Technology addiction, also known as IUD or IAD, is described as a life-threatening problem involving the inability to control the use of various kinds of technology, specifically the Internet, smartphones, tablets and social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Farheen warns us against the ill effects of technology, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
Technology addiction — sometimes called Internet addiction, Internet Use Disorder (IUD) or Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is described as a life-threatening problem involving the inability to control the use of various kinds of technology, specifically the Internet, smartphones, tablets and social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Accessing the Web is a tap or a click away, therefore, it is easier to access social media from almost anywhere. Considering the Internet use and without mostly any supervision, children also use the Internet easily. After analysing the situation many health experts around the world have alarmed about a rise in addictive tendencies that involve technology. (Technology includes: video games, cybersex/online pornography and online gambling, and these addictions, most recently, the Blue Whale challenge that appears to goad vulnerable teens into killing themselves.)
The way technology addiction is diagnosed can differ from country to country, but surveys in the U.S. and Europe show that between 1.5% and 8.2% of the population suffers from Internet addiction. In 2006, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a telephone survey that found that one out of eight Americans has at least one possible sign of problematic Internet use.
Like other types of addiction, technology addiction can range from moderate to severe, and some researchers say that is similar to other addictions, people who use their phones or stay online for many hours a day experience a similar “high” — and also feel secluded when they are offline.
According to Hilarie Cash, PhD., co-founder of the ReSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program, symptoms can include:
- Compulsive checking of text messages
- Frequent changing of Facebook status and uploading of “selfies”
- A feeling of euphoria while on the Web
- Social withdrawal
- Not interested in activities that are not computer, tab, or gadget related
- Restlessness when offline
- Stress, sleep disorders and depression
If you find any of the preceding symptoms experienced by you or any member of your family, it’s high time to consult a psychotherapist who can evaluate symptoms, make a diagnosis or tell you that you are not addicted to technology. If you plan not to consult a doctor, you can also take help from the online resources.
You may also be taking a note of these points:
Make sure that you keep all of the Internet-related gadgets, devices away at least one hour before you are off to bed.
- Try keeping your phone in any other room and not in your bedroom.
- Change your habit and put an alarm on the alarm clock and not on your phone.
- Do not allow your children to use mobile phones.
- If at all, you must give them the phones, make sure to turn on the Airplane mode on your phone.
- Make it a habit to not talk over the phone when you have guests at home.
A recent study by the London School of Economics suggested that in schools which banned mobile phones, children’s test scores increased by more than 6%.
If technology can help you, it also has the power to ruin you. Everything in moderation is good. When we can get obsessed to be on the forefront of technology, why we can’t go a few decades back and enjoy the best that was offered by the times that have gone. We can always have conversations around telling stories, the old-time charm, the scenic place that you visited, how our grandparents or great parents led their lives without technology, and others.
Where there is a will, certainly there is a way. Let’s create a way to moderate our Internet use or to say, use of technology. It indeed will do more good than harm.
Photos from the Internet
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Farheen Viquas is a Senior Technical Editor/Writer working in Bangalore, India. She has worked as a Technical Writer/Editor, Mentor/Coach, Language Consultant, Information Tester, English Trainer, and Transcriber. When not at work, she loves to cook, read, write poetry and prose, listen to music, bake cakes, fish keeping, and embroider. She is also a stained-glass enthusiast.