In a few words
Digital addiction is a harmful dependence on digital media and devices such as smartphones, video games, and computers. It can lead to problems such as social isolation, anxiety, depression, and academic or career problems. Digital addiction is a real and growing problem, especially among young people. It can manifest in many different ways, such as excessive gaming, social media use, or internet browsing. Digital addiction can have a negative impact on physical and mental health, relationships, and productivity.
If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with digital addiction, there are resources available to help.
Let’s dive deeper
Your eyes are glassy, sometimes watery, although you are not sad, and your vision has weakened significantly. Your back is hunched, you neglect your obligations, socializing and other activities, but you still look at the screen and simply – you can’t stop. If you spend so much time using your cell phone, computer, gaming platform, or any other device, and it negatively affects your health, work, finances, or relationships, can it be considered an addiction? Experts say it can.
Research has shown that dopamine (the hormone of happiness and pleasure) is released in the brain during Internet use, and that this feeling increases with excessive use. However, even though you feel powerful and dominant at the time, it takes very little to “fall” – it can happen as soon as you disconnect from the grid. Such people feel depressed, irritable, anxious and experience other symptoms of sudden mood swings.
There are a number of things that people can do to prevent and overcome digital addiction. Here are some tips:
- Set limits on your screen time and stick to them.
- Take breaks from technology throughout the day.
- Avoid using technology before bed and in the morning.
- Find other activities to enjoy, such as spending time with loved ones, exercising, or pursuing hobbies.
It is important to note that digital addiction is not yet a recognized mental health diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, there is a growing body of research on the topic, and it is becoming increasingly clear that digital addiction can have a serious impact on people’s lives.