Internet and Technology Addiction - Causes, Signs and Tips to Stop

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Last Update Date: 18 August 2020

The development of technology and the internet have made us and our children much more vulnerable to their addictive nature. It is crucial to control our usage and understand what other precautions we can take to protect ourselves and our children from internet addiction and technology addiction.

Definition

Although very similar, technology addiction and internet addiction have their differences.

Technology addiction

What Is Technology Addiction?

We can define technology addiction as a kind of impulse control disorder in which the person is exposed to the harmful effects of technology as a result of excessive use of computers, internet, video games and mobile devices. It is also an umbrella term for game addiction, computer addiction and internet addiction.

What Is Internet Addiction?

We can define the term internet addiction as another umbrella term as well. It covers a range of behaviors and impulse-control problems involving the internet, personal computers, and mobile technology. It can be in the form of a gaming disorder, social media addiction, screen addiction, and so on.

Facts and Statistics

Here are some updated internet and technology addiction facts and statistics that will help you gain a better understanding of the current situation:

Types of Internet and Technology Addiction

What are the kinds of technology addiction? As mentioned before, there are types of dependencies that can develop with the overuse of the internet or technology in general.

Game Addiction

Gaming disorders are the only addictions that have been diagnosed and recognized by the WHO. It is one of the most common among children. Read our article about the symptoms and treatments of Video Game Addiction to learn more about gaming disorders. Better yet, take our survey on technology addiction and discover how dependent you are on gaming.

Internet addiction gaming disorder

Shopping Addiction

Who doesn’t love shopping? Having thousands of options at your fingertips may be life-saving, but it makes it easier for you to become a shopaholic who is a person that can’t control his/her shopping impulses. In other words, they are addicted to shopping.

Nomophobia

Nomophobia or phone addiction is another dependency more common among children and teenagers. Read our article to get more information on nomophobia.

Are we becoming addicted to technology? One way to find out is to take our Phone Addiction Test.

Footage - Content Consumption Addiction

Do you feel the urge to constantly read the news or check the weather forecast for a country that you have never heard of? The internet can be a useful resource unless you develop an internet addiction and lose control. At this point, especially kids addicted to technology should be closely monitored to avoid engagement with prohibited content.

Social Media Addiction

Social media is very popular among teens, which makes social media addiction an even more dangerous threat. Read our article to learn more about social media addiction, and the ways to overcome it.

social media addiction

Addiction to Auction and Chance Games

Yet again, another dependency that can form as a result of the endless opportunities and the 24/7 availability the internet provides. The effects of internet addiction can be very harmful and develop into bigger ones such as gambling problems.

The above dependencies do not only cause harm when they become an addiction. They also have an overall negative impact on our lives. For instance, even if you are not addicted to social media, your efforts to respond quickly to messages coming from your social media accounts can reduce your productivity. Or, if you succumb to your impulses while you're driving, it can have terrible consequences.

Using technology and the internet for the right purposes can be very beneficial. MentalUP offers games that boost memory, attention, focusing, and a lot more to support the development of cognitive skills for both children and adults. Try MentalUP now.

Causes of Technology Addiction

Technology dependency affects the critical points of our brain. The released dopamine (pleasure hormone) causes us to repeat our actions. However, there are also mental and other external causes of technology addiction, which are listed below.

Expression of Other Addictions

It is thought that one of the most important causes of technology dependency is it being triggered by an existing or past addiction. For example, if the person has a history of shopping addiction in the past, it is quite possible that it evolves into a new one with the internet.

Shyness and Social Anxiety

Do you think that your child is shy and uncomfortable with one-on-one communication? People who are very shy or have difficulty communicating with other people can have a tendency to use the internet as a way of escape.

For these people, the internet is transformed into a safe harbor where they can spend time without face-to-face communication. Shy people can express themselves better in the online world, reveal their personalities, and express themselves with an identity that is independent of reality.

Depression

In some cases, depression can lead people to the internet and technology addiction. The fun time spent on the internet can make people forget their sorrow temporarily. People who spend too much time using the internet and technology to avoid problems may turn into technology addicts.

The Friend Effect

Having friends is always helpful in a human’s life, be it in childhood or adulthood. A child trying to prove himself socially among his friends is ready to spend hours on-screen in order to have the strongest character in the game.

Internet addiction

Effects of Internet Addiction

There are many effects of internet addiction and technology addiction. Keep in mind that these signs of internet and technology addiction should be taken seriously.

Mental Effects

  • Depression
  • A feeling of guilt of overusing the internet/technology
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria feelings when using technology/internet
  • Inability to determine priorities or to postpone plans
  • Isolation from one’s social environment
  • Losing the concept of time
  • Extreme defense of usage habit
  • Avoiding work; poor performance at work or school
  • Continuous deferment and avoidance of responsibilities
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Fear of not having access to the internet/technology
  • Feeling of loneliness
  • Bored while performing routine work
  • Memory loss

Physical Effects

  • Back Pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Unhealthy nutrition
  • Poor personal care and hygiene
  • Neck pain
  • Eye dryness and other vision problems
  • Excessive weight loss or obesity

Along with these mental and physical effects, internet addiction symptoms can cause social harm as well. Children can experience learning difficulties along with a lack of communication, while adults can lose focus and suffer from poor relationships.

You can see how internet addiction is affecting lives. These technology and internet addiction symptoms can appear one by one or all at once. It is important to track your mental and physical health and evaluate your own technology and internet use to keep a close eye on your habits. If you feel that you are in need of help, read further into our article to learn more about how to beat internet addiction.

The misguided and unsupervised use of the internet and technology can harm children’s mental health.

