How to Recognize The Signs Of Computer Addiction In Yourself And Others

signs of computer addiction

It is almost considered uncommon now for a household in the United States to not have a computer of some version in their home. Especially after the Covid-19 Pandemic, which dramatically shifted remote work preference and opportunities. Over the last 20 years our society has radically shifted into a tech-immersed digital age, one that continues to evolve as seen recently with AI. Technology can be a wonderful thing– a way to connect with loved ones and keep in touch easily. In fact, there are beneficial medical and scientific innovations that we can attribute to our high tech capabilities. But what happens to a human being who has become overly dependent on their computer? What happens to a person who has clear signs of computer addiction? And because computers involve just the computer and the user- do these people fall through the cracks in regards to needed help? It is important as a society to learn how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself and others.

Today’s technology devices, such as computers and laptops, ensure that we never have to spend a moment fully immersed in reality. There is always a screen to escape into as far as the manufacturers are concerned, in fact they make sure of it. And keep in mind that treatment for computer addiction goes far and beyond the use of screens. The scariest part of computer addiction is that it includes an unhealthy emotional connection to the internet. We are now seeing higher rates of depression; more anxiety; more sleep disturbances; less friends; and decreased real-life activities. We see a person trapped in a life that revolves around the habituation to their devices as their psychological state deteriorates and their interpersonal relationships evaporate. Many times a person who may already be struggling with underlying mental health issues may be more likely to escape into the warm seductive glow of their computer screen. 

How To Recognize The Signs of Computer Addiction In Yourself And Others


Addiction to a computer is a relatively new phenomenon, but it is one of the fastest growing addictions that we have ever seen. Technology Addiction is an umbrella term that includes addictive behavior towards video gaming, social media, texting, gambling, cybersex and online porn. However, don’t forget it also includes eBay and other online auctioning or shopping platforms, as well the general overuse of smartphones. In fact, the average person in the United States spends approximately 10 hours and 39 minutes on technology devices each day! That is insane, especially considering cell phones have only been around just over 20 years now. Computers, however, have been around much longer than that. Which brings us back to the important point of knowing how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself and others. Computer addiction can result from people using it repeatedly as their main stress reliever instead of having a variety of ways to cope with negative events and feelings. This can lead to an emotionally inept society of the future, quite a scary thought. 

Here’s a pop quiz for you- when was the last time you checked your digital device or smartphone?  And be honest. Perhaps, you picked up your phone a few times while reading this page, purely out of habit. If you had to, could you shut off your phone and not use the internet for 24 hours? How about 72 hours? Ok- a week? Oftentimes, the answer is no, and we understand why. Computers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in our school, work, and private lives. In this new, ultra-connected world, many of us feel we have to stay plugged in without even a second thought. Which is why it is so important to learn how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself and others before it’s too late.

Recognize The Signs Of Computer Addiction In Yourself And Others:

  • Person is unable to control how much time they spend on their computer. 
  • The person will use their computer immediately when waking up.
  • An addicted person will spend more time interfacing with technology rather than pursuing other activities and responsibilities.
  • Engaging with technology as a way to avoid conflict is a sure sign of addiction. 
  • Regardless of consequences, the person addicted to their computer will say that their compulsive computer use is a “lifestyle” choice.
  • Loss of interest in activities that do not require the use of a computer. 
  • Observed poor eye health, especially if for the first time in the person’s life. 

Computer addiction does a very similar thing to the brain as to what drugs do to the human body. When someone relies on their computer too much to help them ‘feel good’, then a slippery slope of false emotions building begins. Computer addiction can make an affected individual want to use the computer more often and include a compulsive desire to have the best computer available on the market. There is also some data to suggest that use of devices reinforces dopamine pathways, a neurotransmitter that is a “feel good” chemical involved in our reward-seeking behaviors. When this pathway isn’t reinforced, we actually experience chemical withdrawal in our brains.

At Omega Recovery, we understand that computer addiction is so much harder to identify and to admit when there’s a problem. But, if you did recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself from above- the time to take action is Now. Thanks to Omega Recovery, you can take this test to check whether you have any of the symptoms that are typical among people with a computer addiction. The same could be true for someone who isn’t aware of the negative impact technology is having on their life. Therefore, they should take the test too as soon as possible. Computer addiction is associated with several negative consequences that can seriously impact your family life, social life, and work life. The effects of computer addiction can also affect your physical and mental health, and lead to serious health conditions that could take years to treat or reverse. Time is of the essence. 

