Technology addiction is becoming a more common problem throughout the world. However, let’s see what technology bring us. The use of technology enables us to be more productive in many ways and to save time while coordinating our lives. For example:
- shopping or bank transactions can be done online,
- socializing with people we could not otherwise create opportunities to talk with,
- accessing healthcare applications,
- information access and even online therapy.
These are just some of the conveniences that technology brings to life.1,2,3
When technology becomes a priority, participation in the real world diminishes and a strong dependency is built.1,2,3
Technology addiction is such a common theme in our age that even many popular movies present how dependent we are on technology. But where is the border between technology and human being?4
Technology Addiction is a Serious and Common Problem
Research shows that there are approximately 9 million US citizens facing technology addiction.
Technology addiction covers4:
- Game addiction (computer or internet),
- Social media addiction,
- Mobile phone dependency (sms, games, WhatsApp etc.)
- Internet dependency (surfing etc.)4
The misuse of the technology can lead to dependency and it can assume a nurturing role for other behavioral addictions outside the internet. The most common examples are online gambling, shopping, and virtual sex addiction. 4,7
According to the investigations made, pathological gambling and drug addiction have neurobiologically common etiopathogenesis; compulsive shopping, excessive internet use and compulsive sexual behaviors may also be using the same mechanisms.7
How Does the Mechanism Work?
Experts classify 2 types of dependencies:8
- Physical dependence
- Psychological dependence
Psychological dependence develops through consistent and frequent exposure to a stimulus. It also produces obvious psychological withdrawal symptoms.8 Technology addiction is more likely to create psychological dependence in which case behavioral therapy is more effective9
Are you addicted to Technology? What are the symptoms? 6,10
- Spending hours in front of the screen after saying “just a few minutes”.
- Lying about time spent in front of the screen.
- Complaining about physical problems caused by using computers for a long time.
- Taking on an anonymous personality, preferring to talk over the internet, rather than face to face.
- Compromising meals, courses or appointments.
- Wavering between feeling guilty for spending a lot of time on your computer and feeling great pleasure.
- Feeling nervous and frustrated when away from the computer.
- Staying on the computer late at night.
Emotional Intelligence and Risk Groups
Emotional intelligence, the ability to understand emotions and cope with them, allows us to manage environmental conditions. Surveys conducted on university students show that internet addiction is related to introversion and isolation.12
Everyone seems to have a reason to use technology, such as a “need” of instant access to the social world. Furthermore, according to a survey, university students are more “attached” to their devices due to their strong need of “staying connected”13 When separated, deprivation was determined in 74.5% of the dependent students and 10.5% of the non-dependent students.14
Telling lies to hide the time spent on the Internet was detected in 38% of those dependent, while only in 4% of the non-dependent. Whereas, 33% of dependent students and 4.3% of non-dependent students showed feelings of guilt while on the internet.14
What can you do for Technology Addiction?11
- Change daily internet and smart phone usage hours.
- Prepare weekly internet usage schedules and ensure compliance.
- Spend some time with support groups or other methods, like family therapy.
- Write down what the activities you would like to do; when you want to use technology write down why.
Treatment: Need help?
Addiction is a disease that can be overcome with a recovery plan by evaluating personality dynamics and many variables together.
To learn more about technology addiction treatment and recovery, call one of our experienced admissions counselors today.