Addiction to new technologies: symptoms, causes and treatment

In today’s era, technological advancements occur in a relatively short period of time, and for many people this represents the need to be constantly updated with regard to these advancements.

In this article we will see what are the main characteristics of addiction to new technologiesWe will talk about how this type of need can arise in people and the most effective forms of treatment in these cases.

    What is the dependence on new technologies?

    Dependence on new technologies is a strong need for a subject to continue to interact with electronic devices associated with interconnected digital platforms, which allow you to access the Internet through smartphone applications or computer programs.

    Generally speaking, in addition to having to be connected to the web, the subject needs devices that meet specific parameters, so that they can offer a more complete experience in terms of the content that they could access.

    The main digital elements that can be the basis of an addiction to new technologies are two: the use of video games (in particular those with online multiplayer), on the one hand, and the use of social media, The other.

    While these two electronic elements themselves are not harmful to mental health, depending on how you interact with them, alterations such as addiction to new technologies can occur. In other words, this type of disorder does not lie in the use of video games or social networks, but in certain ways of getting used to their use (and in certain personal predispositions).

    Main symptoms of this addictive behavior

    There is a whole range of addictions, each with their own characteristics and symptoms. They all represent an irrational need of the individual to have access to something an activity. There will be differences depending on what is the trigger for the subject’s addictive behavior.

    In the case of addiction to new technologies, the symptoms will be as follows.

    1. Forced need for information

    The subjects who present this type of dependence, feel a strong need to be constantly informed, in particular as regards the questions related to what is interesting in their social circle.

    2. Need for advanced technological devices

    As the dependence on new technologies increases, the subject does not have enough to satisfy his need for information through any device, but this you will need it to give you the latest theological breakthroughs and feel it meets your need.

    3. Tendency to isolation

    People who have become addicted to new technologies become subjects relatively distant from physical social contact. This means that they can socialize quietly through their electronic devices, through their social media profiles, but personal coexistence is a nuisance, or a source of stress.

    4. Dependence on technology

    These topics focus all of their attention and resources on keeping abreast of technological advancements, in all aspects. Situation it represents a limitation when it comes to handling situations outside the context of screens.

    For example, a tech addict can be very effective when performing activities using a smart device, but if he needs to do something in another context, the subject will not be able to do it. with the same efficiency. In the most intense cases of this addiction, you might even be unable to accomplish this task without the help of technology.

    5. Concentration problems

    People who encounter these problems they tend to get easily distracted thinking about what might be going on in those digital worlds they loved to be connected to at the time.. It is therefore difficult for them to concentrate on tasks that have nothing to do with this form of leisure. As a result, they often fail to address others, often postpone their responsibilities, etc.

    6. Irritability

    In turn, spending many hours without using these electronic devices causes these people to be in a bad mood and experience anxiety.

    the causes

    Generally speaking, addictions are the product of a distortion in the subject’s reward system, Which can lead to failure at the organic level.

    When we begin to engage in compulsive activity or adopt new habits that satisfy us, our brain secretes a neurotransmitter called serotonin (the hormone of happiness). The more time we spend doing this activity without dividing our time into other activities, the amounts of serotonin our brain secretes are greater, Thus contributing to making us more and more dependent.


    There are basically two ways to deal with the anxiety that results from stopping use of these devices. First of all it is psychotherapy; which consists of sessions with a psychology professional where the focus will be on the emotional part of the subject and the psychic causes that can explode the anxious behavior of the person.

    Throughout the psychotherapy process, one learns to apply new habits on a daily basis which lead the person to take a more active role and to move away from the screens, without letting them “fill” all their downtime. I do not know what to do. for that cognitive-behavioral techniques are mainly used.

    Second, there are the drugs, which should only be used when it has been determined that the main cause of anxiety is organic and always under medical supervision. Likewise in these cases ideally, the drug should be used in conjunction with psychotherapy processes. In any case, the drug should always be prescribed by a doctor.

    Some of the most commonly used medications for anxiety are:

    • Antidepressants.
    • Benzodiazepines.
    • Buspirona.

    • Beta-blockers.
    • Antihistamines.

    Bibliographical references:

    • American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
    • Vocci, FJ; Acri, J; Elkashef, A. (2005). Drug development for addictive disorders: the state of the science. American Journal of Psychiatry (162): pages 1431-1440.
    • Salamone, JD (1992). The motor and sensorimotor function of the striatum and the dopamine accumbens complex: participation in instrumental behavioral processes. Psychopharmacology (107): p. 160-174.
    • Sydor A, Brown RY. Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.

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