Addictions are dangerous but they are not always easy to identify. Various kind of addiction are rampant in society and the disease can go untreated depending on the activity or substance in question.
Technology holds a significant place in the world. Applications and technology assist and pervade nearly every facet of daily living. It is no wonder that addiction to technology and the escape it offers is so prevalent.
About one in eight people have a problematic attachment to technology, and one in 10 people have progressed to a level of dependency on technology. Most people with a technology addiction are not aware of how much time they are spending in the digital world. In many cases, dependence on technology started before users could ask themselves if the behavior associated with their use was healthy.
Research shows that a technology addiction can affect physical and mental health while also stunting behavioral development in an individual. The following sections discuss the indicators of a technology addiction and help you learn how said addiction works.
Technology addiction usually refers to an internet addiction. However, with advancements in current technology, extreme cellphone use and tablet use have also been rolled into the term, as long as the right symptoms are present. Technology addictions can range from moderate to severe. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, however, a technology addiction can affect your everyday life. In fact, 80 percent of smartphone users say they check their cellphone as soon as they wake up in the morning.
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A technology addiction reflects how a substance or device negatively affects your relationships and life. Those who truly have a technology addiction experience an impact in the same area of the brain impacted by alcohol, gambling or drug addiction.
A technology addiction impacts several aspects of your life. One of the first things to go after you develop a technology addiction is your social life. If you are aware you are experiencing a technology addiction and know a problem exists, it is likely you are pulling away from friends and family out of fear.
Due to your high technology use, you may be afraid of being judged by people closest to you, especially because you do not want to stop cutting down on your technology or changing the way you use electronic objects. This is very common in many types of addiction and is usually identified as a clue right away. As time goes on and the addiction worsens, you can become so withdrawn from the world that your social skills diminish significantly.
If you have a technology addiction, you are likely unaware of how much time you are spending on the internet or on a device. According to a study done in the United Kingdom, 34 percent of people have likely checked their Facebook account in the last 10 minutes. In some cases, you may not even realize you are hungry or thirsty while using technology because your conscious mind is overcome by your addiction. In fact, there have been cases of death linked to technology addiction because the addicted individuals did not attend to their health needs.
Ask yourself if you routinely lose track of time while online. If so, it may be time to speak to a doctor, counselor or a health care professional about what you are experiencing.
Like other addictions, a technology addiction takes time to form. Unfortunately, once it has formed, it can progress quickly. The progression can make you feel like you no longer have the will to do anything else. When this lack of desire starts to sink in and reaches an unhealthy level, you become addicted.
Feelings can include not wanting to leave for work in the morning or skipping school to spend more time online. You may display irritability when asked to complete even the simplest of tasks. This is exacerbated by lack of sleep due to late-night engagement with your computer, cellphone or another electronic device.
A universal aspect of addiction is the guilt and shame that comes along with it at various moments. Unfortunately, if you are addicted, you may not always be able to discuss this guilt. You may feel that if you discuss the parts of your habits that make you feel shameful, you will be admitting to the addiction. However, holding on to this deep guilt and shame can result in depression and it drives you deeper into the cycle. The negative feelings you experience eventually lead to an even stronger dependence on technology because technology is the only outlet for personal relief.
Those who are too dependent on technology tend to experience feelings of guilt when confronted about their device usage. If you feel you may have an addiction, you may defend your actions vigorously and even aggressively. A technology addiction is similar to any other addiction in this way.
Technology addicts may experience the feeling of being “high” while on the internet or when using an electronic device. This high is a feeling of euphoria and happiness. This euphoria can block out any negative feelings and difficult emotions from everyday life. Unfortunately, your tolerance level builds quickly and requires you to spend more time engaged with the technology in order to experience the high. Before you know it, you are spending all of your time online.
A technology addiction can be hard to break due to the way technology is integrated into our everyday lives. Technology addiction treatment is effective, but you must be willing to seek help. Treatment must include breaking the cycle you are familiar with. Once you have learned how to change your habits and the way you relate to technology, you can receive help dealing with the withdrawal symptoms you will likely experience.
Typically, a treatment plan will be developed to address the underlying reasons for the addiction. Your treatment plan may include therapy and, in some instances, medication. Recovery plans look different depending on the individual. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to treatment and recovery.
Addiction treatment and recovery is a process, but it is necessary if you want to be rid of your addiction and start really living your life. Your treatment plan may include different ways to socialize and ways to complete functional tasks.
Quitting “cold turkey” is a popular addiction remedy term. However, it rarely works, because the underlying reasons for your addiction have not been addressed. With this approach, relapse is common.
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