Technology Is Not A Drug

Many studies link tech addiction (like playing video games) to cocaine, or methamphetamine usage, as it stimulates the same pleasure centres of the brain.

The dopamine release is blamed for the addiction, but research shows that video games release far less dopamine than drugs, approximately the same as having food.

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Debunking the 6 biggest myths about 'technology addiction'

theconversation.com

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If a person is depressed, chronically anxious, or having attention problems, he or she may be showing abnormal behaviour and symptoms, and one of those symptoms may be to use technology in a disproportionate way and be affected by it.

If such a person starts to sleep all day, one doesn’t blame the bed and think that it is a ‘bed addiction’. The mistake is that a symptom is being treated with the real problem being neglected.

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Apart from using technology, many people indulge in a wide range of activities disproportionately, like exercise, eating, sex or shopping.

The activity isn’t the problem in these cases, but the person’ underlying mental health needs to be diagnosed.

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Technology Addiction: Myth Vs Reality

Tech addiction may be real in some cases but is mostly fear-mongering.

Many studies linking technology addiction with mental health problems may be setting a false narrative and blaming technology for unrelated psychological problems.

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Only about 3 percent of gamers develop problematic behaviours leading to bad grades. A vast majority of the problems are mild.

Kids who use smartphones aren’t all addicted, and having a smartphone won’t cause major interference in work or social relationships.

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The addiction to games or gaming disorder has been classified as a disease, but it could only be a symptom of other mental health issues like chronic anxiety and depression.

The truth is that most cases are mild and easily cured.

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Rewards and dopamine

Our brains compute 3 things about reward: how much will we get, how soon will we get it, and how certain are we that we will in fact get it. 

And it’s when the probability of a reward hovers at around 50% that dopamine flow is maximal. When the probability of getting it is as high as the probability of not getting it — the point of maximum uncertainty. That’s what turns us on the most.

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The Sweet Spot: Where Technology Meets the Motivational Brain

nirandfar.com

Smartphone Addiction

There are about two billion smartphone users in the world, who check their devices on an average 85 times a day.

Checking your smartphone repeatedly is normally assumed as being addicted, especially in the younger age groups.

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No, you're probably not 'addicted' to your smartphone - but you might use it too much

theconversation.com

  • Compulsive shoppers: Buying when they are feeling emotional distress.
  • Trophy shoppers: They are always looking for the next great item.
  • Flashy shoppers: They desire the attention that comes with having nice, new things.
  • Bargain shoppers: They purchase things through sale, even if they don't need or desire it.
  • Bulimic shoppers: They continually buy and return items.
  • Collective shoppers: They find emotional value and wholeness in having a complete set of things.

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The psychology of shopping addiction

bigthink.com