How To Prevent Computer Addiction From Getting Worse Before Seeking Treatment 

For many parents in today’s world, computer and/or technology addiction is a major concern. Teenagers are most vulnerable to technology addiction, with studies showing 45 percent are online almost constantly. The fallout from this behavior can include harmful repercussions, with ADHD, adolescent anxiety, depression and suicide risks included. One of the most serious issues with Tech Addiction is the absence of online responsibility. Users are often hiding behind a screen and engage in behavior that they would never do in real life. Which is why it is so important as a parent to know how to recognize the signs of computer addiction. While app and device makers have their own solutions to address computer addiction, exploring other options is a must. For example, Omega includes our clinical program as a way to unplug from addictive devices. Below are examples of actions your or someone you love can do to help prevent a computer addiction from getting any worse. 

  • For iPhone users, ‘Screen Time’ tracks your app usage and lets you put limits on certain types of apps. 
  • ‘Downtime’ can also help avoid phone usage by locking certain apps and phone features at a scheduled time of day.
  • Turn off Notifications, or utilize “Do Not Disturb” mode.
  • Turn off your computer during Meals.
  • Designate Tech-Free Hours for yourself or a loved one.Make the bedroom a no-tech zone.
  • Limit Yourself to mostly only work on your computer. 
  • Spring clean the  social media accounts.

While the above listed ways to stop computer addiction from getting any worse may help yourself or someone you love, professional help should be sought. Professionals that have experience and background in addiction will provide therapies to kick computer addiction to the curb for good. Hence the importance of choosing a recovery center that knows how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself and others. Qualified professionals can aid in a safe detox period, offer support programs, utilize various forms of treatment safely, and walk clients every step of the way. Omega Recovery in particular takes great pride in offering both experiment-based and holistic forms of treatment for computer addiction. There’s a reason why we ranked the best recovery facility in Austin, TX!

signs of computer addiction

Examples Of Different Treatments Used For Computer Addiction

Computer addiction recovery centers are not all created equal. Therefore, the programs and treatments they offer and provide will also differ. Below are three different kinds of treatment used for anyone seeking freedom from technology addiction. After one knows how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself or others, seeking treatment is next. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Since our cognition affects our wellbeing, changing harmful thought patterns will help clients recognize their ability to practice alternative ways of thinking. An active therapeutic modality, CBT is present-oriented, problem-focused, and goal-directed.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets; Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions), and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Recovery-Oriented Challenge Therapy: Sometimes also called Adventure Therapy or Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH), this evidence-based technique is centered on an activity or “adventure” in which a clinical professional can actively engage with clients. Examples include group challenges, outdoor activities, ropes courses, games, or other skill-building healing activities. They are designed to help clients identify strengths and skills, build social support, strengthen their sense of focus or control, and address basic recovery issues. These groups also assist with the development of self-care, boundaries, accountability, and trust. In addition, just being outdoors and immersed in nature has itself been proven to be therapeutic for a person stuck in a sedentary and addictive indoor lifestyle.

Founder Of Omega Recovery Knows All Too Well How To Recognize Computer Addiction

While hundreds of computer addiction treatment programs exist throughout Asia, treatment options in the United States had been almost non-existent. Thankfully however, now that’s changed. Omega Recovery offers the best, evidence-based, most immersive and transformative computer addiction treatment program in the United States. At Omega Recovery, Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, is not only the founder but also one of the country’s foremost experts on treating technology and computer addiction. He is the author of the best-selling book “Glow Kids”, and from personal experience and earned knowledge has developed a successful and immersive 8-week program. One designed to not only treat the computer addiction, but to also address any and all underlying issues that may be contributing to the technology addiction. Our expert team knows all too well how to recognize the signs of computer addiction in yourself and others. 

At Omega Recovery, Dr. Kardaras’s unique program takes great aim at addressing all the underlying issues that stem from computer addiction. A digital detox period is crucial, as it paves the way for the real work of self-discovery and long-term recovery to occur. Our incredible staff members meaningfully engage our computer addicted clients and set them on the right path toward recovery. One that connects them to caring, well-trained masters-level therapists trained by Dr. Kardaras and certified by the NIDHW (National Institute for Digital Health and Wellness). Clients begin to do the underlying psychodynamic work so that they can build a stronger and more empowered sense of their own identity. One without the counterfeit reality of their digital escapism and harmful computer addiction. 

“Unfortunately, it seems that we, as a society, have entered into a Faustian deal. Yes, we have these amazing handheld marvels of the digital age – tablets and smartphones – miraculous glowing devices that connect people throughout the globe and can literally access the sum of all human knowledge in the palm of our hand. But what is the price of all this future tech? The psyche and soul of an entire generation. The sad truth is that for the oh-so-satisfying ease, comfort and titillation of these jewels of the modern age, we’ve unwittingly thrown an entire generation under the virtual bus.” -Dr. Kardaras

Don’t hesitate any longer to give us a call at (512) 601-5407. We are here to help you or a loved one today.

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