What is Addiction?
Addiction can be defined as the uncontrolled continuation of an action or a substance used by a person and the inability to live without it. This use and behavior covers a large part of a person's life.
People can be addicted to many things. These include smoking, alcohol, drugs, internet, computer games, shopping, gambling, other people, and food. Addiction develops gradually, insidiously. The person usually does not realize that they are addicted.
In addiction, even though the person knows that his actions have destructive effects on him, he cannot stop doing it. These actions can make life untenable not only for the person himself but also for his family and social environment.
Technology and digital platforms have become indispensable parts of life, especially in this period when all areas of life such as work, education and socialization have to continue from home due to the pandemic. Technology has numerous benefits for human life. However, excessive and unlimited use of technology can cause very important problems.
Symptoms of Technology Addiction
• Increasing time spent on technology (computer / tablet / phone / internet / virtual game)
• The emergence of withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, insomnia, and anger when staying away from technology
• Continuing to use technology even though it creates mental, social, legal or physical problems.
• Loss of control over time spent with technology
• Spending the vast majority of time actually or mentally on technology
• Technology preventing the fulfillment of responsibilities (such as work, school, family, individual cleaning)
What Does Technology Addiction Include?
Step-by-Step Technology Addiction
Step 1: Experimental Use. A person hears about a website, a game, an application, etc. and wonders about it. To satisfy this curiosity, he goes to that site, plays that game or uses that application. Step one does not pose a problem. Tried, done.
Step 2: Social Use. If there is a group of friends who play a certain game around the person, enter a certain site or use a certain application regularly, he / she enters that site, plays that game, uses that application to enter that group or stay in that group. Because if he acts out of it, he will be out of the agenda of the group he is in.
Step 3: Purposeful Use. The first of these goals is to enjoy, the other is to avoid problems. Although it seems to be a solution in the short term, problems that cannot be solved in the long term continue to exist, and most of the time, they do not remain as they are but grow.
Step 4: Dependent Usage. When it comes to this step, the person no longer needs any reason to use it. No wonder, whether the social environment is dependent or not, whether there are problems in his life or not, the person will now use the technology tool he is addicted to. If there is nothing to wonder, he will search and find, if there is no user in his social circle, he will acquire a social environment consisting of users, and he will not be bored because he will fill all his time with use.
Emotional / Behavioral Effects of Technology Addiction:
·A feeling of guilt
·Feelings of euphoria when using the technology / internet
·Not being able to set priorities or constantly postponing plans
·Isolation from the outside world and social environment
·Losing the concept of time
·Postponing and delaying responsibilities continuously
·Sudden mood changes
·Feelings of loneliness
·Avoiding activities that were enjoyed before
Physical Effects of Technology Addiction:
·Carpal tunnel syndrome
·Unhealthy diet (as eating constantly at the computer and staying away from it creates a feeling of deprivation)
·Disrupting personal care and hygiene
·Dry eyes and other vision problems
·Excessive weight loss or obesity
What You Can Do?
The individual who is addicted to technology or has doubts about it, should develop some applications that will take control of usage.
·Acknowledgment: The first step in dealing with a problem is to admit that it exists.
·Shifting the use of technology to exactly opposite hours: Since the places and times where technology is used on a daily basis are available for long enough to cause addiction, addiction has occurred. In this sense, shifting the times in which technology is used to opposite hours and changing the places can be useful as a first step.
·Setting goals related to the use of technology: Leaving the end of the usage period open can make it impossible to keep the situation under control. For this reason, it is necessary to impose a time limit on technology usage.
·Setting goals: Setting goals to be followed regularly regarding staying away from technology is one of the methods that strengthens the person and supports the treatment.
·Using the dependent technological device as a family: Using a single device in common use with other members of the house will also help the solution.
·Exercising: Exercising is one of the most appropriate activities to discharge the energy accumulated in the body in a healthy way. Doing sports regularly will facilitate the treatment process of addiction.
·Developing social skills: Lack of social skills can also occur as a cause or result of technology addiction. At this point, acquiring new social skills can be very useful in the treatment of technology addiction.
·Asking for help: Asking for help from family members and friends without hiding the problem is an important method that should be used both in terms of finding a continuous support mechanism and in terms of continuing the treatment process.
·Getting professional support: If you find it difficult to cope with this problem on your own or with the support of the immediate environment, do not hesitate to seek professional support.
For more information and support, you can reach our CIAD counselors team (firstname.lastname@example.org).