The Dark Side of Technology: Understanding Digital Addiction

digital addiction

Whether we all want to believe it or not, there is a deep and often dark world that lurks night and day online. The tricky thing about technology is that it never sleeps, and it will always be there to captivate your attention. When learning about the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction, it’s best to keep an open mind. Not everything you find online is bad, there is of course always a natural balance. However, with the increasing amount of time people spend online these days- it’s best to pay close attention to what we are exposing ourselves to on the internet. Humans are naturally creative, and that spectrum of creativity can range from dark to light in both definitions of the word. It makes perfect sense then why the dark side of technology is often digital addiction. Like other addictive behaviors and disorders, excessive internet use has been shown to release dopamine in the brain. This means people effectively feel a “high” when engaged online, but on the contrary can feel “withdrawal symptoms” when they’re offline. This unhealthy balance can lead a person to feel devoid without their technology’s presence. 


Understanding Digital Addiction As We Know It Today

There is still so much to learn and study when it comes to understanding the impact that technology is having on people individually and as a whole. Smartphones with a touchscreen came onto the scene only a mere 13 years ago, and phones without are considered rare now. How has humanity’s perspective, habits, and routine changed since their introduction? The answer is that we don’t know. As we divulge into the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction it becomes more clear we still have much to learn. Digital addiction refers to an impulse control disorder that involves the obsessive use of digital devices, digital technologies, and digital platforms. Such can include the use of; mobile devices, digital gadgets, the internet, video games, and social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr. Essentially, when a person becomes more concerned and involved in their online reality than their own ‘real life’ digital addiction is a concern. 


There are some things to watch out for when pinpointing when someone is potentially experiencing digital addiction. Research has identified a few key traits and/or behaviors that signal there is an excessive use of digital technology. In fact, experts say that more than 2 hours per day for children under 18 is considered to be problematic. There is no official designation for adults, since many adults work or learn online. Physical and psychological symptoms are clear indicators too of a potential dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction. Physical symptoms can include; headaches, body aches, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Insomnia, vision problems, light sensitivity, and physical weight gain/loss. Depression, dishonesty, anxiety, social isolation, aggression, and mood swings are just some of the psychological problems one may suffer as a result of a digital addiction. Addiction, no matter which kind, can have different effects for each individual and may not even be easily spotted at first. Whether for yourself or someone you love, finding the help and support needed is best as soon as possible. Omega Recovery is one of the leading centers for technology and digital addiction recovery. We know first hand the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction with years of experience in helping others heal from it. 


Digital Addiction Left Unchecked Can Grow Worse With Each Passing Day  

Addiction to technology is a relatively new phenomenon, but it is one of the fastest growing addictions that we have ever seen. Digital Addiction is an umbrella term that includes addictive behavior towards video gaming, social media, texting, gambling, cybersex and online porn, eBay and other online auctioning or shopping platforms, as well the general overuse of smartphones.Why is it important to not ignore the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction? Not only do people who feel alone often turn to the internet for relief, but someone who has a digital addiction is at a higher risk of developing anxiety and/or depression. Technology offers many benefits to all sorts of entities these days- from individuals, families, businesses, to telecommunications. However the digital age we live in now is also showing some negative aspects to its use as well. Fraudulent activity is at an all time high, with warnings from banks and businesses abundant in not sharing personal information online. Unfortunately taking a look at the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction means being aware of the following:

Cybercrime – Cybercriminals can use tactics like ransom-ware and spear-phishing online to steal personal and financial information. Leaving their victims with damaged reputations, disruption in their businesses and governments- while taking their cash and intellectual property. Cybercrime is not just financially felt but also emotionally felt, as it can cause emotional harm to victims by damaging their trust and well-being. Who knows how cybercrime will change for the worse with AI so readily available and used in technology. 

Digital distraction – This is at the core of the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction in today’s world. Gadgets such as smartphones and their corresponding apps are made to be not only appealing, but also very addictive. Their unhealthy use can lead to full on distraction from tasks and life at hand. Procrastination is especially seen in office workers who are constantly receiving notifications while working. 

Harmful activities – These include cyber-bullying, harassment, technology-faciliatated sexual violence, identity theft, and children viewing inappropriate content. Digital addiction often starts when someone finds a world online they can escape to, providing relief from the stress that comes with life naturally. Relationships are being impacted even more, as partners unhappy in their relationship seek comfort from the endless sexual fantasies online. Unfortunately, the dark side of technology is that it is providing escape from everyday life and can lead someone down a dark path they didn’t even know existed.

