As with any addiction, often it takes a friend or family member to recognize the problem first. With the world becoming more and more connected technically, it is exceedingly difficult to avoid dealing with technology in some capacity or another. How do you know if you or someone you love has gone beyond the helpful and acceptable use of technology and is now experiencing an addiction? Even more, how do you overcome an addiction once it is identified?
Signs of Technology Addiction
As with any other addiction, technology addiction is based a lot on how adversely the use impacts your life and relationships. Ask yourself the following questions:
*Is less time being spent outdoors and more in front of a screen playing games, watching videos or engaging in other online activities?
*Do you feel "lost" if you forget your phone or the Internet is out for some reason?
*Does the necessity to avoid technology create feelings of anger, irritation or depression?
*Do friends and family complain about the time you spend in activities involving technology?
*Have you "forgotten" to eat or sleep, or missed appointments because you were immersed in an activity such as surfing, playing a game or engaging in some other online activity?
If any of these sound familiar, and certainly if you can relate to several, you are likely to be dealing with technology addiction.
How to Overcome Technology Addiction
Identifying the addiction is the first step. Once you realize there is a problem, it is easier to start looking for solutions. Try the following to help ease your dependency on technology.
*Schedule your time on technological activities. Avoid checking email or social media first thing in the morning and right before bed. Use those times to connect with family, work out or spend time simply enjoying the quiet. The goal is to break your normal cycle.
*Turn off notifications. Instead of setting up to be notified of a new message, email or even phone call, turn off all notifications and only check at a time determined in advance.
*Go tech-free. At first, you may only do this for one day a week, but gradually increase the amount of time you are away from all technology. Go for a day at the beach, a weekend camping trip or a week-long vacation.
*Get professional help. Sometimes we all need someone else to intervene and help deal with things.
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