If you feel like your technology usage is getting out of hand, it’s a good idea to take a step back and examine what’s going on. It’s not uncommon for kids, teens and young adults to spend hours looking at their phones or laptops every day, however, it is becoming more and more common for them to become addicted to their technology. The problem with technology addiction is that technology is such an integral part of day to day life that it can be hard to recognize when it goes from a healthy engagement with technology to an addictive behavior. So if you’re questioning whether or not your digital habits are turning into a technology addiction, here are some signs that might help determine what’s going on.
Questions to ask yourself
It’s important to ask these questions:
- Am I spending more time on technology than I would like to?
- What does this mean for me, and what can I do about it?
- How does it feel when I think about spending less time on technology?
- Am I struggling to control, limit or regulate my technology use?
What does a technology addiction look like?
In teens and young adults a tech addiction can look like a constant need to check their device. It can present as a feeling of panic, sadness or anger if their access to their devices is restricted. Teen and young adults often engage in endless scrolling on social media, spending hours at a time on various apps. While this behavior is normalized in our culture, that doesn’t make it healthy.
In younger children a tech addiction might present as a child becoming irritable and having a tantrum when they are told it is time to stop using a device such as a tablet or TV.
What problems does technology addiction cause?
Some of the problems caused by technology addiction can include:
- Changes in mood
- Decreased mental health
- Decreased physical health
- Difficulty processing information and problem-solving
- Difficulty sleeping
- Decreased social interaction and poor social skills
- Difficulty at work and school
- Strained relationships
Ways to decrease technology usage
If you feel like your technology usage is getting out of hand, it’s a good idea to take a step back from it. There are many ways to do this:
- Take regular, scheduled breaks from technology.
- Turn off notifications on devices.
- Limit the amount of time spent per day on technology.
- Leave technology in a separate room when your are trying to go to sleep
- Talk with a therapist and come up with a plan to decrease technology usage.
Speaking with a therapist can help
We hope that this article has helped you identify if you or your child have a tech addiction. If so, we encourage you to take steps towards getting it under control. A Mindhues therapist can help by utilizing treatment approaches such as CBT, DBT, ACT and mindfulness. Contact us today to get started.