Issue of Technology and Social Media Addiction

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What is a technology addiction? It is the uncontrollable overuse of technological devices including smartphones, computers, and gaming systems. Many kids today start off their technology use under the age of 10. Kids brains are still developing and can get addicted to things extremely easy. Because parents are letting their kids start using technology so early. This is leading to kids becoming addicted.

Many people are so caught up with their mobile devices that it affects their daily lives. People are distracted while driving, at work, at school, and even out with friends. It is ironic because social media should be bringing people together but sometimes it does the opposite when one is on the phone while out with the company of others.

However, next on the list of 'self-control failure rates' was checking in with social media, email and work ahead of the urge to have a Camel Light, while sipping on that glass of 12-year single malt scotch. Through self-conditioning, it seems that it has become built into some people to check their phones regularly. Posting to Facebook or Instagram before every meal or anything they do have become habits that are very difficult to break. It might even go as far as doing it without thinking. It becomes a routine part of life. Albeit a very annoying one for an outsider to see.

According to Claire Suddath in the article “Digital Detox, a Tech-Free Retreat for Internet Addicts”: The situation is getting worse and worse, the number of hours Americans spend collectively online has almost doubled since 2010, according to ComScore, a digital analytics company. There is a program called Digital Detox at Shambhala Ranch in Northern California set up to treat people who admit to internet and mobile device addiction. “For 72 hours, the 11 participants, who 've paid from $595 for a twin bed to $1,400 for a suite, eat vegan food, practice yoga, swim in a nearby creek, take long walks in the woods, and keep a journal about being offline. The ranch is two-and-a-half hours north of San Francisco, so most guests come from the Bay Area, although a few have flown in from Seattle and New York.” They 're here for a variety of reasons bad breakups, career troubles but there 's one thing everyone has in common. They 're driven to distraction by the Internet.

For a business to even be set up to try and correct this issue means that many people are seeing the negative effects of technology dependence. This issue is going to become more and more complex as times goes on. Technology is advancing at great rates and mobile devices are getting smaller. As time and technology progress, we will see more people connected as well as different ways of being connected to the internet. If we do not learn to balance the amount of time we spend on these devices and the amount of time we spend without them, we could introduce an advancing negative social condition to ourselves. There are definitely wonderful benefits to this technology, we just have to learn to use it wisely.

What makes social media internet site and applications what they are and what are their functions? Well according to Moreno and Whitehill “Influence of Social Media on Alcohol Use in Adolescents and Young Adults” of all the popular current ones out there like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter they are diverse but share many similar features. The users will have to create an account, link to a network of other individuals or groups, and use the site to share thoughts, photographs, videos, news stories, and other content. “Most of the sites have built-in mechanisms to express approval or disapproval of content.

Users can form their own impression of a post or video and can also see how many others, and sometimes exactly who, also expressed approval. This multidirectional and user-generated communication about content differentiates social media from traditional mass media.” Our ability to now get onto our social networks through the advancements in technology from anywhere and anytime has given us the opportunity to zone out from what we are currently doing. If we are out having a meal with company, a pause in conversation might send us to our phones to check what is happening on our live feeds. This puts an awkward tension to the regular interactions we have with our company. What would and should be conversations turn into friends staring at us on our mobile devices.

According to Sherry Turkle, PhD., a Massachusetts Institute of Technology social psychologist: “People today are more connected to one another than ever before in human history, thanks to Internet-based social networking sites and text messaging. But they’re also more lonely and distant from one another in their unplugged lives.’’Ironically, while focusing our attention on our online social lives and being really interactive on them, we are actually doing the exact opposite in our real non-virtual lives. We are obsessed with social media and keeping it updated, there is a possibility of losing touch with the actual world around us. All of our time cannot be spent on relationships that are only online. We have become a culture that is obsessed with updating Facebook statuses, sending Tweets, playing social media games, etc., and this social media has in a way made us antisocial people.

Unfortunately for some people, it is entirely possible that this situation is not as easy as just putting down the phone. Technology addiction is a new issue which we are facing today. It may seem like a trivial issue but it is so widespread and the behavior is slowly considered to be normal. That is going to be a huge issue with our society if we are not aware that we even have a problem. It all seems so normal, to be in touch with whoever we want whenever we want. We are brought into a cycle in which Margaret Kaminski wrote in “My Phone” and describes:

That excitement comes from a chemical called dopamine, which tells your brain, 'Dude, that felt good--do it again!' even if it all ends in crushing disappointment. (You think: 'Maybe next time will be different?) Teens are the most susceptible to this feedback loop--they get a bigger hit of dopamine from the new or exciting, and that feeling can be addictive. To feed your craving for this feel-good jolt, you download more apps, join more social media networks, and send more texts--trapping you in an endless cycle of joy and letdowns.

Not only can this addiction put a strain in our actual social lives. It can even be a downright dangerous addiction to have. I am even guilty of responding to text messages or messages on social media website applications on my mobile device while driving. This is a really serious matter because texting while driving is six times more dangerous than driving while drunk.

The symptoms associated with this addiction, according to Dr. Manoj Kumar Sharma, one of the doctors running the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences: “The symptoms and nature of this perceived addiction vary from case to case but hinge around a perceived excessive engagement with a user 's smartphone, the Internet or social networking sites that comes at the expense of their mental well-being. Persistent checking of instant messaging apps and frequent changing of status updates - as well as the notorious uploading of 'selfies' - are linked in addiction cases to insomnia, depression and social withdrawal.”

Our fascination with social media is not a negative thing though. We should enjoy these digital outlets responsibly and use them for our convenience without disrupting our normal lives. We can strike a balance and have social media presence while not being constantly involved to the point where it distracts us from our real-world relationships. We need to keep focusing on our actual human interactions as we cannot replace our person to person contact with social media involvement.

Social media and social networking sites definitely have their place and purpose. They let us get in touch or keep in touch with people we might not have had a chance to otherwise, due to distance or a long period of time of not interacting. We are able to meet new people and learn things about what people are doing, what is popular, styles that are trending. But there is a problem when it is through those social networking sites in which we take care of all our social matters. Wishing a friend a happy birthday through a Facebook post is not the same as personally calling them and wishing them a happy birthday or better yet meeting them up in person. There are people with hundreds to thousands of “friends” on their friend’s lists, but only a handful of them are actually seen in person from time to time. We should focus our attention on real-life relationships as social media will never be a replacement for physical companionship. Put down those phones and let’s have a real conversation.  

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Issue of Technology and Social Media Addiction. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved June 20, 2024 , from

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