What Is Technology Addiction and Are You Addicted To Technology?

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What Are Addictions In General?

Addictions are patterns of behavior that can be a risk factor and harmful to the addict or to others. The addictive pattern is a result of an imbalance in the brain’s reward system, which is controlled by a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens is made up of dopamine neurons and sends dopamine signals to other parts of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. These parts of the brain are responsible for thinking and feeling.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mood regulation, motivation, sexual arousal and feelings of pleasure. Dopamine release in this part of the brain causes euphoria or what we call being “high”, which motivates people to repeat behaviours that in turn will cause more dopamine release.

Technology addiction is one type of addictions. This can lead to a life that is less connected and socially challenged. Technology addicts may spend long hours online, ending up less connected to people.  There may also be many other negative consequences, such as neglecting their health because of this addiction.

What Are The Symptoms Of Technology Addictions?

Let’s have a look at some signs of technology addiction and online activities, these symptoms may indicate that you might be addicted to technology:

  • Hiding your digital habits from friends & family because you’re trying to avoid feeling guilty or ashamed.
  • Underestimating how much time we spend on our phones, laptops or tablets today.
  • Taking your eyes off the road: If you are driving or crossing streets and looking down to read a text message for more than three seconds.
  • Being very attached to your devices and experiencing cravings and urges to use them constantly.
  • Losing interest in social and leisure activities that you once enjoyed.
  • Easy forgetting about your responsibilities: work, school and relationships when you’re focusing on the smart devices all the time.

Different Types Of Technology Addictions (Tech Addiction Or Digital Addiction)

Video Games Addictions (Online Gaming)

Video game addiction or internet gaming disorder has been a serious issue for young adults and children for many years. With the sheer number of games available, it can be hard to know which to start with. With too many choices it’s easy to spend too much time on playing games online. The amount of time spent and excessive use of an online activity may lead to your brain releasing more dopamine: this is when there is a higher risk of addiction.

Online Gambling Addictions

Online casino gambling is a form of addictive behavior that has been growing at an alarming rate in the United States. It is estimated that close to 2% of all American adults are addicted to gambling on the internet and this number will continue to grow if these people do not find help and receive professional treatment.

Social Networking Sites (Social Media Platforms) And The Internet Addiction Disorder

Our digital world has become a problem for many people especially for young people who find themselves having a problematic internet use and are unable to manage their time online, resulting in health issues or issues with them developing normal social skills. Some social media sites can be a big part of this, as they are designed to be addictive. Researchers have found that a person’s relationship with the internet and the tech use is much like their relationship with food: they eat too much or too little based on how hungry they feel.

Pornography Addiction (Online Sexual Addiction Or Online Sex Addiction)

Pornography addiction is a relatively new concept that has been gaining attention and causing concern all over the world. This addiction leads to the dependence on sexual materials, which can lead to a range of issues, including withdrawal symptoms and destroy families.

Online Shopping Addictions

Shopping has also become one of the addictions. People buy things they don’t need and sometimes spend too much money, even if they don’t have it (using credit cards). If you’re struggling with an online shopping addiction or always feel the urge to buy something online, please seek help. Otherwise, you may end up bankrupt.

How To Treat Technology Addictions?

First, you need to recognize that you already have some form of addiction, whether it is to online games, mobile devices(Cell Phones), computer addiction, or social media addiction. Checking the screen time on your smart devices can help in identifying what type of behavioral addictions you may have.

Take A Walk From The Virtual To A Real Life Or Social life

The best way to beat an addiction (technological addiction) is by doing the opposite of what you do. Get some time outdoors with friends and family, or play with your pet, or have a picnic with your partner, or go for a long bike ride or walk. There are plenty of opportunities to explore, just be sure not to spend too much time in front of your devices.

Learn To Commit To Something And Plan For A Small Goal

One of the best ways to learn how to commit is to start with yourself. A commitment should be made  by you about your goal, outlining the deadlines by which it should be achieved. It doesn’t have to be a huge goal, but rather a small, achievable project that will help you become more confident in your abilities and understanding of what commitment really means.

References:

The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens

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