Technoaddiction: what is it and what are its causes and symptoms

In recent decades, new technologies are part of our lives and have led to significant changes in our relationship with the environment and with others. Due to advancements in technology, social media and the presence of the internet, we have spent many hours connected to technological devices, both our computer and our mobile phone.

The impact is such that some people may feel lost in this world according to new technologies if they do not have access to these gadgets. Experts say that if new technologies are not used properly, phenomena such as internet addiction, nomophobia or FOMO syndrome can appear.

What is technoaddiction

Technoaddiction is the uncontrollable desire to be connected to ICT at all times and a behavior that can cause discomfort and deterioration in an individual’s life. This is a relatively new phenomenon, often described as the inability to control the use of different types of technologies, especially the Internet, smartphones, tablets and social networks, such as: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram .

This phenomenon has been exacerbated by the proliferation of smartphone use as Internet access. and social media can now be created from almost anywhere and anytime. Many of us stay connected to tech devices most of the day, from the moment we wake up until bedtime. Using technology alone is not bad, but if misused it can cause serious problems for a person’s well-being.

Much of the problem lies in the education of individuals, which being such a common occurrence, even the parents themselves are the first affected by this problem and are unable to properly educate their children in this regard.

Is it a disorder?

Some experts have classified this problem as a disorder because of its negative consequences and the impact it can have on a person’s life. Technoaddiction is not a disorder recognized by the DSM, but it is this is a problem that has generated a lot of interest among health professionals since the 1990s.

In 1995 Kimberly Young, an American psychologist, created the Center for Internet Addiction and the first technology addiction treatment plan based on cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. In the same year, the term “Internet addiction disorder” was coined by psychiatrist Dr. Ivan Goldberg.

However, the concept of technoaddiction encompasses different phenomena, including nomophobia and FOMO syndrome.

What the research says

Scientific studies show that in the case of Internet addiction, in the United States and Europe 8.2% of the population suffers from internet addiction. In 2006, researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a telephone survey that found that one in eight Americans feel addicted to new technology.

Technology addiction is recognized as a widespread health problem in other countries, such as Australia, China, Japan, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, which have created dedicated clinics to deal with this growing problem.

Like other types of addiction, technology addiction can range from moderate to severe, and some researchers claim the addiction is psychological rather than physical. Of course, not having access to the Internet or not being able to use your smartphone can lead to serious problems such as anxiety or discomfort. The dependence on new technologies is so great today that people with a technoaddiction feel lost in the physical world. New technologies affect our daily lives, our interpersonal relationships, our academic or professional performance …

frequent symptoms

The technoaddiction of drug addiction is a heterogeneous phenomenon which includes both dependence on technological devices and the need to be in contact with the virtual world; however, the two are related. Usually, technoaddiction manifests as follows:

  • Compulsive checking of text messages and chats
  • Frequent change of Facebook status and too many selfies to go online
  • Anxiety and stress over lack of internet access or technological devices
  • social isolation
  • Need to buy the latest technological developments in the market, even if they are not necessary
  • Loss of interest in activities that do not involve a computer, phone, or other tech gadget
  • Feeling restless when they cannot go online
  • Sometimes people can develop trouble sleeping and depression.

The problem is not the technology, but its misuse

The emergence of this phenomenon has no cause in the use of technology itself, like like any addiction, its origin may be the person’s lack of social skills or low self-esteem. New technologies bring us multiple benefits, because they allow us to be connected to any place in the world and to have information almost instantly.

Psychologist Jonathan García-Allen suggests that education is the key to preventing this phenomenon, as he explains that “the main problem is not new technologies, but their pathological use, which can materialize both in drug addiction and in uses which may cause psychological problems “. .

In this sense, the answer to this problem is not to ban the use of the Internet or to remove smartphones from the lives of children or adolescents, but the important thing is to make them understand that their misuse leads to negative consequences for emotional health. . It is the job of all educators and parents, to educate them from an early age to avoid abuse and pathological uses of new technologies.

Nomophobia and FOMO syndrome

Two phenomena associated with new technologies that have had the most media impact in recent times are fomo syndrome and nomophobia. The first has to do with the formation of identity and the impact that social networks have on our relationship with others. Lto nomophobia is addiction to smartphones.

You can delve into both phenomena in our articles:

  • “FOMO syndrome: feeling the life of others is more interesting”
  • “Nomophobia: the growing dependence on mobile phones”

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