Digital addiction is a topic that more and more people are becoming used to hearing about. Technology is misused and abused nowadays and millions of people are living with an addiction to their screen that they just can’t give up. Brad Huddleston and Sergeant Nigel Dalton are two spokespeople that go around schools across Australia that discuss the topic. Huddleston advocates for digital detox and trying to separate people’s need for screens at all times. Technology surrounds people today – it’s in cars, it’s in bedrooms, it’s in offices, and it’s in our living rooms. For many people, there is simply no way to break away from technology. Huddleston discusses digital addiction as similar to cocaine addiction in that it causes dopamine rushes to the brain. (1)
Approximately one third of the adults admitted to be dependent on social media and others admitted being hooked on online games (15%), streaming music (14%), online shopping (14%), online video (9%), and so on. Even though streaming movies or music may not seem like an addictive behavior, it can lead to addiction, because the brain begins to get trained to need the constant stimulus. In addition, more women are addicted to social media than men and men are more likely to be addicted to streaming videos or music. In addition, younger adults (18-24) were more likely to report being obsessed with social media and online games, whereas adults over the age of 55 reported only reported a 10% addiction to shopping online. (2)
Technology isn’t bad in and of itself – in fact, it’s incredibly beneficial and wonderful for many uses. There are great things to be experienced when people use technology in moderation. But unfortunately, many people of all ages are becoming addicted to at least something in the digital world and it is becoming a force that is uncontrollable in their lives. Setting limits on screen time is one important step to minimizing your risk in developing a digital addiction. Use technology as a tool rather than something that you have to have at all times. If you have difficulty putting your phone down, turning off the computer, or stopping your latest gaming binge, you need to reevaluate the hold that technology has on you. Digital addiction is very real and can be extremely damaging.
- “Digital Addiction Addressed in Classrooms.” ABC Tropical North. July 28, 2015. Accessed August 29, 2015. http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/07/27/4281391.htm
- Leflein, Bobbie. “More than 9 in 10 Adults Report Online Addiction.” Leflein Custom Research Excellence. December 17, 2014. Accessed December 21, 2014. http://www.leflein.com/more-than-9-in-10-adults-report-online-addiction/