Technological Addiction: How to Diagnose it, and are there any Treatment?
Technology keeps on evolving, and it makes our lives easier. In the 21st century, different technological advancements are experienced by people around the world. The rise of the internet and the proliferation of smart devices is a testament that people will always keep on patronizing these products. However, there is a danger lurking behind the high-tech devices that we use every day – using it repetitively might turn us into tech addicts. Addiction to technology is defined as a medical condition by the experts. Just like any form of addiction, it can be threatening to someone’s health and adverse effects can be observed over time.
There are two main types of symptoms attributed to deteriorating digital health. These are the emotional symptoms and physical symptoms. Under emotional symptoms, people who developed an addiction to technology will show these signs when they are agitated. It can be noticeable especially when they lost access to a technological device. Physical symptoms, on the other hand, are the manifestation of internet addiction and it mostly affects the eyes, back, and hands of an individual. If you notice these symptoms on a friend or a loved one, immediately tell them about the existence of this condition and seek medical help if possible.
Emotional Symptoms of Technological Addiction
- Someone would feel depressed, and there are times when the episode is strong. Excessive use of technological devices would deprive someone of spending time with other people, making their lives lonelier.
- Dishonesty also plays a major role in people who are technology addicts. They would try to hide the truth just for them to use their devices. It can be unhealthy for someone to stay dishonest because it can take a toll on their reputation to society.
- Feelings of guilt can also be observed in someone who developed an addiction to technology. They would always feel bad after spending hours on their devices, and thinking about their digital health makes them guilty of wasting their time.
- Anxiety is another symptom seen in someone who spends too much time on their devices. They would feel extremely worried after surfing the internet or playing a videogame.
- You can also observe that people who have technological addiction feel a lot of excitement whenever they are using their computers or smart devices as if they weren’t able to use it for a long time.
- Failing to prioritize their schedules because of excessively using a tech device is also an emotional symptom for technology addiction. Sometimes, they would lose a sense of time, spending hours and even a day using their devices. They would fail to do basic tasks like eating, showering, or sleeping.
- Isolation can also be observed in tech addicts – they would prefer spending their weekend at home, using their devices. This can develop into a serious concern for their social health.
- In more severe cases, tech addicts would prefer to stay at home, and they would no longer come to work. The thought of looking for a job would sound horrifying for people who are addicted to tech devices. They would also procrastinate, prioritizing their devices versus the most important tasks.
Physical Symptoms of Technological Addiction
- Using tech devices excessively can lead to backache, especially when sitting in front of a computer or a television screen for hours. Then, symptoms like neck pain and headaches would follow suit.
- Those who use their computer keyboards more often can develop Carpal Tunnel syndrome.
- Insomnia is another symptom that people should watch out for. Repetitive days without sleep can be unhealthy, and it is linked to other serious medical conditions.
- Using tech devices can also lead to poor nutrition and poor hygiene. This can result in weight loss and the development of skin diseases.
- The eyes would also suffer when someone uses tech devices more often. They would notice the gradual blur developing in their vision until it comes a time when they are no longer able to see objects.
How Technological Addiction is Diagnosed?
There are a lot of ways in how technological addiction can be diagnosed. For those who are suspected to have this condition, five basic criteria for diagnosis are introduced. The first one would be the preoccupation of an individual with tech devices. They would often think of using their computers, smartphones, or the internet, even if they are at work or school. They will find a way on how to access these devices to satisfy their cravings. Another thing that can be used to diagnose the condition is the amount of time spent on using tech devices. If someone is using it for extended periods, they might have the condition.
Another thing that should be pointed out will be someone’s effort in controlling their usage of technology. When a technological addict tries to change their ways, they would find it difficult, and since they are not seeing any improvement, they can become moody and irritable. These people should seek assistance from professionals to help them cope with their situation.
Experts are also pointing out that for them to diagnose someone’s tech addiction, they have to conduct an interview with the person involved and verify several things, like their job performance, and relationship with others. Tech addicts would sometimes jeopardize their jobs and relationship with other people in the name of using their devices. They don’t care if they lose a job or missed a career opportunity, as long as they are glued into their devices. They will also tell a lie to their family about how long they have been using a device. The same thing applies when they are speaking with their therapist – there is a huge chance that they will never speak out the truth, as long as they have access to gadgets.
Technology Addiction Treatment
Treating the addiction to technology would require the recognition that the condition exists. Many patients who are pre-occupied with their gadgets do not feel any improvement in their condition because not everyone acknowledges the existence of this condition. Technology addiction treatment should be open for everyone, and the government should do something about the worsening condition of those who prefer using their devices than doing other tasks. Mental health services across the United States should also be revamped, and additional funding is required so that they can attend to those who have the condition.
The mental health services across the country should also have an adequate facility where they will keep the patients. Over time, the patients should be informed about their condition and ways on how the center can help them restore their old lives.
When it comes to addiction treatment, there are a lot of ways on how it can be done. Experts are stating that therapy can bring a lot of improvement to those who have the condition. The modification of someone’s behavior can also help them in overcoming this condition. Other treatments like Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are becoming more common, and people who have tried these treatments are stating that it works.
Different activities which include taking care of horses, visiting art museums and appreciating arts, recreation, and reality therapy can also become good addiction treatment.
Technology brings a lot of advantages to many people, and using it right can unlock new opportunities. However, abusing it can develop into an addiction. This is what most people should avoid because it can change their lives and it can destroy their relationships with their friends, family, and workmates.