An addiction is like a parasite. It slowly creeps up on you and before you notice it, it is eating away at your life. Some addictions you see, some you don’t. Technology addiction is an addiction that eludes us till we realize that parts of our lives have been taken over. Since the advent of technology in the 20th century, it has made such rapid progress that children, even at the age of 3, have full functional knowledge of smart phones and tablets. With such an easy access to technology, it has become all the more easy to develop an addiction.
Addiction to technology hasn’t been recognized and recorded officially in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). DSM is a log book which is relied upon to provide a comprehensive database of all the recognized mental disorders. Although psychologists are recognizing the tell tale signs of internet addiction in their patients, they haven’t classified it officially.
How do you know that you’re addicted to the internet though? The standard rules of addiction apply to technology addiction too. If you find yourself neglecting your daily chores and duties or even yourself because you were spending too much time on the internet, then it may be time for you to take cognizance of the number of hours you spend on the internet in a day.
The virtual world is such a beautiful place where you can be whoever you please. You don’t have to keep up appearances and live up to social expectations. You can be your version of perfect on the internet or follow people who you think are perfect and look up to as role models. Such a beautiful scenario is addictive and you would rather stay in there and not face problems in your actual life. However the more you run away from reality the more it haunts you with a vengeance. Just like any addiction, reality hits hard and it is difficult to adjust in real life again. You may experience withdrawal symptoms too like anxiety, depression and social withdrawal.
How can you avoid getting addicted to technology? Software engineers have revealed that the internet is designed to be addictive. It leaves the viewer with a nagging urge to keep coming back for more. When you’re watching a web series or listening to music, gimmicks like cliffhangers, autoplay, further suggestions will keep you coming back for more and before you know it, you don’t have enough time for your daily routine. Gradually you realize that you’ve been cutting essential parts of your life to make more time for the internet. Strictly set aside a fixed number of hours to spend on the internet. Turn off suggestions on your browser so you aren’t tempted to watch that one extra video. Once you have finished browsing a website, don’t idly scroll.
Technology addiction compromises social skills and stunts mental growth giving rise to mental illnesses like social anxiety. Children are more vulnerable and in more danger of getting addicted to the internet. Educate your children to use the internet responsibly and the perils of spending too much time on it. Just like any addiction, technology addiction can be overcome too.