Exploring Technology Addiction: Recognizing the Signs and Seeking Help

Written by: Eva Salazar Torres, M.S.
Exploring Technology Addiction: Recognizing the Signs and Seeking Help

Technology addiction refers to various types of technology and its various methods of overuse. Our society’s reliance on technology is no secret. We use it to navigate to our next destination, connect with loved ones, keep track of our activities or calendars, and sometimes we use it as an escape. Its ease of access and constant tech updates could potentially trigger addictive behaviors among vulnerable populations. With the different subsets of technologies and reasons someone may be using the tech, a true definition of technology addiction has not been recognized by academic literature. These addictive or pleasure-seeking behaviors still exist, so how much is too much?

We experience pressure from others and ourselves to use devices for many reasons. This pressure can have negative consequences including using technology for longer than intended, straining relationships, and having physical problems due to the length of use. Counselors can evaluate the use of technology and work with their clients to begin exploring concerns.

Technology addiction falls into the behavioral addiction category. A behavioral addiction is characterized by a progressive inability to control, regulate, or limit the behavior. Technology addiction also shares similarities with obsessive-compulsive disorders. A healthy use of technology begins to shift towards a cause for concern when there is a negative impact on school, work, family, and social life.

Other signs to look out for could include an addiction to video games, increased social networking, constant surfing the web, online shopping, compulsiveness, inability to control the amount of time spent with technology, need for more time or new technology-related things to achieve desired effects, sneaking additional screen time, and using technology as the only coping strategy. One may also experience withdrawal symptoms when not engaged, obsessively thinking about technology when the individual is not using it, little interest in things that are not associated with the internet, continuing obsessive behavior despite experiencing negative physical and mental effects, inability to perform daily tasks, noticeable impact on school, work, or social life, and isolation.

If you or a loved one is struggling with technology addiction, it’s important to seek help. At Summit Counseling Center, we provide compassionate and effective support for individuals facing a wide range of challenges, including technology addiction. Our experienced counselors can help you regain control and find a healthier balance in your life.

View our therapists and schedule an appointment to take the first step towards a more balanced and fulfilling life at summitcounseling.org.