Is Technology Turning Into an Addiction?
- Aug 15, 2017
In the last few years, the emerging trends across the world and relative research and studies have led researchers to develop an opinion. It is that technology addiction is very similar to drug cravings. As bold the statement is, it really is no secret that people across the world are increasingly growing addicted and dependent on technology. A byproduct of this has been that ‘technology addiction’ has been come to be classified as a mental condition by doctors and mental health specialists.
‘Digital Heroin”: Yes, Chinese researchers have used ‘digital heroin’ as the term to describe the technology. By now, tech devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Xbox and smartphones are all categorized as a digital drug. The excessive amount of time individuals, particular the kids, are spending on these tech gadgets are making doctors and other researchers grow concerned, as a result.
It is difficult to stay off technology: If asked, would you be able to give up using your gadgets and bar yourself from using all kinds of online technology? Perhaps not. Well, no surprises there. Similarly, a study carried out at the University of Maryland revealed that most surveyed students reported of experiencing feelings of anxiety and withdrawal after they were asked to be away from their smartphones, laptops and the like. The outcomes of the experiment were somewhat expected.
The Endless end: Many teenagers and young adults in surveys have gone to extent of stating that they need access to technology and media; because otherwise they do not know what to do with themselves. Such an admission has led to another theory coming through – technology addiction is causing increased isolation among users. Studies have found that social media in particular has escalated the dominance of social isolation around the world.
Excessive usage and dependency: The same research study also found that users aged between 8 and 18 years stay hooked on the aforesaid devices for more than seven hours on an average on a daily basis. Users between ages 12 and 17 years in particular, said that they engage in sending texts (50 or more) everyday, and one-third stated that they send more than 100 messages per day. In fact, one specific participant said that they sent message every minute, and felt rather embarrassed about not being able to stay away from their cellphone for 24 hours.
Affects Relationships: It is no longer news that technology and our growing attachment to it has led to a rise in the levels of detachment in our real-time relationships. There is ample literature on the subject and most of it points towards one fact: technology addiction has caused relationships to turn cold or get put on the backburner.
Cause of Concern: Observing the comprehensive patterns of technology usage and addiction, in the youth specifically, researchers believe that the current scenario could badly hurt the development prospects of the youth. Due to the increasing attachment to smartphone apps and instant messaging, there is a rampant belief in scholars that face-to-face interactivity will decline. Real-time socialization is imperative for harnessing social and emotional skills in individuals. If technology addiction continues as it is, it could play spoilsport for the youth in the long-run.
Tech Burnout: As individuals grow more and more addicted to using technology, a tech burnout is imminent. It is a kind of fatigue which creeps into the physical and mental condition of an individual that makes him feel tired and drained. Technology-crazed users at some point of the day are bound to experience tech burnout, researchers say. And it is not a good thing.
The Symptoms: If an individual is addicted to technology, then he or she is likely to show symptoms such as: depression, anxiety, social phobia, and sleep issues. The same kinds of traits have been identified in shopaholics too. They are just as impulsive and materialistic too. Loners are more likely to be frequent users of technology, researchers have found. Although it may sound clichéd, but people who have sense of low self-esteem are most likely to stay hooked on the Web, visit chat rooms etc – in a bid to interact with others in an anonymous and non-threatening fashion.
Technology addiction is a reality of our time. As the innovations and inventions continue to occur full-speed, our links to technology are only going to get further strengthened, and according to expert opinion, it is not good news.
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