Digital Addictions: When too Much Digital Consumption Becomes a Problem

Reviewed Jul 5, 2017

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Summary

Belonging to a group and excelling in the game is a big reason people stay hooked.

We all like to be entertained. These days we do not have to go very far to find it either. We can simply turn on our TV, click on our computer, or swipe our smartphone. Within just a few more clicks or touches we can be fully engaged in digital bliss. These diversions can provide welcome breaks from our often hectic or dreary real-world lives. If we are not careful though, they can also turn into addictive-type behaviors.

Internet addiction?

There is some debate over whether or not excessive online use should be thought of as a disorder. Some health experts see it as a symptom of depression or anxiety disorder. Others believe it should be listed as its own addiction. There is little debate that the signs look very much the same as other addictions.

Signs that a person may be addicted to the internet:

  • Taking part in many hours of online activity that is not work-related
  • Feeling unable to limit or stop online use
  • Thinking about the last time or next time spent online
  • Ignoring offline relationships, homework, or work duties
  • Lying about the amount of time spent online
  • Mood swings
  • Having withdrawal-like symptoms when not online

Types of digital addictions

Today there are many chances for people to overuse the internet and technology. Some of the areas of possible digital addictions include:

  • Social media
  • Binge watching
  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Pornography

Social media

The mass appeal of social media should not surprise us. After all, it has a lot to offer. Social media provides a platform for users to share their thoughts, photos, and videos. It can also serve as a digital scrapbook to record their triumphs, struggles, and other milestones.

Of course, too much social media use can present problems. It can distract us from our duties at work, home, or school. It can prevent us from taking part in exercise or in going outside. The irony of spending too much time on social media is that it makes us less social. It keeps us from paying attention to the people right in front of us.

Binge watching

Media services like Netflix and Hulu make it all too easy to indulge in binge watching. They allow us to catch up on missed episodes of our favorite TV shows. We can watch an entire series of a show we never had a chance to see. Best of all, we can view these shows for hours at a time without commercial breaks.

Binge watching can provide a nice distraction from time to time. It can easily become too much of a good thing however. Time spent watching is time taken away from more productive activities. Instead of working hard or playing hard, we find ourselves hardly moving on the couch. Adding junk food to these sessions can quickly form unhealthy habits. The resulting idle lifestyle puts us at higher risk of ailments such as obesity and diabetes. Too much binge watching could also be a sign of depression.

Gaming

Playing video games can be a lot of fun. It can also be hard to stop all the fun and games. For instance, you may know you have an important paper due in the morning. You were going to start it hours ago. You still plan on starting it soon—as soon as you get past this certain level in your game.

Gaming can be highly addictive and can keep you from doing the things you should be doing. If playing video games is causing problems with work, school, sleep, or relationships, it’s time to get help. The toll-free number on this site is a good place to start.

Gambling and pornography

The internet has created a gateway for gambling and pornography addictions. Instead of having to walk into a casino or adult bookstore, one can simply turn on his computer or phone. With handheld devices it is that much easier to feed one’s addictions. A businessman can bet on a sports game or play online poker from his laptop or smartphone. A teen can access pornography privately on his tablet or phone.

Much like alcohol and substance use disorders, gambling and pornography are hard habits to break. They can have dire consequences as well. A person caught up in either addiction can lose everything. There is hope and there is help, however.

For help with a gambling or pornography addiction, call the toll-free number on this site.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/; Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/opinions/steiner-adair-internet-addiction/; CBS Corporation/CBS Broadcasting Inc., www.cbsnews.com/news/depression-loneliness-linked-to-binge-watching-television/
Reviewed by Andrei Osipov, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Belonging to a group and excelling in the game is a big reason people stay hooked.

We all like to be entertained. These days we do not have to go very far to find it either. We can simply turn on our TV, click on our computer, or swipe our smartphone. Within just a few more clicks or touches we can be fully engaged in digital bliss. These diversions can provide welcome breaks from our often hectic or dreary real-world lives. If we are not careful though, they can also turn into addictive-type behaviors.

Internet addiction?

There is some debate over whether or not excessive online use should be thought of as a disorder. Some health experts see it as a symptom of depression or anxiety disorder. Others believe it should be listed as its own addiction. There is little debate that the signs look very much the same as other addictions.

Signs that a person may be addicted to the internet:

  • Taking part in many hours of online activity that is not work-related
  • Feeling unable to limit or stop online use
  • Thinking about the last time or next time spent online
  • Ignoring offline relationships, homework, or work duties
  • Lying about the amount of time spent online
  • Mood swings
  • Having withdrawal-like symptoms when not online

Types of digital addictions

Today there are many chances for people to overuse the internet and technology. Some of the areas of possible digital addictions include:

  • Social media
  • Binge watching
  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Pornography

Social media

The mass appeal of social media should not surprise us. After all, it has a lot to offer. Social media provides a platform for users to share their thoughts, photos, and videos. It can also serve as a digital scrapbook to record their triumphs, struggles, and other milestones.

Of course, too much social media use can present problems. It can distract us from our duties at work, home, or school. It can prevent us from taking part in exercise or in going outside. The irony of spending too much time on social media is that it makes us less social. It keeps us from paying attention to the people right in front of us.

Binge watching

Media services like Netflix and Hulu make it all too easy to indulge in binge watching. They allow us to catch up on missed episodes of our favorite TV shows. We can watch an entire series of a show we never had a chance to see. Best of all, we can view these shows for hours at a time without commercial breaks.

