It is important to note that people who use technology for their professional use cannot be called as technology addicts.
It is strange yet interesting to know that in countries such as South Korea internet addiction has been recognized and declared as a national health problem. A lot of current research on the subject of Internet addiction has been carried out in Asia. This is problem is posing a major threat to children and adults in India.
Below are the main types of technology addiction:
- Internet addiction which includes:
- Video game addiction,
- Cybersex or online sex addiction,
- Online gambling addiction.
- Addiction to mobile devices, such as cell phones and smart phones, and addiction to social networking sites, such as Facebook. e.g. Person becomes addict to that extent that he finds pleasure in posting pictures on Facebook and finds pleasure in it.
- Sexting or sending sexually explicit texts is one other major type. Over usage of pornographic sites is becoming rampant in youth and children in India.
Symptoms of Internet Addiction
To get a correct diagnosis of technology addiction is a daunting task for the psychologist, as it is not formally recognized as a behavioral addiction. However, if a person is using internet / technology to that extent that it starts hampering his/ her daily life chores, then it is usually categorized under the technology addiction.
Below are some of the ways to identify technology addiction:
1. Excessive Use of the Internet
Although it still remains a controversial topic that how much daily internet use is recommended, however it has been recognized that more than 2 hours of daily internet use for non- professional work can be considered as technology addiction.
Below is list of few questions, which you can ask yourself and find out if you are a technology addict?
- Staying online longer than you intended?
- Hearing from other people in your life about complaints such as about how much time you spend online?
- Saying or thinking, “Just a few more minutes” when online?
- Trying and fail to cut down on how much time you spend online?
- Hiding how long you’ve been online?
If you come across these challenges in your daily life, then you can be called as a technology addict.
Technology addiction is also associated with withdrawal symptoms such as anger, tension, and depression when Internet access is not available. The affected person may feel excessive boredom, joylessness, moodiness, nervousness, and irritability if he/she is unable to use the internet.
This is another major symptom in which a person might just want more time on the internet. The person might also look for a bigger, better or the latest software, hardware or gadgets.
Forgets the real life relationships and relies in internet relationships
Person does not have real personal relationships and starts having online relationships. Online affairs can develop quickly and easily. However, if the person is heartbroken then he/she fails to cope up with the situation.
Finances can also suffer, particularly if your weakness is for online gambling, online shopping or cybersex.
Internet Addiction in Kids
Internet addiction is becoming a serious problem in kids and teens. Children are not aware when to put a stop to the internet use and lack awareness to properly manage their computer use, and have no idea about the potential harms that the internet can open them up to. The majority of kids have access to a computer, and it has become common practice for kids and teens to carry cell phones.
Issues such as cyber bullying, is becoming a common problem and threat to children these days. There is also increased risk that they will use their cellphone for cybersex, particularly through sexting, and accessing apps which could potentially increase the risk of sex addiction and online sexual harms, such as Tinder.
Recently, video gaming addiction led to the death of many children in India and abroad.
What to do if you are a technology addict?
If you feel that you are a technology addict or someone around you is suffering from this addiction you can go for digital diet.
Digital diet is a method in which you can slowly reduce your daily internet usage.
Seek help from psychologists, and other therapists, your doctor can prescribe medications or therapy to treat an underlying problem if you have one, such as depression or social anxiety disorder.