Know why making wise use of technology a priority

Digital addiction is a harmful addiction of human beings to digital devices and media – computers, smartphones, video games, etc. A study by an independent clinical psychologist reveals that digital addiction in India affects 1.3% of the total population, where higher rates of 11% are seen among university students and lower rates among teenagers.

Studies have found a relationship between high use of digital technologies and mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. Some psychologists have claimed that technology and media addiction is similar to substance abuse disorders. The user’s digital addiction occurs when it starts to harm life and becomes difficult to stop even though it knows that it harms health in many ways.

There has been a massive growth of internet and digital media in India and across the world over the past decade. According to an NCBI report, there were approximately 646 million active internet users in urban India as of December 2021, up from 42 million in 2008.

The Internet is used by 20-25% of all users to facilitate research, information acquisition, communication and business transactions. On the other hand, some also use it to indulge in pornography, excessive online gaming, chatting for hours and even gambling. There has been considerable concern globally about what has been referred to as “internet or digital addiction”.

The topic of digital addiction has also become a topic of discussion and debate in psychiatry and psychology. Some psychologists believe that the abuse of digital addiction parallels substance use disorder. In contrast, some psychiatrists believe that the regular use of technology in contemporary society is normal, and the misuse of technology underscores the disorder.

Early symptoms

The user addicted to digital technology may experience many symptoms of mental health and other disorders, including sadness, anxiety, depression, irritability, loss of interest, and using technology to cope with negative emotions. As part of the physical symptoms, a person may experience carpal tunnel syndrome, body aches, insomnia, blurred vision, and weight loss/gain. It is always a vice-not to recognize the addiction early in order to deal with the disorder easily.

‘Bella Younger’ A Case of Digital Addiction

Bella Younger is a comedian who became an “accidental influencer” after her “Deliciously Stella” account went viral and garnered a huge following on Instagram. In 2022, she will have nearly 1 million followers and a blue tick. Her career through this social media platform had an impact and she realized that Instagram was now part of her life.

For an entire day, week and month, she spent her time buffering social media platforms as she was trapped in the vicious cycle of “internet addiction”. It started to affect her physical and mental health and became very prominent in her life. She recently wrote a book called “The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life” and hosted several podcasts sharing her experiences, Stylist UK reported.

How to deal with digital addiction?

One can combat their digital addiction in a number of ways, including turning off push notifications, scheduling times or being mindful to check the phone, using a timer to minimize the use of tech devices, and replacing the value of technological gadgets by precious objects like books. People facing digital addiction disorders should not be completely cut off from using digital devices; a slow and timely process will help. This is a new age problem that requires self-confidence and constant dedication.

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