In the last twenty years technology has advanced ever-so quickly. Like with every good thing there are some drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is addiction, technological addiction. You may think this is not serious but is a growing problem in the world let alone America. This is also the basis of the novel “Feed” by M. T. Anderson. In the novel people have installed micro-chips in their heads, all the people do is look up things on the “Feed”. When stripped away from the “Feed” the main characters show signs of addiction or obsession.
In the article I will be highlighting symptoms of technology addiction, the risks of technology addiction, its similarity to drug addiction, and why technology is so appealing. Technology addiction is just as bad as drug and alcohol addiction.
There are many symptoms that are shown by people with addiction to technology. One symptom is a compulsion to use your smart phone or any other form of technology during exciting and/or rare life events such as parties and vacations.
If you feel like you need to pull out your phone when being lectured at is also an indication. Another sign of addiction is loss of time, if a few minutes of surfing the web turn into a few hours or if you get mad or irritated when you’re using your device and are interrupted then you might be showing signs you are addicted. Also thinking of what you last did when you used the internet or other technology and planning what you will do when you use it next time can be added to the list.
Mood swings like sudden depression, attitude changes, and loss of self-esteem can be added to the list. In addition hiding or lying about your internet use or feeling guilty when you use your smartphone are symptoms. If you experience any of the symptoms listed then you might have a problem.
Technology obsession, just like any other addiction, is harmful to your health. Now some physical common health risks are dry and/or itchy eyes, eye soreness, back aches, neck aches, and sleep disturbances. Of course there are more serious health concerns. One of them is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Another is Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) witch injures your joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support your limbs. This is the third leading reason for disability and retirement in America and the most frequent health complaint by European workers. In addition there is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue in a study by the American Optometric Association indicated that more than seventy percent of users that work on a computer monitor (which is over 140 million) experience Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue. One of the biggest health concerns for people who are addicted to technology is extreme weight gain or loss. The list of health risks goes on and on. Technology addiction is very similar to drug addiction not only because they are both addictions but other reasons to.
In a report by the Telegraph four in five students experienced mental and physical distress, panic, confusion, and extreme isolation when there technology was taken away for a whole day. This is similar to what drug addicts feel when they are not using drugs. “The volunteers whom the earlier round of testing indicated were “addicted” to the Internet reported increased negative moods after they stopped surfing the net, suffering a “comedown” that researchers said was not unlike that experienced by people after using the drug ecstasy.” (John 1) This is regarding a study done by Swansea and Milan Universities. There are even rehabilitation centers that center on technology obsession. This addiction has even been linked to drug abuse. Karin Halperin from ABC News reports on a study by the Journal of Addiction Medicine.
In the study they observed 1,271 students between the ages of 14 and 19 on the island of Kos, those students who stated they had a substance abuse had a substantial higher score on the internet addiction test they had took earlier in the study. Although the researchers say there were many variables in the study it still links internet/technology addiction to substance abuse. Finally I will explain why technology is so appealing. Now how does all of this start? Why is technology so appealing? It is as if technology pulls people in like a vortex. This is because technology has become part of every aspect of our lives. It has become infused with fashion, popular culture, and entertainment. As said by Damon Verial “First, teens tend to have poor coping mechanisms. In the face of stress, they often turn to what’s comforting to them, usually something easy to focus on, including online videos or social media sites.” (Verial 1) Adding to this the increasing availability of technology makes this even easier.
Another attraction of technology is the anonymity of online video games and other internet resources which allows people to do things without hurting their reputation. The appeal of technology could also be traced to comedy. Many comedians have online podcasts which has brought many more people to the internet. All this could be added to why technology is so attracting. In conclusion technology addiction/obsession is a serious issue. It can harm your health, just like any other addiction, with pains and different type of syndromes or diseases. It can also link to drug addiction and substance abuse. As shown by studies and research. Technology has become part of our daily lives so it is very easy to become obsessed. If you feel you have expressed the symptoms of this addiction then remember you can always get help. There many locations specified just for this addiction. To wrap it up limit your screen time and go outside. Always be conscious of the amount of time you are spending in front of a screen because a little bit can turn into a lot like nothing. There are always other options than using technology take a break and realize your surroundings.