Overview

Technology Overuse and Addiction

Technology users who make technology a priority over family, friends and work may have a problem that will adversely affect their relationships and other commitments.

You may have a technology addiction if you:

  • Compulsively check email, social media, text or use the internet excessively
  • Have a preoccupation with being online
  • Are lying about or hiding the extent or nature of your online or smartphone use
  • Struggle with controlling your online or smartphone behavior

If you are struggling with a technology addiction, you will have some or many of the following symptoms:

  • Increased use: You need to spend increasing amounts of time online to achieve satisfaction, or you cannot keep from checking incoming emails or texts constantly.
  • Inability to stop: You can’t cut back on your Internet use or checking your phone, even after several attempts.
  • Withdrawal symptoms: You feel restless, moody, depressed or irritable when you attempt to stop or cut down Internet or phone use.
  • Lost sense of time: Everyone lets time slip by occasionally while on the Internet. You can consider it a problem if it happens to you consistently when you’re using your phone, tablet or computer, and you’re also experiencing some of the other symptoms on this list.
  • Preoccupation: You think constantly about previous device or online activity or keep looking forward to the next time.
  • Risky behaviors: You jeopardize a significant relationship, job or educational or career opportunity because of Internet or electronic device use.
  • Lies: You lie to family members, a therapist or others to conceal the extent of your Internet involvement.
  • Escape: You use the Internet as a way to avoid thinking about problems or to suppress depression or feelings of helplessness.

If you feel you have even one of the above symptoms, consider it a warning that a problem may be starting. If you feel you have to two or more of the above symptoms, please consider getting help now.