Technology dependence and consequences
Technological dependencies refer to the problematic interaction between a person and technological devices due to their abusive use. The use of technology can bring benefits in all areas, whether individual, social, family, work... but abuse can have a totally opposite effect in all areas of a person's life.
Psychologist Martha Thomen comments that addiction can affect any age, even if adolescents are particularly vulnerable to it, because the new generations are born with digital media, which are part of their daily life and development, being a source of information, socialization and communication. This is precisely why it is very important to know the possible risks and consequences of their excessive use, in order to prevent and treat addiction as soon as possible. Within the addiction to technology we can find addiction to video games, the Internet, social networks, etc.
This addiction to video games has already been accepted by theWHO (World Health Organization) as a disease. It is recognized as an addiction, which is part of behavioral addictions, which establishes a behavior that cannot be controlled. The person generates a very intense addiction to video games or technologies, where they lose the notion of time, losing control over the duration and frequency with which they play. When a person is unable to play, anxious feelings, stress and alterations in eating and sleeping behaviour, as well as social isolation and loss of personal relationships can occur.
The term nomaphobia comes from "non-mobile-phobia of the mobile phone". The meaning of nomaphobia refers to the anxiety that a person feels when he or she cannot use a mobile phone, has feelings of incommunicability, either because the battery is low or because he or she has left his or her mobile phone at home, etc. It is therefore an addiction to the mobile phone that has been related to a phobia due to the intense anxious and obsessive feelings that you have with the absence of the device and that disappear when you have the phone again.
The psychologist Miguel Roa, makes some recommendations for the family in case of nomaphobia or addiction to technology:
- He gives an example of responsible use of technology.
- There is also the off-line world: we talk about off-line relationships, for example, board games or games without screens, sports...
- Get acquainted without screens: Set times and places without screens, for example, during family meals.
- Disconnect: Teach the value of being alone and disconnect from work, study, friends and even family.
- Limits: Make clear the rules of screen use: times, spaces, activities allowed...
- Educate Avoid using technology as a childcare facility.
- Dialogue. Talk like a family about the abuse of technology. Through questions and reflections helps to build a critical and truthful discourse on the use of technology.
When talking about the causes of addiction to technology, it tends to be similar to the beginning of substance use. The person seeks refuge in technology to alleviate various situations such as painful events, social anxiety, stress... Faced with this series of problems, the person seeks a new reality on the screen in new technologies. This process is normalized because it is very different socially or from the population seek refuge in a toxic substance, rather than in a distraction like a video game. First of all it does not cause damage to health, and to this we must add that accessibility is immediate and the gratification of immediate rewards, as "I like" in social networks, which leads people to the development of additive behavior.
Although the consequences of the abuse of new technologies can be different on a physical and psychological level. Dependence on technology can have consequences such as obesity and psychological problems. However, one of the main consequences of this dependence is the social isolation it produces and absorption into a virtual reality, which can generate feelings of loneliness and depression.
Of course, addiction to technology must have a treatment, where a fundamental pillar is to understand that the problem is not the object of the addiction, whether it is social networks or substances, but the person. For this reason, people must be treated in a personalized way. The treatment of addiction to technology must cover all areas of the person, taking into account the family, their social, work or academic environment and their personal sphere.