Are You Technically Addicted?

This is the third of a 7-part series in why you might consider doing a Technology Detox (a “Techtox”). I hope it gets you thinking about your use of technology and how it may be impacting your health and well-being.

Are You Technically Addicted?

A 2017 survey conducted by ReportLinker found that almost half of us—and over half of us if we’re Millennials—check our phones the moment we wake up (often while still in bed). There are also fascinating articles on where technology—usually for social media—hasn’t been used (bathroom anyone?). Why do we do this? Are we technically “addicted” and unable to stop?

A condition labeled Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) exists: and it comes complete with signs, symptoms, and treatments much like one would expect to find information about alcohol or drug addiction.

Photo compliments of 123RF

Lending credibility to this idea of IAD is a 2012 Plos study, which illustrated that people who are addicted to the Internet experience changes in their brain that are similar to those of alcoholics and drug addicts: specifically changes in white brain matter (strengthening of some connections and weakening of others). Huffington Post stated that this Chinese study “should provide hope for those who believe addiction to technology should be recognized as a mental illness.”

Are you addicted to technology? Here’s a simple test: the next time you are waiting on someone (you’re standing in line, or you’re the first one at the lunch counter or dinner table), notice how long it takes before you pull out your phone to start checking social media, email, or before you begin to surf the Internet. Try not to rationalize the behavior—just observe how long it takes!

Then ask: what feeling do you hope to get from turning to technology in this moment? Whenever we engage in a behavior (especially those that feel addictive), part of us is getting a big benefit from doing it. Your relationship with your devices might be filling a deeper need for connection, self-esteem, validation, etc. that could be life-changing to explore.

Want to decrease your technology addiction slowly and easily?
Learn how to do a TechTox!


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