How many of us can admit to immediately waking up in the morning and reaching for our phones? The answer is probably the majority of us. So is this considered an addiction?
What is an addiction?
The fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity. We, as humans, rely heavily on technology to go about our daily routines.
There is no official mental disorder classified as “technology addiction” but this term can encompass addictive behavior related to social media, excessive texting, information overload, online shopping, gambling, video gaming, and overall smartphone usage.
If addicted to technology, what do you experience? What are the symptoms of technology addiction?
People with what they identify as a “technology addiction” experience symptoms such as:
- Social isolation
- Social anxiety
- Low self-esteem
Internet gaming disorder – What is it?
This is the term for an addiction to video games. There are both functional and structural changes in the neural reward system, so essentially these changes are the same as one would see in a person with an addiction. Video gaming is a relatively new field of study, so research on addiction to gaming is still in its infancy.
What are the effects of Video Gaming?
There are both positive and negative aspects of video gaming.
- Positive aspects: attention, visual, and motor skills are improved.
- Negative aspects: risk of addiction, which can cause any of the symptoms listed above.
Because this is such a new field of study, it is not known yet what aspects of games affect brain regions and how.
Signs you may want to consult a professional with regards to technology addiction
So, when should I look for professional help if I am concerned about a technology addition of myself or a relative? Look for these symptoms:
- You use technology as a way of escaping problems or relieving negative feelings (such as helplessness, guilt, depression or anxiety).
- You constantly check your smartphone, even if it does not ring.
- You get paranoid when your phone (or any other device) is not with you.
- You ignore what is happening around you, in real time, in favor of what is happening virtually.
Any activity in excess will be harmful to your mind or body. If you are looking for professional help, reach out to us. All the symptoms listed above can be treated using Biofeedback at Sadar Psychological and Sports Center. We use equipment that “trains” the brain; and this training will allow for better functioning-as the brain is learning and is able to communicate more efficiently.
To learn more about the services we provide and how they can help you, visit our Sadar Psychological and Sports Center Services page.
* (2017, Spring). Addicted to Technology? Binghamton University Magazine. * Palaus, M., Marron, E. M., Viejo-Sobera, R., Redolar-Ripoll, D. (2017). Neural Basis of Video Gaming: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Retrieved from http://neurosciencenews.com/video-games-brain-6963/>. * “We live in a society inebriated by technology.” Brutally Honest. Image version: 6a00d8345169e201a3fd1c1af4970b. Image found on http://www.brutallyhonest.org/.a/6a00d834516bb169e201a3fd1c1af4970b-250wi.