Binge watching can provide a nice distraction from time to time. It can easily become too much of a good thing however. Time spent watching is time taken away from more productive activities. Instead of working hard or playing hard, we find ourselves hardly moving on the couch. Adding junk food to these sessions can quickly form unhealthy habits. The resulting idle lifestyle puts us at higher risk of ailments such as obesity and diabetes. Too much binge watching could also be a sign of depression.

Gaming

Playing video games can be a lot of fun. It can also be hard to stop all the fun and games. For instance, you may know you have an important paper due in the morning. You were going to start it hours ago. You still plan on starting it soon—as soon as you get past this certain level in your game.

Gaming can be highly addictive and can keep you from doing the things you should be doing. If playing video games is causing problems with work, school, sleep, or relationships, it’s time to get help. The toll-free number on this site is a good place to start.

Gambling and pornography

The internet has created a gateway for gambling and pornography addictions. Instead of having to walk into a casino or adult bookstore, one can simply turn on his computer or phone. With handheld devices it is that much easier to feed one’s addictions. A businessman can bet on a sports game or play online poker from his laptop or smartphone. A teen can access pornography privately on his tablet or phone.

Much like alcohol and substance use disorders, gambling and pornography are hard habits to break. They can have dire consequences as well. A person caught up in either addiction can lose everything. There is hope and there is help, however.

For help with a gambling or pornography addiction, call the toll-free number on this site.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/; Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/opinions/steiner-adair-internet-addiction/; CBS Corporation/CBS Broadcasting Inc., www.cbsnews.com/news/depression-loneliness-linked-to-binge-watching-television/
Reviewed by Andrei Osipov, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Belonging to a group and excelling in the game is a big reason people stay hooked.

We all like to be entertained. These days we do not have to go very far to find it either. We can simply turn on our TV, click on our computer, or swipe our smartphone. Within just a few more clicks or touches we can be fully engaged in digital bliss. These diversions can provide welcome breaks from our often hectic or dreary real-world lives. If we are not careful though, they can also turn into addictive-type behaviors.

Internet addiction?

There is some debate over whether or not excessive online use should be thought of as a disorder. Some health experts see it as a symptom of depression or anxiety disorder. Others believe it should be listed as its own addiction. There is little debate that the signs look very much the same as other addictions.

Signs that a person may be addicted to the internet:

  • Taking part in many hours of online activity that is not work-related
  • Feeling unable to limit or stop online use
  • Thinking about the last time or next time spent online
  • Ignoring offline relationships, homework, or work duties
  • Lying about the amount of time spent online
  • Mood swings
  • Having withdrawal-like symptoms when not online

Types of digital addictions

Today there are many chances for people to overuse the internet and technology. Some of the areas of possible digital addictions include:

  • Social media
  • Binge watching
  • Gaming
  • Gambling
  • Pornography

Social media

The mass appeal of social media should not surprise us. After all, it has a lot to offer. Social media provides a platform for users to share their thoughts, photos, and videos. It can also serve as a digital scrapbook to record their triumphs, struggles, and other milestones.

Of course, too much social media use can present problems. It can distract us from our duties at work, home, or school. It can prevent us from taking part in exercise or in going outside. The irony of spending too much time on social media is that it makes us less social. It keeps us from paying attention to the people right in front of us.

Binge watching

Media services like Netflix and Hulu make it all too easy to indulge in binge watching. They allow us to catch up on missed episodes of our favorite TV shows. We can watch an entire series of a show we never had a chance to see. Best of all, we can view these shows for hours at a time without commercial breaks.

Binge watching can provide a nice distraction from time to time. It can easily become too much of a good thing however. Time spent watching is time taken away from more productive activities. Instead of working hard or playing hard, we find ourselves hardly moving on the couch. Adding junk food to these sessions can quickly form unhealthy habits. The resulting idle lifestyle puts us at higher risk of ailments such as obesity and diabetes. Too much binge watching could also be a sign of depression.

Gaming

Playing video games can be a lot of fun. It can also be hard to stop all the fun and games. For instance, you may know you have an important paper due in the morning. You were going to start it hours ago. You still plan on starting it soon—as soon as you get past this certain level in your game.

Gaming can be highly addictive and can keep you from doing the things you should be doing. If playing video games is causing problems with work, school, sleep, or relationships, it’s time to get help. The toll-free number on this site is a good place to start.

Gambling and pornography

The internet has created a gateway for gambling and pornography addictions. Instead of having to walk into a casino or adult bookstore, one can simply turn on his computer or phone. With handheld devices it is that much easier to feed one’s addictions. A businessman can bet on a sports game or play online poker from his laptop or smartphone. A teen can access pornography privately on his tablet or phone.

Much like alcohol and substance use disorders, gambling and pornography are hard habits to break. They can have dire consequences as well. A person caught up in either addiction can lose everything. There is hope and there is help, however.

For help with a gambling or pornography addiction, call the toll-free number on this site.

By Kevin Rizzo
Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information/U.S. National Library of Medicine www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/; Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., www.cnn.com/2015/07/17/opinions/steiner-adair-internet-addiction/; CBS Corporation/CBS Broadcasting Inc., www.cbsnews.com/news/depression-loneliness-linked-to-binge-watching-television/
Reviewed by Andrei Osipov, MD, Peer Advisor, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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