Causes, Losses and Prevention of Technology Addiction

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Last Update Date: 05 November 2019

How often do you warn your child to put his tablet or phone aside? The good news: He/she will be leaving it after playing for only 5 minutes. The bad news: 5 minutes can mean “days“ for technology addicts.

Let's face the reality: Without being aware, lots of us are already addicted to technology, internet or games. According to the data shared by experts, we spend an average of 4.7 hours on our smartphones. When we add the time we spend on computers, tablets and TV, we encounter the fact that our pupils have an 11 hours shift every day.

You have a lot you can do to protect your child and yourself from the harmful effects (although you think you don't need it)! Let’s take it a little bit slow and start this process by reading our article!

Technology addicted kids

What is Technology Addiction?

Technology addiction: It is a kind of impulse control disorder where the person is exposed to the harmful effects of technology as a result of excessive use of computer, internet, video games and mobile devices. You may also come across different names for technology addiction such as game addiction, computer addiction and internet addiction.

Of course, technology is not the main source of the problem. As we mentioned at the very beginning, the reason for such problems is the extreme (unconscious) use of technology. It should not be forgotten that technological developments aim to provide benefit for us. Using the right technology with the right amount of course is not harmful for anyone.

However, it is possible to talk about addictions when all these activities start to prevent our daily life in terms of our health and responsibilities.

TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION

What are the kinds of technology addiction? Many other addictions, such as dependence on the use of technology, affect the critical points of our brain, such as the point of pleasure. Moreover, some of them have intense physical effects while others have emotional effects.

Technology addicted kids

Types of technology addiction:

  • Game addiction
  • Social media addiction
  • Shopping addiction
  • Footage - content consumption addiction
  • Addiction to auction and chance games

The above dependency activities do not harm people only when they are addicted.

E.g; although you are not addicted to social media, your effort 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 on the road in traffic, it can have terrible consequences.

Causes of Technology Addiction

The causes of technology addiction are also varied:

  • Expression of other addictions: Triggering existing addictions or trends is thought to be one of the most important causes of technology dependence. If the person has a history of shopping addiction in the past, it is quite possible that with the internet it becomes a new addiction.
  • Shyness and social anxiety: People who are very shy or have difficulty in communicating with other people can have a tendency on 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 from the reality.
  • Depression: In some cases, depression can lead people to internet and technology addiction. The fun time spent on the internet can make people forget their sorrow temporarily. People who spend more time on the internet and technology to avoid problems constantly turn into technology addicts.
  • Friend effect: No matter being a child or an adult; friends are always effective in human life. People sometimes play role models, including internet addiction, technology addiction, or game addiction. 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.

ARE YOU ADDICTED TO TECHNOLOGY? TEST: AND LEARN THE RESULT!

1 in 4 people are addicted to technology. So, are you a tech addict?

Test yourself or your child with MentalUP's free technology addiction test; Learn the results instantly: MentalUP Technology Addiction Test

Losses of Technology Addiction

The effects of technology addiction can be emotional and physical.

Emotional harms of technology addiction:

  • Depression
  • A feeling of guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Euphoria feelings when using technology / internet
  • Inability to determine priorities or to postpone the plans
  • Isolation from social environment
  • Lost Time Concept
  • Extreme advocacy
  • Avoiding work; failing at the responsibilities at work or school
  • Continuous deferment and disruption of responsibilities
  • Sudden mood changes
  • Fear
  • Feeling of loneliness
  • Bored while performing routine work

Emotional harms of technology addiction:

  • Back Pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Unhealthy nutrition (eating constantly at the computer and away from the computer to create a sense of deprivation)
  • Disrupt personal care and hygiene
  • Neck pain
  • Eye dryness and other vision problems
  • Excessive weight loss or obesity

How to Prevent Technology Addiction in Children?

Talking to kids

Technology is useful when used for meaningful purposes, and is harmful when used excessively and incorrectly. It is easier to prevent technology addiction in children at an early age, thanks to the attention of families. All you need is to create and maintain a secure Internet environment for children.

  • Observe signs of technology addiction. Ask how your child's use of the internet affects school performance, health, family and friends.
  • Do not ban the Internet. Internet and games are quite common among today's children. It is not a solution to prohibit the internet or playing games; however, experts claim bringing a border can be a solution! According to a study conducted by children between the ages of 4 and 11, children who use technology without time constraints spend 95% more time compared to the ones with time constraints.

IMPORTANT: The fact that the games to be played by children are self-limiting, prevents technology addiction; reduces the time spent by children on 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

  • 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.
  • Try the games he/she likes. Have a test drive in your child's favorite games! Verify if the games include harmful or addictive elements. Don't be limited to these! For example, a child who likes to play fantastic games can also enjoy fantastic story books. You can encourage him/her to diversity.
  • Use the computer and technological equipment in the public section of the house. The Internet is now full of billions of content that children should not have access to. Among these contents, there are the ones that children can easily become addicted to. Do not leave them in the rooms where they can be accessed alone and freely. Keep control.
  • Keep track of your child’s online usage habits. With various software and filters, you can learn how your child spends his/her time. In this way, you can be informed about risky situations and get into action.
  • Test your child’s social skills. Does your child have difficulty in contacting his/her peers? Then make sure that you have the same interests as hobby groups and improve your social aspect.
  • Get professional support if your child has symptoms of internet addiction. The causes of internet addiction can be based on problems such as depression, anger or self-image. If you see symptoms of addiction intensively, contact professional support.

How is Technology Addiction Treated?

The first step of treatment begins with acceptance. Technology, internet or gaming addiction should be considered as having a real impact on life, and precautions should be taken in the next step.

From the medical point of view, technology addiction in the literature is still a controversial issue. According to some experts, technology and internet addiction is an inconvenience that patients can achieve results with their own efforts. Accepting what you're doing wrong and using some utilities, hobbies and social relationships can help solve the problem.

According to some experts, the reasons behind these addictions are depression, feeling of emotion and anger control, so medicated treatment and professional support are needed.

The most common methods used to treat technology addiction are:

  • Personal, group or family therapy
  • Changing behavior
  • Dialectic behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Hypotherapy / Horse therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Recreation treatment
  • Reality therapy

Well, should technology always be a geologist? No way!

As Christian Lous Lange says:

‘Technology is a useful servant, a dangerous ruler.’ -Christian Lous Lange

Always use technology as a useful servant for you and your child, and never let it control you.