Do you worry about technology addiction? Some people think it’s impossible to become addicted to technology. When people think of the word addiction, drugs and alcohol are the ones that usually come to mind. However, more people are becoming reliant and hooked on how the internet or social media can make them feel. Read on to learn signs of technology addiction and the treatments available.
What is Addiction to Technology?
Do you know what technology addiction is? According to verymindwell, technology addiction or internet addiction is a behavioral addiction where people can’t control their use of technology. Tech addiction can come from using video games, smartphones, social media, online gambling, texting, and the internet.
When someone relies on technology too much to where they become addicted to particular parts that make them feel good, it’s like what drugs do to the human body. People can also become tolerant of technology. It makes you want to use the computer more often or have the best type of technology out there.
A young teenager might escape their terrible high school experience by playing video games. They might sink into the game so much that winning becomes the most important thing. When they experience a win, they can feel the “high” like someone who uses marijuana to help ease their anxiety from their school stress. Except, it’s a lot easier to continue winning than getting high.
The same could be true for someone who isn’t aware of the negative impact technology is having on their life. This addiction is so much harder to identify and to admit that you have a problem.
What Are the symptoms of a Tech Addiction?
Have you noticed some signs that you or your loved one is becoming addicted to technology? It might be hard to comprehend that someone could become addicted to something that almost everyone uses. So, how can you figure out if you are falling prey to this addiction?
According to PsychGuides.com, there are a few physical symptoms of technology addiction to watch out for:
- Blurred or strained vision
- Sleep troubles
- Neck pain
- Weight loss or gain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
These symptoms become a problem because of constant eye strain when you sit and stare at the screen for extended periods without looking away or getting up.
Almost everyone you see around you carries a cell phone to a restaurant, the mall, or while cruising in a car. Holding a cell phone or playing video games for hours each day can cause problems with your wrist, making you develop carpal tunnel syndrome or cause backaches at a young age.
However, those with tech addiction are also prone to suffer from emotional symptoms. Here are a few emotional symptoms that can develop:
- No sense of time
- Avoiding doing work
- Unable to keep schedules
- Euphoric feelings
Sitting around texting or playing video games while the world continues without you makes a person lose a sense of time or ignore crucial eating habits during the day. Therefore, changes in body weight can happen when technology has all your attention. You aren’t able to take proper care of your nutritional needs and either lose or gain weight while sitting down with no exercise.
Short-term and Long-term Impacts
Do you want to graduate? According to PsychGuides.com, some short-term effects include incomplete tasks, weight gain, and forgetting or ignoring responsibilities. This could impact your school or work life since you might forgo doing your homework or attending your classes. Eventually, you might get held back or kicked out of your school because of too many missed days.
Some physical symptoms such as backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, vision problems, and neck pain can become a long-term issue. Looking at the computer and television screens all day will eventually cause permanent damage to your eyes. When young teenagers are experiencing these symptoms, they might put them off as aches and pains that will eventually go away when they rest later.
However, if you continue gaming for years, this could become more serious. As stated by PsychGuides.com, tech addicts can develop technostress. This means you become overly stressed by using technology daily. It will only add more stress on yourself when this happens to you.
Not only can your health be affected, but some people will experience other long-term impacts. If you are into online gambling or shopping, you might run up those credit card bills. This could lead to financial ruin and affect your credit score if you allow the behavior to continue.
What is Technology Addiction Withdrawal?
Did you know you can go into withdrawal after quitting the technology you’ve become addicted to? According to PsychGuides.com, Swansea and Milan Universities did a study that portrayed those suffering from technology addiction will experience similar withdrawal symptoms as drug addicts when they stop their technological use.
As stated by verywellmind, some withdrawal symptoms to watch out for include:
This can even happen to young children when their parents take their games or phones away from them. So, it might not be self-evident at first since most children won’t tell you how they feel, or the symptoms might appear like they are merely experiencing boredom, nervousness, irritability, or moodiness. This could turn bad quickly since most parents might think their children are being whiny or “just being kids.” Not every parent will know that these could be signs of something far more severe.
Dangerous Withdrawal Situations
It might seem different when young children are going through withdrawal for something as innocent having a video game or checking their social media accounts taken away from them. However, the behavior changes some children experience can be just as bad as withdrawing from drugs, which portrays how dangerous technology is influencing children in this modern world.
As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, one adolescent developed an addiction to video games. This boy was playing 10 to 12 hours each day. This led to a decline in personal hygiene and school performance, disturbances in his sleep and appetite, and stopped his other hobbies. His case progressed to where he would get angry and bang his head on the wall when he didn’t get to play. It led to him attempting suicide before he eventually got medical help for his tech addiction.
Not everyone will experience such a dangerous withdrawal from technology, but this could show that younger people are more vulnerable during this phase of recovery. They might not fully understand that it’s unhealthy being dependent on video games or social media.
However, technology addiction is still relatively new and not as studied as drug and alcohol addiction. Therefore, if you think your child is experiencing technology addiction, consider taking them to a rehab facility that can help young children through this difficult time. They can help keep them safe while they go through the real effects of technology withdrawal that some people might think isn’t real. Don’t let your child go through the awful withdrawals alone.
What Are the Consequences of a Tech Addiction?
Becoming addicted to technology doesn’t seem like it’s as bad as drug or alcohol addiction. However, there might be more consequences than you thought when you prioritize technology over people and other aspects of your life.
Have you ever gone on a date with someone who texted the whole time? People who are addicted to texting or checking their social media accounts are always looking down at their phones. They become nearly impossible to develop real-life relationships with since they are always typing on their phones. Their focus is usually somewhere else and not on the people in front of them, making it difficult to have real conversations in person.
It could also test your relationships with close family and friends on how much they care about you. Some of them might stick by your side and help you seek the medical help you need.
Is technology worth losing your dream job? If your addiction is online gambling or something that will distract you at work, then you could put your job in jeopardy. You might not control your usage and let your job slip between your fingers.
You could also put your health at risk. Gaining too much weight where you develop other problems like obesity or diabetes could only escalate your health decline if you don’t seek medical help. So, why not try to get help today?
How is Technology Addiction Treated?
Where can you get treatment for technology addiction? Those dealing with technology addiction might get the help they need at rehab centers. Not a lot of rehab facilities have special programs tailored to technology addictions.
Going into an excellent partial hospitalization or outpatient program might be the answer to getting away from technology and focusing on therapy without being too tempted to continue using. It’s not as intensive as inpatient rehab, so you can save money and keep your job since they can work around your work hours.
You also have the choice of living at a residential facility where you can get away from temptation when life in the real world gets a little stressful. Sometimes a little safe space is all you need to maintain your sobriety from technology.
There are a few treatments at some of these rehab facilities that you can look into for you or your family member. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, some therapeutic techniques that therapists use on tech addicts include creating new schedules, using timers, and particular abstinence.
Technology is everywhere now, so it’s difficult to quit technology entirely like you would drugs and alcohol. So, it’s not possible to stop all technology usage. Instead, these techniques are useful to help set restrictions. They design the new schedules for taking breaks or doing other things before they allow you to indulge in computer use.
You can also use a set timer to turn the computer off when you have other responsibilities to attend to. These techniques allow you to use technology in a healthier way. Although, sometimes, total abstinence from one particular tech might be required if you aren’t able to restrict yourself.
Are you ready to ask for help? If you suspect you or your loved one is suffering from technology addiction, it’s always better to ask for help as soon as possible. Any addiction will only get worse the longer you go with no treatment. Research online today to see where you can get tech addiction treatment so you can maintain your relationships and your health.