In the modern world, technology is everywhere. For most people, things like smartphones can be a helpful tool for communicating with others and finding information. However, some people’s use of phones can cross the line and turn into addictive behaviour. Addiction to the phone is still a relatively new issue that many people do not understand. Educating yourself about electronic addiction will help you and your family overcome this potential problem.
Is Phone Addiction Real?
A digital addiction does not have as many physical components as a substance abuse disorder, but it is still a diagnosable issue. Humans can become addicted to anything that creates a positive stimulus. It is possible for the excitement and enjoyment of technology to lead to an addiction. This type of addiction happens when a person develops a behavioural or psychological dependence on their phone. For many, this addiction is simply a compulsive use of the phone. It could be for social media, information overload, phone games, or other common activities.
However, digital addictions are a form of behavioural addiction. These can also have a link to many other types of addictive activities. Those who struggle with sexual addictions may use the internet to fuel their addiction. This can be through dating apps, fetish websites, online pornography, and inappropriate social media messages. People with a predisposition towards gambling addictions may become addicted to other things. This might include an online gambling website or games with loot boxes and microtransactions.
Signs That Someone Is Addicted to Electronics
The characteristics of a smartphone addict are not just the activities of a typical teen who would rather play a phone game than converse with a parent. The hallmark signs of an addiction are an obsessive fascination with their phone that overrides all other priorities and causes negative consequences. The signs of an electronic addiction are very similar to drug and alcohol addictions. Those with an addiction tend to constantly use their phone or spend all their time thinking about when they can use their phone again.
People who have an addiction to electronics tend to lose interest in all other activities and responsibilities. They may neglect work or school to focus on their phones. Even when this neglect causes clear and negative consequences, they will continue to focus on their phones. Often, an addiction even causes a person to ignore things like eating, sleeping, and personal hygiene. Those with an addiction to certain games may spend excessive amounts of money to fuel their addiction. Some may even steal to fund their addiction.
Is Phone Addiction Dangerous?
A lot of people dismiss the symptoms of electronic addiction because there is no immediate risk of overdose or other obvious physical symptoms. However, the lack of apparent life-threatening effects does not mean an attachment to the phone is harmless. At its most basic level, having an addiction to electronics is bad because it interferes with daily life, making it hard for addicts to build real social relationships, take care of their own health, and fulfill responsibilities. There are also some concerns that digital addiction may lead to some mental, physical, and behavioural problems. People who overuse phones are more likely to display depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. More and more teens are also displaying neck pain, shoulder pain, and joint inflammation in the fingers due to constant phone usage.
How to Manage a Digital Addiction
Treating digital addiction is all about providing therapy to address problematic behaviours. Treatment may assist with underlying mental health disorders causing the problem, and digital addiction help may provide techniques for dealing with impulse control issues. If you suspect your child is dealing with phone addiction, early intervention can keep the issue from worsening. At Venture Academy’s three convenient Canadian locations, we offer a variety of treatment programs for troubled youth. Our multidisciplinary team can evaluate your teen’s situation and create a personalized treatment program to reduce troublesome behaviour and address addictive impulses. Get the help your family needs by dialing 866.762.2211 now.