Is It Actually Possible to Be a Technology Addict?
How often do you pull out your smartphone every day? How often do you look at a computer or tablet screen outside of work? If you’re like most people, it’s tough to go an hour without checking something, whether it’s email or a Facebook update. When you forget your phone, it may feel like you’re missing something out on your life.
One expert, Dr. Ned Hallowell, suggests this screen sucking behavior is caused by a dopamine increase people get after checking these messages and videos. He compares it to food, suggesting that we may need it to survive these days.
There is certainly a line between positive usage and addiction, though, and Dr. Kimberly Young, a psychologist at the Center for Internet Addiction, has said that a problem relationship with technology may resemble alcohol dependence. The key is your ability to evaluate dependence on technology. Understanding your ability to control your use of technology without it controlling you is essential, and it may be necessary to look at healthy ways to incorporate technology into your life. Wondering how? Here are a few steps that can help.
- Acknowledge the power of technology, as well as the fact that it can keep you from being present at real activities.
- Set boundaries. Create some screen-free time. You may need to install a “do not disturb” option or other features to help you understand when something is important and when it can be ignored.
- Use an actual watch. Just checking the time may suck you back into the technology.
Technology may be important, but learning how to step away for a bit is also a must.