Technology is rapidly changing and along with it, so are people. We have made a great change in the way we view technology. It can be used as a resource for just about anything you want to know or buy. But it can also be addictive in the way it can captivate someone’s whole life through social media, online shopping, and much more. I believe that the internet and technology are addictive and we should be more wary of the effects of the overexposure to these things.
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Addiction is a dependency to a substance or activity, like smoking, using drugs, or even browsing your social media. Smartphones seem to be the most common thing for people to become addicted to. They are small, convenient, and it is easy to lose track of time while using them. According to Alter, the average hours of daily smartphone screen-time is three hours . Alter states, “They were spending an average of a quarter of their waking lives on their phones-more than any other daily activity, except sleeping.” That’s a lot of time to spend on your phone. According to Abramovitz, “Studies find that over half of American teenagers report checking their cell phones all the time, 30 percent check their social networks all the time, and 75 percent check text messages at least once every hour.” Internet addiction clearly has a huge impact on adolescence, and can become tiring. As stated by Small and Vorgan, “These addicts routinely experience apathy, depression, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, irritability, and clouded thinking.” But perhaps worst of all, internet addiction consumes one of the most important things you have in life; your time. According to Watkins, early case studies show that heavy online users spend forty hours a week online like it’s a full time job.
Smartphones and are not the only issue however, video games are just as time consuming.
Video games gives players an immense landscape of media to explore. The MMORPG (Massively-Multiplayer-Online-Role-Playing-Games) genre of video games can be extremely addicting. World of Warcraft is one of the most addicting games ever. There is an organization that houses people in facilities to provide treatment with such issues of being addicted to video games, such as World of Warcraft, called reSTART. They give the help that youth and adults need to manage their addiction. The computer gaming community can be very involved. People grow attachments to their fellow players and form groups of friends. They enjoy the camaraderie. According to Small and Vorgan, “Gamers report additional enjoyment when the game or online interaction provides a virtual social network.” In addition, the video game community even happens to talk about addiction quite a bit. Some players even brag about how long they have stayed online for one session. Watkins states “In one national survey, 50 percent of respondents, when asked a direct yes or no question, considered themselves addicted to an MMORPG.” This shows how much influence is on the minds of these gamers that they can acknowledge that they are addicted, but can’t stop playing. Video game addiction is a real issue, and it has a lot to do with how dopamine is produced in the brain when the gamers boot up their games and log into their communities. According to Small and Vorgan, “During a game, dopamine is released into the player’s brain, causing intense pleasure and a sensation of being in control.” The video game community is rapidly growing, and with it, more addicts to the product.
Internet addiction can be harmful to one’s health as well. On average, you should get about 8 hours of sleep every night. One of the most harmful effect of internet addiction can be the loss of that sleep. According to Alter, sleep deprivation effects two thirds of all adults, and can cause a slew of different issues ranging from mood changes to obesity, and even certain cancers. Sleep deprivation can be caused by staring at the bright blue light of your cell phone or TV just before you go to sleep. Alter states that, “95 percent of us are inducing jet lag at night by telling our bodies that the day is beginning just before we go to bed.” So by watching that TV show before bed, or compulsively checking your social media, you halt the production of melatonin in your brain which helps you sleep. This is just one of the few effects of technology and internet addiction however. According to Watkins, “Some of the problems researchers associated with excessive Internet use include failure to manage time, a loss of sleep, skipped meals, social isolation, and poor performance at school or work.” These are all attributes of addictions to other substances as well, such as alcohol. In addition, staring at a computer screen can cause lots of discomfort. According to Small and Vorgan, “Too much time at a computer display terminal can lead to muscle strain, eye discomfort, and headaches.”
Digital media largely affects the social skills of those who are overexposed to it on a daily basis.
It can make it harder to connect with people face-to-face. Although face-to-face relationships are more involved and create more of a bond, it can be difficult to form these if your world in one that’s addicted to the virtual. It can even be harder for you to pick up on nonverbal communication, such as body language. According to Small and Vorgan, “Spending hours in front of the computer can anthropy the brain’s neural circuitry that controls recognition and interpretation of nonverbal communication.” These things are very important in creating new relationships. Even though all these things are prevalent in the United States and other Asian countries, internet addiction is not formally recognized by psychiatric professionals. But possibly one day, with further studies we will figure out why people are seemingly glued to their devices.
Demerits Of Technology and Internet. (2021, Jun 30).
Retrieved July 1, 2022 , from
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