Technology addiction commonly known as internet addiction is a fairly new occurrence often labeled as a problem involving the incapacity to control the use of different kinds of technology particularly smartphones, social media platforms, Internet, and tablets among others. Now that it's easy to access the Web from anywhere in the world, many people depend on portable gadgets to communicate. As such, it is not a surprise that there is a rise in addictive tendencies in the technology world. This, of course, comprises of video games, online gambling, and cybersex.
As technology becomes pervasive in our work environments and private lives, understanding how we interact with it is significant. Disorders connected to technology addiction are emerging as a fundamental research topic and the outcomes will help in shaping the way we deal with technological changes and advancements and work and home in the future.
According to Dr. Adam Alter (NYU professor), the ordinary millennial picks up their phone approximately one hundred and fifty times a day. Alter suggests that nearly 40 percent of people have some kind of internet addiction and reiterates that it is a result of the way technology is designed (Osuch and Turner).Normally we are thrilled every time we open the Facebook or Instagram application-do I have any likes? Has anyone sent me a friend request? This kind of behavior is similar to the satisfaction we get when taking part in slot machine games.
Though internet addiction is not yet recognized as a disorder on its own, the problem has been known to healthcare professionals in since the 1990s (Weiss).Kimberly Young, PsyD established an Internet Addiction Center in 1995 and generated a treatment plan for internet addiction based on behavioral methods.In the same year, Dr. Ivan Goldberg devised the term " addiction disorder".
Diagnosis of internet addiction differs from one country to another, however, surveys in the United States establish that between 1.5 and 8.2 percent of the people suffer from technology addiction.Scientists from the University of Stanford School of Medicine in 2006 conducted a study that established that one in eight Americans has at least one sign of tech addiction.Internet addiction is acknowledged as a popular health problem in other nations such as China, Italy, Australia, and Japan among others, and have formed dedicated clinics to address this rising issue.
Just like any other forms of addiction, technology addiction ranges from moderate to severe and some experts say that people who use their phones for long hours experience a "high" and feel withdrawn when cutting off. An addict is not simply defined by the amount spent on the device but how extreme use affects the individual's physical and mental health, social life and job performance.
After nearly two decades of research, the APA has bow recognized internet addiction as a condition that should be considered by clinicians. For the first time, Internet gaming disorder appeared in the statistics manual for mental disorders (DSM-5) in 2013 (Kuss).It stands along pathological gambling which is the only other behavioral addiction and has pulled ahead of other addictive behaviors such as work, exercise, and shopping. The diversity of conceptualizations used for internet addiction have led some scientists to question its existence and have called for standard criteria which increase consistency across studies and promote adequate and effective treatment methods.
Some scientists have associated internet addiction with several mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Due to the popularity of social networks, any connection between them and psychiatric disorders would pose a serious health concern. As such, there are numerous reasons why a social media addict has the tendency to become depressed. According to Kraut et al (1998), internet use, in general, affects social relationships. In this study, the writers established that spending long hours online equates to a decrease in communication with family and friends which in turn may lead to increased feelings of loneliness and depression (Pantic). Several other publications followed where it was advocated that long periods of computer use may cause problems in social development, particularly in children.
With the rise in social networks, the time people spend on social media has considerably increased.As such, this has led to a further decrease in interpersonal communication at family levels as well as in the wider social surroundings.Though social media allows one to interact with a larger audience, these interactions can certainly not replace face-to-face communication.Since social media is a somewhat new invention, this relationship between its use and feelings of depression has not yet been accurately examined.Most of the research on this subject has been printed during the past few years and so far, the scientists have not been able to interpret the outcomes completely.
Long periods spent on social networks may be associated with symptoms of depression in the fact that computer-related communication may result to the altered impression of the personal behaviors of other users (Bessiere, Pressman, and Kiesler).In that regard, incorrect conclusions may result regarding intelligence, physical appearance, and moral integrity.In a recent study by Chou and Edge on the possible effects of using Facebook on students' perceptions of other peoples lives.The research involving four hundred and twenty-five undergraduate students established that FB use is linked participants' view that others users are better-off and that "life's not fair."In that capacity, seeing other people as better-off and more successful does not essentially result in depression.Nevertheless, this may further negatively affect the mental health of individuals who have had certain depressive predispositions.
Additionally, it is possible that the general effect of social networking systems on self-esteem is much complex.Continuous self-evaluation on a daily basis, and comparing one's achievements with others, and selfish behavior are all elements that may positively or adversely influence self-esteem.Regrettably, despite several studies during the past years, this subject still remains unresolved and may take many years before the true nature of this relationship is understood.
In my opinion, the internet is a necessity and the creators have the users best interests at heart.As such, more than 80 percent of students worldwide use more than one social network application and more than half the number log in at least once or twice in a day. Social networking is a daily part of peoples lives since these Internet-based services articulate a list of other users who share a connection.Social networking allows people from all walks of life to connect with each other.Also, it is quite easy to express oneself over the internet as you can share your favorite lyrics new outfits with other people.Moreover, it is a great way to entertain oneself after a busy daily routine.
However, other people may take advantage of social media sites thus leading to cyberbullying.Unfortunately, no one can effectively stop cyberbullying since it happens behind the screens.Also, it can be a waste of time since many people end up spending long hours behind the screen when they were meant to search for only one thing.Overall, the positive effects of social networks and technological devices ultimately outweigh the negative effects.
Consequently, technology addiction is advancing rapidly even without its official acknowledgment as a distinct behavioral addiction.The ongoing debate on whether it should be considered an obsessive-compulsive disorder or behavioral addiction cannot be determined adequately.However, the symptoms observed in clinical practice show signs associated with behavioral addictions.Furthermore, it still remains vague whether the mechanisms of addictive behavior are similar in different types of internet addiction disorder such as online gaming and extreme surfing.From a practical viewpoint, the different forms of addiction disorder can be categorized under the same umbrella due to numerous internet specific commonalities.
Digital products, as well as social media elements, are designed to keep you coming back for more.As such, resisting the need to keep checking your phone should be a matter of self-control.Spending many hours in front of the computer only leads to wastage of time which in turn makes it hard to pay attention to important things.The first step in dealing with internet addiction is to admit you have a problem.Understand that numerous people are becoming addicted or are already internet addicts and you are not the only one hence it is not something to be embarrassed about.Also, it is important to get a hobby that is not internet related such as sporting activities.Keeping up with local events helps a great deal to distance oneself from the computer and its related gadgets.Additionally, limiting time spent on the computer is a fundamental aspect.It is advisable to put your computer or laptop somewhere that is easy to remember but not where you can see it all the time.This reduces time spent on the screen significantly.
Bessiere, Katie, et al. "Effects of Internet Use on Health and Depression: A Longitudinal Study." Journal of Medica Internet Research (2010). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3234167/.
Kuss, Daria. "Internet gaming addiction: current perspectives." Psychology Research and Brhavior Management (2013): 125-137. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3832462/.
Osuch, Michael, and Steven Turner. Addiction to modern technology: what the science says. 2 August 2017. https://www.elsevier.com/connect/addiction-to-modern-technology-what-the-science-says.
Pantic, Igor. "Online Social Networking and Mental Health." Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking (2014): 652-657. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183915/.
Weiss, Rob. Technology Addiction. n.d. https://www.addiction.com/addiction-a-to-z/technology-addiction/.
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