Tech addiction is a real addiction

Tech addiction is a real addiction

The World Health Organization announced gaming disorder as a new mental health condition.

Can we be literally addicted to technology?

According to Dr. Robert Lustig, UCSF endocrinologist and author of “The Hacking of the American Mind”, tech dependency is as real as sex or gaming addiction.

Students play with their iPads at the Steve Jobs school in Sneek August 21, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Kooren (NETHERLANDS – Tags: SOCIETY EDUCATION SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) – RTX12S7O

As time passes, we have come to understand addiction is not exclusively towards chemical devices, as there are also behavioral addictions that defy our health and well-being the way heroin or cocaine would.

Like being addicted to shopping, gaming, sex or food, we can also find ourselves submerged many hours a day in modern digital products.

The constant rising tendencies make up an ambient of consistency that tag us to our devices as we’re biologically prone to getting hooked on these sorts of experiences, according to psychologist Adam Alter, author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked”.

Alter, who is also an associate professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, said to The New York Times in a March 2017 interview:

“If you’re someone who compulsively plays video games — not everyone, but people who are addicted to a particular game — the minute you load up your computer, your brain will look like that of a substance abuser.”

How is tech addiction being dealt with?

Our modern, technology-attached lives are a source of bad health and habits.

As mobile addiction has increased dangerously, studies reveal that overall 12-month prevalence of a tech addiction among U.S. adults varies from 15% to 61%.

Almost half of young children now have their own tablet, according to a report from Common Sense Media.

In an attempt to revert this dangerous landscape, Dr. Lustig called out companies at the Truth About Tech conference in Washington, D.C. to recognize technology as a tool and the fact that it must serve as such, rewarding users immediately instead of variably, independently that that´s what “drives the dollars” for the industry.

“Think of Google Maps”, he spoke out to the audience, “how many of you use it? You open it to get information on how to get where you need to go, by the time you arrive to your destination, you close the app, it´s helpful because the app gets you the information you really need and then you’re done with it, you close it, that´s what we need from apps and that´s how we need to shift our attitudes towards them.”

As for Dr. Jenny Radesky, developmental behavioral pediatrician, and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, she concluded her Truth About Tech participation saying apps should serve as a form of engagement between parents and their kids, a form of coding the ethics of the future, and the best way to boost education skills among kids.

She continued to explain that starting conversations between different agents and specialists is vital to understand what type of activities and tendencies kids are doing and looking for in their devices, therefore, data will play an important role.

Are we looking straight into the eyes of the world´s new enslavement?


About the Author:

Pablo Hernandez
Community Manager and Senior Reporter for CEO Magazine. Write to Pablo at
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