MentalUP is prepared with the full support of child development experts and pedagogues to help your children improve their focus skills and enhance their learning ability. Click here and join the MentalUP family now!

Causes of internet addiction

Children Addicted to Technology

Children were born into digital technology and it is common to see kids addicted to technology everywhere in the world because it is natural for them to be in constant engagement with it.

It is easier to prevent technology addiction in children at an early age, thanks to their family’s attention. All you need is to create and maintain a secure Internet environment for children. Along with the aforementioned effects, children can experience the following effects of internet addiction.

Physical Effects

In addition to the previously mentioned physical effects, children addicted to technology won’t be as physical and active as they should be. Try to remember the last time that they took part in any physical activity? This would prevent them from developing proper motor skills.

Mental Development

Internet addiction symptoms can result in a lack of mental development. From learning skills to verbal intelligence, children enhance almost everything at their young ages and when they spend too much time on addictive games or any other screen addiction, they become deprived of the mental development that they need and, hence, can’t improve their cognitive skills.

Socializing

It is important for children to develop social skills, and the best way for them to achieve that is to socialize with their peers. Kids addicted to technology would not be as willing to play outdoors or with friends.

Psychological

Children are more likely to get affected by the violence that occurs in games or objectionable content. Children who have internet addiction can develop personality issues along with other psychological problems.

IMPORTANT: MentalUP games played by children are self-limiting, so this helps prevent technology addiction and reduces the time spent by children in front of the screen.

Prepared with the full support of child development experts and pedagogues, MentalUP limits the duration of daily use and offers parental control.

In this way, while children develop their cognitive skills with fun exercises, they are also away from the negative effects of technology. In addition to that, parents can follow their child's development on a daily basis.

Try MentalUP: The Best Educational App for Kids

How to Overcome Internet Addiction

There are tips that you can make room for in your and your children’s daily lives. These tips on how to beat internet addiction are both useful and easy to apply.

Turn off Notifications

Let’s start with an easy step. When you have fewer reminders on your phone or computer, you have less desire to go online. Turning off notifications is one of the most effective ways of managing internet addiction.

Review Your Habits

Children tend to do what their parents do instead of what they say. Review your own online usage habits and see if your behavior is a negative example. This will help both you and your children to get rid of internet addiction.

Connect With Others

When we are addicted to technology, the time and energy we spare on technology and the internet ruin our relationships. Focus on repairing your poor relations. Having real-life connections may make technology and the internet more dispensable.

Restrain Yourself

Both internet and technology cause compulsive urges to shop, play games or log in to your computer. Set limitations for yourself and stick to them! Try to play computer games only on specific days or shop online only at specific hours and gradually decrease the amount of time you allocate for these activities.

Apply this to your children as well. Set specific times of the day when you will allow them to use their devices and make sure they don’t bend the rules. We can imagine how hard it may be to bring such limitations on your child, but keep in mind that the harder it gets, the more important it is to stick to it until the end.

Assigned Spots

The portable nature of devices makes it easier for you or your children to develop a technology addiction. Assign places for your devices and forbid using them in other places. Bedrooms, study rooms and dining areas must be off-limits.

Keep Track

Keeping track of your screen time is one of the most effective ways of preventing a screen addiction. You can use apps that will help you track time and raise self-awareness of your technology addiction. There are also parenting features and apps that will help you set time limitations on your children’s devices.

Reduce the Number of Devices

If you have fewer technology devices you will less likely develop a technology addiction.

Digital detox

Digital Detox

Sometimes disconnecting is the best way to connect! Here are 10 easy steps on how to do a digital detox and reconnect! Both you and your children can apply these steps. Better yet, do it together and cheer each other down the road!

Remember, in order to complete the digital detox you must apply all the steps and commit to them (30 days is considered optimal). Don’t worry if you fail, don’t quit until you make it work!

Turn off Notifications

Notifications are constant reminders and one of the answers to how people become addicted to the internet in the first place.

Nothing Is Black and White

Nothing is black and white, but your screen should be! The colorful displays will attract you and your children. Changing your display settings is one of the best screen addiction treatments.

Put Away Your Phone During Meals

...or during conversations or when going to the restroom. The more you physically carry your devices around, the more you are vulnerable to the effects of internet addiction.

Designate Tech-Free Hours

Why do people become addicted to the internet? Because there are no time or location limits to it. You have to control your usage and whens and wheres in order to beat internet addiction.

Make Your Bedroom a No-Tech Zone

This combines steps 3 and 4. Technology addiction treatment starts when you let go of your devices.

Rediscover Paper

We use our devices as agendas, cameras, GPS, contact books and so much more. Yes, technology provides ease, but if you are looking into ways on how to beat technology addiction, it will be best for you to read the news from a newspaper or mark your appointments on a wall calendar.

Screen addiction

Limit Yourself to One Screen at a Time

Do you find yourself playing a mobile game on your phone while chatting on your computer? When people are addicted to their screen, it makes it harder for them to stick to one device at a time. Set limitations and you will start benefiting from them.

Spring Clean Your Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms are one of the main causes of internet addiction among teenagers. Declutter your own and your children’s social accounts. Better yet, make a party of it! Declare it a cleanse day and have fun with your friends and family while managing it.

Download the Right Apps

Many people are lured to the internet out of boredom. Using beneficial and educational apps like MentalUP not only entertains you, but also improves your mental skills such as concentration and many other cognitive skills.

Workout

A healthy body means a healthy mind. Physical exercises will relieve you of boredom and help you boost your energy. It will also keep your mind off your devices, which will help with managing internet addiction.