The moment the word ‘addiction’ falls into our ears, what most likely comes to our mind is drug addiction or gambling or an addiction to alcohol. But here I am going to talk about a new source of addiction that is becoming a major cause of health problems in teenagers. This is called technology addiction.
Almost every day a new gadget is launched in the market which is meant to make our lives easier. Smartphones help us to keep in touch with family and friends. With the use of technology we can access our emails anywhere and everywhere. These gizmos are no doubt quite helpful but are we controlling them or are they controlling our LIVES?
What begins as a way to keep in touch turns into an obsessive need. We get used to checking our phone for messages at all hours. Whether it is your smartphone or a laptop, technology addiction is as harmful as addiction to alcohol.
“It’s just gotten so much worse in terms of how much technology is impacting my clients,” says Lisa Strohman, PhD, a psychologist and founder of the Technology Wellness Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. . “You see kids out at dinner with iPads. It’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere.”
Technology surrounds our life and you cannot escape it. But you can always make judicious choices about how to use it.
How technology becomes an addiction?
The use of technology becomes an addiction when instead of spending time with your family and friends or pursuing your passion, we are occupied with our smartphones or laptops. It is not wrong to check our mails or messages but it becomes a problem when we develop the habit of checking it every few minutes. I have seen people getting up in the middle of the night and answering to their messages. Now this is ADDICTION!
Some of the most common signs of technology addiction includes declining interests in social gatherings, keeping your phone with you all the time, no time to interact with family members etc. If you are still unsure about whether you are a slave of technology or not, just ask from people around you.
Forms of technology addiction
The addiction to technology can take either of these forms:
1. Internet addiction
Internet addiction means your vulnerability to stay connected with internet all the time. You spend hours playing online games or surfing online shopping sites. With all the apps available, it has become so much easier for people to shop even on the go. There are innumerable objectives to access internet.
2. Sexual content addiction
This is the most common form of technology addiction with teenagers. They are hooked to all sorts of porn content on the internet.
3. Social media addiction
Now this is something to which all of us may have been addicted to at some point in our life. The point when we are obsessed with using Facebook or Twitter or any other social media sites is when it becomes addiction.
Who falls into technology addiction?
According to the research people who are under depression or suffering from anxiety are likely to be addicted to internet.
Also people who have a family history of addiction have the chance of becoming technology addicts.
Dangers of tech addiction
Technology as we know has many benefits. But there is also a darker side to it. Being “logged in” can have a great impact on your physical as well as mental health.
1. It makes you an unfocused driver
We all are aware of the fact that while driving we should not be checking our phone or texting. But still we do it. Why? The reason is that you feel that you have accomplished something great by responding every time you hear a ping on your phone.
No doubt you can use hands-free but it’s better not to answer the call while driving. Tell me honestly – is there always something so critical and important that it can’t wait for a few minutes so that you can stop your car and then answer? Presumably not.
2. It ruins your sleep
People often complain of insomnia or improper sleep. The cause can be their smartphones and computers. These devices emit light withholds the release of melatonin—the sleep hormone.
Turn off all your gadgets atleast an hour before you sleep. If there is something extremely important to work on, wear a pair of orange-tinted glasses.
3. It makes you a couch potato
Videoconferencing has made it easier for people to sit at their places and conduct meetings. This makes you physically inactive as you are digitally connected. Hence a sedentary lifestyle, which makes you not only unhealthy but also reduces your life span.
Do your digital and non-digital tasks alternatively. This will keep you active.
4. It spoils your vision
Spending hours in front of your computer screens can lead to many eye problems. It causes headache and blurred vision.
Tips to live healthy with technology
It’s good to be aware of new technology and how to use it but you should know how to live healthy with it.
According to a research, people spend most of their leisure time sitting in front of their computers. This kind of lifestyle is bad for health. Follow these tips and prevent use of technology becoming an addiction:
- Try to have a no-technology day. Stay away from your phone and
- Enjoy outdoor sports.
- Switch off your phone for sometime and spend time reading or with your family and friends.
- Technology is important but don’t let your life revolve around it. Leave your phone when you go to a gym or to a restaurant for lunch or dinner.
- Start prioritizing – what’s important your phone or your family, your emails or your friend? Relationships need your attention more than your technological devices.
- Keep a record of how much time you spend with your gizmos.
- Limit the use of social media.
Technology has done much good and helps us remain connected. But do remember who controls who. Be aware when technology is taking over and unplug yourself!