Common signs of technology addiction and how to treat it

Young woman alone at home uses a laptop


Anything that someone feels compelled to do too often could be classified as an addiction. We are all aware that there are significant issues around the world with drug addiction, alcoholism, and even compulsive gambling. You can now add technology addiction to the list. 


Playing online video games and online gambling might seem all well and good and great forms of online entertainment. Unfortunately, both of these activities lend themselves to being highly addictive. What these activities often create is what is known as addiction to technology. Here is an important look at this growing issue. 


What is Technology Addiction


From very early in life, kids are given access to technology in the form of smartphones and video games. It’s turning into quite a problem because kids are impressionable. Their undeveloped minds are not capable of judging when too much technology is too much technology. It doesn’t help that far too many parents have the very same problem. 


What is technology addiction? We’ll go to the experts at Addiction Resource for a formal definition: “Technology addiction refers to the uncontrollable urge or impulse to continue using technology to the point that it starts to interfere with the individual’s mental, physical, and social life.”


To be clear, technology addiction covers anything that someone does to excess on the internet or with gaming systems. That would include shopping, chatting, internet surfing, video gaming, online gambling, and involvement in social media. 


Common Signs of Technology Addiction


As time goes by, more of us are being exposed to family and friends who are falling victim to technology addiction. It’s important to note that addictions are not weaknesses in character. Instead, the medical and psychiatric communities have taken to define all addictions as illnesses. 


Given the likelihood that someone around you has a technology addiction, here’s a look at some of the common symptoms that can be displayed with this addiction. It is important to note that these symptoms can be broken into two categories: physical symptoms and psychological/social symptoms.


The physical symptoms related to technology addiction include:


  • Unkempt personal appearance due to lack of self-care
  • Back and neck pain issues
  • Wrist, elbow, and shoulder conditions like Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Weight gain due to lack of physical activity
  • Loss of weight due to lack of eating
  • Unhealthy sleeping patterns due to overexposure to harmful blue light waves
  • Dry eyes 
  • Constant headaches and migraines
  • Head sores from wearing video gaming gear
  • Amphetamine addiction


As bad as the physical symptoms can be, the psychological and societal symptoms might well be even more distressing. They include:


  • Decline in ambition at work and or school
  • Setting aside old hobbies and forms of entertainment
  • Trouble in relationships with family and friends
  • Problems at home and work
  • Financial problems due to focus on purchasing online subscriptions, video games, and online gambling
  • Legal issues due to divorce or theft to finance online activities
  • The development of legitimate sleep and eating disorders
  • Fatigue and time management issues, constantly forgetting or missing appointments
  • Inability to handle personal responsibilities like cleaning the house or bill paying
  • Anxiety and depression


How to Treat Technology Addiction


Left untreated, technology addiction can lead victims to significant life problems. At the worst end of the spectrum, it can lead to other addictions and or suicide. That is exactly why this illness needs to be treated.


Oftentimes, those who are addicted will deny they have a problem and instead blame other circumstances. For shoppers and gamers, this might be in the form of irresistible bonuses and special offers. Those who are addicted to social media may claim that all of their friends spend an equal amount of time or more online. Whatever the reasoning, if it is affecting their livelihood then it is a problem.


Treatment for technology addiction is tricky. It’s tricky because victims can be children, teens, and adults. In each case, three primary treatment options have value.




There are instances where technology addiction is being driven by psychological or physiological issues. In such cases, prescription psych meds can be helpful. However, it’s not always a good option for children and teens. In cases where a psychiatrist or doctor might prescribe psych meds, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Escitalopram, Bupropion, Methylphenidate, Citalopram, and Naltrexone often get the call.


Support Groups


Getting support from people with the same kind of addiction is always a viable option. After all, who would understand the trials and tribulations of a technology addict more than someone who has walked that walk and recovered?


Psychological and Psychosocial Approaches


Most addictions occur because of underlying psychological or physiological issues. For a lasting recovery, it’s always best to find the root causes of technology addiction and treat the root causes. That usually ends up decreasing the need to harm oneself with addictive behaviors.


If you are someone you know is suffering from technology addiction, get help now.


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