Technology addiction

Reagan Rude, Cutting Edge Writer

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“Kids these days always have their faces glued to their phones.” We have all heard an older relative say this at some point. But are they wrong? Technology has become an essential part of our everyday lives. We use it to communicate with our family and friends, navigate car trips, and for entertainment. Now that technology is such a common occurrence, how can we tell when it becomes an addiction?

Technology addiction is defined as frequent and obsessive technology-related behavior increasingly practiced despite the negative consequences to the user of the technology. While technology is used by nearly everyone in the world, this over-reliance on technology can have a negative impact on the lives of students.

NYU professor Adam Alter suggests that 40 percent of people have some kind of internet-based addiction. People can become addicted to different types of technology for various reasons. For example, addiction to video games stems from the feeling of competence and success obtained when completing a challenging video game.

Additionally, social media provides us with social connections from people all around the world. Due to the fact that humans are social animals, this instant feedback from others is extremely appealing and therefore makes technology easy to become addicted to.

Next, the consequences of addiction to technology can be very harmful. They include psychological factors. In a national survey of adolescents, poor self-rated health, unhappiness and depression were significantly related with internet addiction. Sleep disorders have also developed as a result of staying up later on phones or computers. This deprivation of sleep has led to a poorer performance in school, athletics and other extracurriculars.

In addition, researchers have found evidence that teenagers addicted to technology are more likely to develop addictions to substances and alcohol than those who are not. One preliminary study by councils recovery.org found that a group of teens who “hyper-texted” were 40% more likely to have used cigarettes and twice as likely to have used alcohol than students who were less frequent users of technology. In addition, researchers found that those who spent more hours per school day than peers on social networking sites were at higher risk for depression and suicide.

There is no denying that technology is necessary in this day and age. However, we must be careful not to overuse it, as the effects of becoming addicted to technology can be detrimental to us all.

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