Excessive use and over-dependence on technology is an addiction, and mental health professionals define it similar to other mental illnesses like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in which someone is unable to control or limit the behavior.
Technology Addiction, also referred to as Internet or Digital Addiction, is a behavioral addiction in which the user, despite the negative consequences, involves in the obsessive use of various kinds of technology, such as smartphones, the internet, social media, online gaming/gambling, binge-watching, and many more.
How Technology Addiction Is Hurting Your Health
Internet or Technology addiction is emerging as an uncontrollable behavior addiction among youth these days. Various studies have shown that this addiction is also associated with stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Excessive urge, use, and behaviors regarding the internet are leading to impairment as well as distress. Along with destructive effects on physical health, it is also affecting mental health. Over the long term, it is bringing about significant damage to the body, mind, and soul.
Internet addiction disrupts the sleep cycle or sleep pattern completely. The obsession to check emails, Facebook notifications, scrolling various pages before sleep turns into hours of wandering around the internet. 81% of the internet addicts suffer from insomnia; the poor quality sleep that contributes to emotional distress, headache, or triggers mental health issues with physical tiredness throughout.
Internet addicts find it difficult to maintain their healthy eating habits. Sedentary lifestyle, insomnia, physical tiredness contributes towards loss of appetite which keeps you away from healthy and on time dietary pattern.
Addiction and giving time to the internet leads to continuous snacking and munching of an excessive amount of sugary, salty, and fatty food that leaves a significant gap for the nutritional intake of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food. Over the long term, severe health problems can be noticed along with illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes from a very young age.
Internet addicts give less time to physical activity, yoga, exercise, and thus, the physical fitness is hampered.
The impact of this addiction creates additional damage to immunity. Addicts get sick more often due to improper schedules along with improper diet, lack of physical activity, and sleep deprivation.
Strategies To Overcome Technology Addiction
It’s hard to live up these days without the internet. As more individuals gain access to the internet every month, more people are becoming addicted to the digital lifestyle. It’s a growing threat for children and adults worldwide.
Nowadays, in a highly connected world, people are spending most of their time on devices. So how do you recognize they have drawn themselves into the realm of addictive behavior w.r.t technology?
Keep a watch for poor or low concentration in studies or outdoor activities, poor oral or general hygiene of the body, decrease in various activities like games and studies, persistent use despite negative consequences, and sleep deprivation.
Are you playing video games in excess? Shopping online unnecessarily? Watching back to back web series? Can’t resist yourselves in checking your various social media accounts? Keeping your important work aside and look forward to checking notifications every time your smartphone rings?
If your answer is YES, you may be suffering from internet addiction which needs a behavior modification. Both teens and adults should themselves try to develop a healthy relationship with technology.
To begin with, here are the 5 things you should try to reduce and overcome the negative effects of technology addiction.
1. Turn Off Notifications And Your Internet Device:
Turning off the notifications and the internet device at least once a day is one of the effective ways of managing addiction. It’s also one of the easiest steps to create a distance from your gadgets and technology.
2. Connect With Your Friends And Family:
When we are more bonded with technology we are less bonded with our friends and family. Rather than spending time and energy on games and scrolling various applications, try to give that time to your family and friends to create a deep personal bonding and repair poor relations.
3. Make Your Bed And Bedroom Tech-Free Zone:
A good night’s sleep on time is very important to stay positive, happy and focused. Internet urges you to shop, play games, scroll hundreds of apps just to look at notifications before sleep which affects your mental well-being. Try to limit yourself and stick to a plan!
Set specific days and hours to control the urge. Assign places to your devices and keep them away from the bed. Just talk, relax with your loved ones and pray to God for a good night’s sleep and a good morning the next day and sleep with a calm mind.
4. Limit Screentime:
Limit your screen time for games, shopping, and chatting. Indulge yourself more in yoga, meditation, and reading. Give yourself time to improve your personal well-being. Declare a cleanse day, give technology a day-off, and have fun with books, friends, and family.
5. Right Apps, Right Effects:
Download the right apps that are beneficial, educational, and help you in developing good skills, while increasing your knowledge and concentration. Unnecessary applications on the phone make you lured and addicted to the internet out of boredom and must be removed from the device.
On a final note, I would like to conclude that a healthy body means a healthy mind and soul. Rather than spending too much of your time and energy in technology, indulge yourself in physical activity, exercises, reading, and writing. This will not only boost your energy but will keep your mind at track and health at bay, thus, managing internet addiction and behavior modification.
About The Author:
Dr. Jyotsana Anand – A Dental Surgeon by profession and an avid reader and passionate writer from passion who wrote articles on various niches including Medical, Dental, Health and Wellness, Food and Nutrition.