What is Technology Addiction?
The technology surrounding us makes life easier for us to live and brings new troubles to an end. Mobile phones, tablets, televisions, and electronic games, on which adults tend to be busy for long hours, seem to be inevitable necessities of our time. However, they are slowly becoming inconveniences with the addiction that they create not only for adults but also for children.
The addictive effects of technological tools are strong. Due to the so-called ‘technological dependency’, children spend more and more time with technological gadgets. The signs of technology addiction seen among kids include retreating from social life, inability to sleep, lengthy use of, and excessive reactions when they are cut off from them by parents. Also, depression, autism, attention deficit disorder and bipolar disorder tend to be more common in this group of children.1
How Common is Technology Addiction?
Dr. Petersen et al. found that ınternational pathological internet usage rates range from 1.5 % to 8.2%. However, these numbers would be significantly higher after adding the percentage of other technology-related addictions such as smartphone, game, online sex and gambling addiction.2
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What are the Signs of Technology Addiction?
Just as with other addictions, technology addiction affects the organism physically and psychologically, therefore there are various symptoms for different organ systems.3
- Reduction of self-care
- Dry eye
- Back and lower back pain
- Weight gain linked to lack of movement
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Impaired sleeping patterns
- Head wounds
Social and Psychological Symptoms
- Decline in academic achievements
- Personal, family and school problems
- Failure to manage time
- Sleep disorders
- Eating disorders
- Reduction in activity
- Internet friends, outside isolation
How is it Diagnosed?
If you are experiencing 3 or more of the symptoms below you may have technology addiction.4,5,6,7
- Increased time spent on technological activities
- Failure at controlling behavior
- Increased feelings of euphoria when accessing technology
- Excessive craving and desire towards technological activities
- Decrease in interactions with relatives
- Feeling unrest when not in operation, (for example, waking up in the night to be online, resulting in lack of sleep affecting the day)
- Losing integrity in social environments (for example, lying to get out of previous engagements, so as to spend more time with technology)
- Problems in performance at work or school
- Spending and losing money on internet not leading to feeling guilt, shame, anger, or sadness,
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Weight gain, physical changes such as headaches, back pain
- Withdrawal from other pleasurable activities
Do not Worry, you are not Alone
If you think that you suffer from technology addiction there are behavioral and pharmaceutical treatments. Please ask your doctor or call our help center number to find more information.