Technology addiction: characteristics and causal factors

Technology addiction: characteristics and causal factors

The twentieth century it implied great advances in the technological field, reflected in objects such as airplanes, personal computers, communication networks (such as the telephone, mobile or cell phone and the internet) and many other aspects. This meant not only a great step at the level of discoveries, but also a gradually more interconnected world, which initially turned around as something positive, but later as communication technologies (also called ICTs) evolved, it became harmful to some human beings.

Nowadays this phenomenon is known as addiction to technology when a person produces a certain carelessness in the other aspects of life, only by evidencing certain inappropriate behaviors in the way of using these devices. For this reason this time we will talk about Technology Addiction, what are its characteristics and its causal factors.

What is Technology Addiction?

Initially it is worth clarifying that There are 2 types of addictions: chemical (i.e. some substance, eg: cocaine addiction) and the behavioral that they are finally all behavior that is carried out in an obsessive-compulsive way and that brings negative effects on a personal, emotional and social level, eg: sports addiction.

Within any addiction that occurs in a person, the following must be clearly evidenced Symptoms: dependence, withdrawal and tolerance. In the case of a technology addiction a insatiable desire to use technological devices all day such as: mobile, portable, tablet, smart watch, music player, among others. This means that other daily activities are neglected, such as: performing tasks, cleaning and sharing with family, friends or partner. However, in this regard it should be clarified that unlike what many people think, adolescents are not the only population that is being affected by this phenomenon, sadly, sometimes from the womb we expose a child to contact with these technologies, it has been shown in recent years that they have harmful effects on brain development.

In addition to this when a person with Technology Addiction has withdrawal, it is characterized by showing at the body level symptoms such as: physiological activation (i.e., increase in heart and respiratory rate, muscle tension, low concentration and attention), along with psychological symptoms such as : irritability, aggressive behavior (verbal or bodily), anxious and / or depressive moods, among other manifestations. All this occurs because at the brain level a feeling of pleasure and / or satisfaction was created after having repeatedly carried out the use of technological devices, where every time this addictive behavior is executed occurs endorphin release (A neurotransmitter that is released in normal conditions when performing a pleasant activity, but in harmful conditions this occurs when the addictive behavior is performed).

Clearly related to what I mentioned before, Tolerance is the pathological need to increase the frequency and / or duration of use of technological devices for the release of endorphins, which is reflected in a blunt carelessness not only of their surroundings (school, work, etc.) but also of their physical and mental health.

What are the causes of Technology Addiction?

It is important to analyze what are those factors that can trigger a Technology Addiction in the near or distant future. In general, the genetic component so far does not have a direct relationship, but if it has been found that this addictive behavior can be transmitted by other means from parents to children, For example: if the father / mother is negligent in the care of their child because they are always watching the mobile, the child will learn through observation to perform this same behavior through imitation (later becoming a Bad Habit).

Another factor that can cause a Technology Addiction is the psychological componentunfortunately when there are features such as introversion, insecurity, isolation and deficit in social skills it can produce that its avoidance or escape behavior before its reality is to use the new technologies permanently. Let's do a brief exercise to see this more clearly: Do you prefer to interact with a person or use your cell phone? Respond mentally if you choose the second option you must be alert.

In conclusion

It is essential that technologies be used for what they are, always giving space, time and priority to what really matters: family, health and well-being. If you consider that you meet one or more of the criteria mentioned above, I suggest you consult the opinion of an addiction psychologist. Remember that ... The idea is to prevent and not have to regret!


(1) Torres M. (2014). The history of technology. Extracted from: //