Addiction to technology – A reality or mirage?

The term “internet addiction” refers to “excessive or poorly regulated desires or behaviors related to computer use and Internet access that cause impairment or suffering.” Excessive Internet use is thought to lead to Internet addiction, which can lead to difficulties for the user, such as gaming, shopping, gambling, or social networking. Since the mid-1990s, Internet addiction has been recognized as a new type of addiction and a mental health condition with signs and symptoms similar to those of other well-known addictions.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), 40% of the world’s population had an Internet connection in 2016, with 499 million Internet users in Europe, 647 million in the Americas, 240 million in Africa, and 1.7 billion in Asia and the Pacific. Although most individuals benefit from using the Internet, rising availability and high penetration rates around the world can enable the growth of excessive and compulsive Internet behaviours.

Kids have been known to use the term “addiction” to describe their conduct. Half of the teenagers stated they “feel” addicted to their mobile device in a 2016 survey conducted by Common Sense Media, while three-quarters said they felt obligated to respond to messages, social media posts, and other notifications right away.

Due to society’s acceptance of utilizing digital devices, technology addictions, also known as digital addictions or internet addictions, are sometimes disregarded. Loved ones are often unaware of technology addictions since the addicted individual may appear to be focused on something vital, such as work-related duties on their device, when in reality, they are not.

There are debates about whether Internet addiction is a new psychological condition or a symptom of another, whether it belongs in the same category as substance abuse or a behavioural disorder in which people seek out “rewarding stimuli” despite negative consequences, and whether it is a new psychological condition or a symptom of another, how it is evaluated, and how widespread it is.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), a medical reference that identifies and gives diagnostic criteria for mental disorders, does not yet list Internet addiction as a diagnosis.


Although some in the psychiatric community have proposed a new disorder called internet gaming disorder to recognize unhealthy patterns of game-playing, there is technically no such thing as internet or phone addiction, according to Dr. Matthew Cruger, a neuropsychologist and the director of the Learning and Development Center at the Child Mind Institute.

“With addiction, you have a substance that affects the way we respond, which leads us to become reliant on it for our level of functioning,” – Dr. Matthew Cruger

The Following Are Some Indicators Of Technology Addiction:

  1. Cravings and desires to utilize digital gadgets as a result of compulsive technological use.
  2. Prioritizing technology over important aspects of one’s life such as employment, school, and relationships.
  3. Using digital devices even though they are causing problems in your life.
  4. Losing interest in social and recreational activities that you formerly enjoyed due to technological advancements.
  5. Having undesirable mental health symptoms such as depression, anxiety, stress, or irritation as a result of using technology, among other things.
Types Of Addiction To Technology

1.  Addiction To Video Games: Gaming is currently more popular than it has ever been, and it can be found on virtually any technological device. The built-in rewards, secret features, and side quests are all part of what makes gaming so addicting. Gaming can lead to gambling and can result in a dual addiction to gaming and gambling.

2.  Addiction To Social Media: The use of social media platforms is extremely addictive. When a person receives involvement in the form of a “like,” “follow,” or “comment,” their brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters, leading to a desire for more engagement. FOMO (fear of missing out) contributes to social media addiction. Minor activities such as uploading selfies, applying filters to change one’s appearance, and the need to appear ‘perfect,’ can lead to conditions like body dysmorphic disorder or plastic surgery addiction.

3.  Addiction To Online Gambling: Online gambling encompasses a wide range of activities, including online sports betting, day trading, and cryptocurrency trading, to name a few. The American Psychiatric Association recognizes the Internet Gambling Issue as a diagnosable mental health disorder. Gambling addiction has the greatest suicide rate of all the many types of addictions, including substance use addictions.

4.  Online Sexual Addiction (Pornography): Porn addiction is defined as an obsessive and compulsive desire to watch pornography, which is frequently associated with excessive masturbation, hypersexual disorder, and an emotional dependency on pornography. Porn addiction frequently leads to a person’s sex life becoming less satisfying and less interested in real sexual engagement.

5.  Addiction To Online Shopping: Compulsive buying condition, often known as online shopping addiction, is a behavioural addiction that involves impulsive and compulsive online purchases of products and services. Online shopping addictions are frequently used as a short-term means of obtaining pleasure and feeling good, as well as a means of avoiding negative emotions and avoiding boredom. This form of addiction isn’t only about buying things; it’s also about the thrill of looking before making a purchase.

6.  Addiction To Digital Devices At Work: Individuals extremely attached to their jobs are frequently lauded for their diligence, and while a good work ethic is admired, difficulties can occur when people become reliant on their jobs. While work addiction is distinct from digital addiction, it is frequently coupled with technical issues, particularly for individuals in leadership positions or who work in an office environment. Relationships, mental health, and general well-being may deteriorate as a result of work becoming an escape.

Technology helps us meet up a wide range of human requirements, but excessive use carries a risk. Addiction to technology is similar to addiction to alcohol and other drugs in that it has many of the same negative consequences on the brain. We must do all possible to keep ourselves and our children from succumbing to addiction.

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