Loss Of Interest In Living Life Offline – The greatest tragedy we see today in a world of rising digital addiction is the loss of interest by people in living their own life offline. We are human, and the connection we provide to each other is essential. What technology is showing us, is that there is a high demand for personal connection and gratification. Unfortunately though, we are trending to finding these essential needs in a virtual reality while ignoring the real world around us. Hence the need for seeking support for digital addiction as soon as possible. There are facilities and support that can help someone deep down the technology rabbit hole come back up to their beautiful and real life. 


Today’s technology devices ensure that we never have to spend a moment fully immersed in reality. There is always a screen to escape into. Treatment for digital addiction goes far and beyond the use of screens and includes an unhealthy emotional connection to the internet.

digital addiction

There Is Hope For Finding A Healthier Balance With Technology  

Once you have explored the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction- you can really appreciate things that can be done to break free from it. Keeping a mindful distance from tech can help someone struggling maintain a healthier relationship with their device(s). It is important for everyone to leave the Internet behind for a while, and try to immerse ourselves in the world around us. Catch up with friends, go for a walk to the park, or go spend some time in nature enjoying your favorite hobbies. Staying mindful is an excellent way to fix your mind in the present moment, and can be supported by doing something you love. Here are some other great ways to set a healthier balance with technology in your everyday life. 

  • Fall Asleep Without Your Phone – One of the worst things someone can do before going to bed or taking a nap is look at their phone. Blue screens interrupt our body’s natural rhythm in producing melatonin to promote sleepiness. Blue screens suppress the body’s release of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Blue light can trick the brain into thinking it’s daytime, which can make it difficult to wind down and fall asleep. 
  • Waking Up With Technology – Start off your day right with a good stretch, deep breaths, and intentions for your day WITHOUT the help of your technology. Give the brain and body a break by supporting it with a fresh start, or rejuvenation if you will sans free of distracting tech.
  • Setting Time Limits – Establish times in your day that allow you to get entranced with your tech without feeling the guilt. Such as a 20 minute rest period after a walk or workout, 10 minute break while you warm up your car in the winter. Dedicating an hour to responding to any messages online from friends, family, or work and sticking to the actual deadline. This allows someone to fulfill their daily routine while also keeping a healthy balance with attention to their technology. 
  • Stay Mindful   There are enjoyable parts of our daily life that are even more enjoyable when done mindfully by staying present. Things such as eating meals, playing games with family and friends, waiting in line- all of these activities allow connection through mindful attention at hand.
  • Spend More Time With Loved Ones – The best connection you could ever feel in your day is time with someone you love, or even just enjoy being around. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers are all the beautiful people that play a crucial role in your real life. Time is the most precious resource we have, and it cannot be bought. Actively putting your phone away and enjoying those around you can help break free from a never ending technology distraction. 

Thankfully, there are facilities today that offer all the actions above and even more to help someone reconnect with their real life. When looking at the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction you begin to realize technology has just filled the void for some of us. At Omega Recovery, we understand all too well the devastating effects digital addiction can have on a person’s life. We provide the country’s best program specializing in the complex issues of the Digital Age. 


Omega Recovery Knows The Dark Side Of Technology: Understanding Digital Addiction

In the last 20 years, our society has radically shifted into the technology immersed digital age. Technology can be a wonderful thing–and there have been many 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 tech? What happens to a person who has dove into the dark side of technology and become digitally addicted? The answer is we don’t fully know. We are still in the midst, or trial if you will, of seeing how technology impacts our life in the long term. And our dedicated team is not waiting for the test trial results, we are helping people reconnect with their life again NOW. Once you see the dark side of technology: understanding digital addiction becomes a necessity. And the best time to act is now. 

Digital addiction is a relatively new phenomenon, but it is one of the fastest growing addictions that we have ever seen. At Omega Recovery, Dr. Kardaras’s unique program does indeed address all those underlying issues. Yes, there is a digital detox period, but during that digital detox, the real work of self-discovery—and long-term recovery—occur. We meaningfully engage our tech addicted clients and connect 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—without the counterfeit reality of their digital escapism. We take the utmost care of clients on their journey away from digital addiction and into living their best life offline! For more information call us at (512) 601-5407 or visit our website at

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