text responses, activating automatic downtime, blocking websites or apps, using screen time reports, and other similar innovations, may resolve the problem on its own.
For those who require professional assistance from an addiction therapist, there are various types of treatment for technological addictions available. Because each person is unique and has a unique set of circumstances, histories, and symptoms, it is critical to identify and tailor a treatment plan to their specific needs. Addressing the underlying mental health conditions, neurological imbalances, and environmental stressors that contributed to digital addiction will be critical.
Even with the best intentions, strategies, and resources, overcoming tech addiction can be difficult at times. A strong addiction to technology frequently reveals the need to treat underlying issues such as depression, ADHD, low self-esteem, excessive disorder, or unresolved trauma. If your child’s addictions, smartphone use, or internet addiction are affecting their health, home well-being, academic achievement, sleep quality, or social life, it may be time to seek professional help.