Is Technology Addiction Dangerous?

Addiction to technology is becoming a major issue today. More people are turning to remote work. Over half of households in the US have a computer in their home, and that number is growing rapidly. In fact, 74% of US households own a desktop or laptop. But is it actually dangerous? Fortunately, there are several ways to detect if you’re becoming too dependent on your technology. Here are some of the most common signs you may be developing a technology addiction.

Addiction to technology

While the DSM-5 does not recognize technology addiction as a specific disorder, it is commonly recognized as a co-occurring mental health disorder. Symptoms of technology addiction include anxiety, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The use of technology may also cause feelings of restlessness, agitation, anger, and other negative emotions. Addiction to technology can also negatively impact the body’s natural release of feel-good neurotransmitters, making the person prone to impulsivity and aggression.

Although addiction to technology may seem like a mild problem, a severe form may signal an underlying issue. Children who are overly addicted to smartphones or video games may suffer from ADHD, low self-esteem, or an unresolved trauma. In addition, excessive smartphone and gaming use can affect a child’s sleep and social life. If you or a loved one is suffering from technology addiction, there are treatment options available.

Signs of addiction

It’s important to recognize the warning signs of internet addiction in loved ones. If you notice your loved one spending too much time alone on the computer or a smartphone, it may be an indication of a technology addiction. He may also act defensive or denial when confronted about the behavior. In addition, he may have lost interest in social activities and will be less likely to engage in those activities. Signs of internet addiction can be subtle, but they can be extremely dangerous.

Those who check their social media and emails before bed may be exhibiting signs of technology addiction. They may be using technology to avoid thinking, social situations, or unpleasant feelings. Constant dependence on technology is dangerous, especially for young children. It can signal mood disorders or unprocessed trauma. If you find yourself exhibiting these signs of technology addiction, it may be time to seek treatment. Read on to learn more about the signs of technology addiction.

Treatment options

Internet addiction, also called problematic use of the internet, is a growing mental health issue. It affects social relationships, family, and work, and may interfere with daily life. Treatment is available from therapists and mental health professionals who can help the sufferer change problematic behavior and return to healthy internet usage. Treatment is typically not abstinence, as some level of internet usage is necessary to social function. The goal of treatment is to improve the individual’s quality of life, and to restore a healthy Internet usage pattern.

Many treatment approaches can help teens overcome their technology addiction. One type focuses on developing new interests and coping mechanisms. Dialectical behavioral therapy, for instance, aims to teach new skills related to emotion regulation and mindfulness. Cognitive behavioral therapy, on the other hand, aims to alter belief systems that reinforce technology addiction. The goal is to help the sufferer learn to process negative emotions and identify new goals. While some treatments are more oriented to changing behavior, others focus on developing the individual’s self-esteem.

Assessment tools

The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) has been validated to screen for internet addiction. It consists of two instruments, the Internet Addiction Test (self-report) and the Internet Process Addiction Test for Families (informant-completed). For children and adolescents, the IAT is completed by an adult who is familiar with their youth’s daily life and activities. Using the suite of Internet Addiction tests can provide a complete picture of the client’s internet addiction and highlight discrepancies among raters and indicate that psychoeducation may be needed.

The Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test and Problematic and Risky Media Use in Children Checklist assist in clinical evaluation of suspected screen addiction in children. Both tests provide guidelines for limiting screen time and reducing screen time for each age group. These assessments can help practitioners develop screening tools that can identify the most common signs of media addiction in children. However, these tools do not necessarily diagnose addiction. While they may provide insight into the root causes of addiction, they are not sufficient to help parents make the right decisions for their children.