Defining Technology Addiction in Young Adults: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment OptionsOctober 23, 2018
Technology addiction is a growing issue amongst young adults and adolescents. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to remove ourselves from screens. It can be extremely difficult to perceive when exactly the line is crossed from typical technology use into a full blown technology addiction. In this blog, we’ll discuss what technology addiction in young adults looks like, its effects on young people, and potential treatment options.
What does technology addiction in young adults look like?
An addiction is a compulsive behavior with ongoing negative effects and consequences that impacts an individual’s ability to live their everyday life. When a teen or young adult is addicted to technology, it affect them on a social, behavioral and physical level.
- Social and Behavioral Effects
The majority of today’s adolescents and young adults use social media as a means to communicate with one another. On Instagram and Facebook, they are posting images of themselves and status updates where they seek “likes” and “follows” from their peers. Online, you can be anyone you wish to be. You can develop a persona completely different from who you actually are and form pseudo relationships with people you’ve never met in real life. The online world can give young people a false sense of belonging that can wreak havoc on their interpersonal communication skills away from their phones and computers.
If technology addicted adolescents and young adults communicate with their friends solely online, it doesn’t allow time for them to practice social skills in the outside world. They feel awkward in real life conversation and don’t engage with others.
The anonymity of the online world also promotes negative behaviors that can go completely unchecked. You can be as aggressive as you want and engage in cyberbullying without any consequences.
- Physical Effects
When you’re playing video games or when someone “likes” your Instagram post, your brain can release a chemical called “dopamine” associated with feelings of pleasure and happiness. For individuals who are addicted to technology, their bodies get used to a certain level of dopamine at all times. It becomes the new normal for them. In fact, studies have shown that this neurological effect is similar to what is seen in drug addicts and gambling addicts.
Treatment For Technology Addiction
Unfortunately, there is no easy “fix” for technology addiction. However, there are steps we can take to prevent technology addiction from accelerating and addicted individuals can create ways to cope with their addiction.
If you’re concerned that a technology addiction habit might form for you or your child, it’s important to:
- Educate yourself about tech addiction and build awareness of negative habits forming.
- Be involved in your child’s technology use as early as possible.
If you have a young adult who has already formed negative habits related to technology addiction, Trails Momentum can be a good option for your family.
Technology Addiction Treatment at Trails Momentum
Trails Momentum is a young adult wilderness therapy program for young men and women ages 18-25. From the very beginning of their time at the program, students are completely removed from all technology use. We replace the need for technology with adventure activities and being out in the natural world. Students are away from the distractions and pressure that comes from social media and video games. They are supported on a daily basis by skilled staff members and are introduced to a whole new environment that creates many of the same neurological reactions as technology.
Throughout their time at Trails Momentum, students become aware of the effects technology once had on them and form new, positive hobbies that replace their technology use. Whether we like it or not, technology is unavoidable in our society. Because of this, we help students build an awareness of negative patterns technology use may create for them and form a plan to address the issue if it goes too far.
For more information about treatment at Trails Momentum, please call (877) 296-8711 or visit https://trailsmomentum.com/grow/.