Are Technology Addictions as Real as Substance Abuse?

Can you be addicted to technology? Some people think so.

Although the idea of addictions to technology might sound far-fetched at first, in reality, this disorder resembles other compulsive behaviors that are sometimes considered addictions.

People might be addicted to using their phones and computers, to using social media sites and the Internet in general, and even to taking and posting selfies (pictures of themselves). While they’re doing this, they might be neglecting their jobs, studies, family members, or friends. This behavior resembles the behavior of people who neglect important things in their lives because they’re compulsive gamblers or shoppers. It resembles people who are so involved with their drug addictions or alcohol abuse that everything else in their lives suffers.

Such a compulsive use of technology can trigger depression, social problems, and insomnia. These side effects are similar to the symptoms people suffer when they’re abusing drugs or alcohol. The side effects show that this unhealthy technological attachment has both physical and psychological repercussions. Substance abuse, too, affects physical and mental aspects of people.

Treatment for this kind of technological attachment also resembles addiction treatment. In India and other countries, specialists have opened centers to treat technological dependence. Psychologists in the United States also treat this dependence, just as therapists and other professionals treat attachments to different substances and behaviors.

Many of the people with these attachments are teens and young people. It might seem like a stereotype to discuss teens who are always using their phones, updating their status on Facebook, or taking selfies, but it appears that these perceptions have a basis in truth. These teens or young are people who grew up with technology and are skilled at using it.

It seems that these teens and young people need help deprogramming their minds and bodies as well as deprogramming their technology. Given their youth and given that there are always new developments in addiction treatment, they have a good chance of accomplishing those things.