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Addicted to Technology?

Updated on June 5, 2020
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Use of Technology

Using some types of technology has become typical for our numerous waking hours for children, teens and adults. You cannot walk down a crowded sidewalk without seeing several people talking on their phones, and it is the same in grocery stores or even in doctor offices. Do you sometimes feel quilty for the amount of time spent talking or playing games on your phone?

Then, there are people in their homes using their tablets, spending large amounts of time on their computers or watching TV. They may be using some type of social media or playing a game. How much time spent this way is healthy? What about younger children or teens?

We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.

--Stephen Hawking

Children Under 11 Years of Age

Studies have found that 40% of children have a cell phone by fifth grade, and many parents say they are used is for safety. The parents want their child to have a way to contact family members, and many feel it is also okay for their child to keep in touch with their friends. There are several studies on teens, but not many are directed at younger children below 11 years.

The unintended consequences of too much social media, computer games or TV can have an immediate impact on a child’s health, but the manifestations may not occur until late adolescence. The problems may include a lack of motor development, fewer activities, attention problems at school or sleep problems. An increase in body mass (BMI) may also be a problem as many children are overweight by 11 or 12 years of age.

So what are your options as a parent? Suggestions include: encourage your children to play outside, to join a sport team of their choice or to limit their computer or phone time to roughly two hours daily. Family time together is important. No cell phones at the dinner table!

Why Are You So Addicted To Your Smartphone?

Teenagers

The amount of sleep required for teenagers in from 8 to 10 hours nightly, yet only 12% of teens reported getting this amount of sleep. Sleep is just as important as food and water.

Many teens are quietly texting in their bedrooms at night. These years are significant for maturation, which includes intellectual, physical and emotional growth. The lack of sleep for adolescents can cause depression, a lack of energy, a lack of productivity and often, poor school performance.

About 78% of teens between the ages of 7-12 have a cell phone, according to a Pew Research poll.

Additionally, this is a time where the teen's biological clock shifts, and melatonin is released at approximately 11 PM, which affects their sleep-wake cycle. This explains why they are sometimes tired and grouchy in the mornings. They typically want to stay up late and sleep late on the weekends, but this also interferes with their wake-sleep cycle.

Cyberbullying can also be a terrible problem for some children, and even viewing a birthday party that they were not invited to can cause hurt feelings or depression. Teen years are tough, so trying to keep communication open with your teen will help you know what is happening in their lives.

5 Crazy Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Brain Right Now

Possible Problems With Too Much Technology

Constant use of technology can be detrimental to anyone’s health, but this use is accepted by society today even for adults. When computers, pads, and particularly phones are used for several hours a day you may have actual changes in your brain.

This may be an addiction, just not by using a drug, but it does provide instant gratification. See the video below for more information about the brain.

Possible problems with too much technology time:

  • Remaining in fixed position over extended periods of time can cause musculoskeletal problems
  • A sedentary lifestyle may cause you to spend much less time exercising
  • Lengthy time before a bright screen may cause visual problems, such as eye strain, blurred vision or headaches
  • Actually, media devices can have a large amount of germs and cause infections
  • Social development can be impeded when spending too much time on social media, particularly in a child or teen as they need more face-to-face time with others
  • Devices may interrupt the sleep cycle. Teens in particular tend to talk at night with their parents unaware. It is a good idea to have them turn off their phones at bedtime and maybe leave them in a particular area. In addition, you may be too alert, too awake or simply unable to rest at night when thinking about your game or contacts.
  • Using technology excessively can by associated with severe mental health problems, including lower emotional stability, poor self-confidence, poor psychological well-being and a lower life satisfaction.

Other Possible Psychological Issues

If you always have your cell phone closeby, and if you are constantly checking your social media, plus talking on the phone, you may hear phantom rings. This is called phantom rings. People report hearing a phantom ring, or they think they feel their phone is vibrating, which may occur about once a week.

If you are feeling anxious, depressed or even isolated when technology is not readily available, you may actually suffer from withdrawal. Instant gratification games and continual bright screens actually demand a level of stimulation. So what happens when the power goes out?

If you think you are too dependent on your phone, try turning it off or at least placing it away from you for a period of time. This should quickly help you to determine if you have a problem.

Adult Technology Use

In Summary

Remember that family and friends are more important in life than technology. The lack of control (and a need for artificial control) consumes the meaning of family, friendships, and even your favorite TV show is not more important.

Having said that, we bought our 3 year old granddaughter a toy computer for Christmas, and it had many great features. She loved it! So, this year, for the 4th birthday we got her a small bicycle with training wheels. Her mom and dad bought the helmet, etc. I assume that is an improvement.

If you have a child who is overly self-conscious, has anxiety, or has unreasonable expectations, you may need to seek professional help. It is so important to know what your child is doing in his or her free time. We, as parents, are responsible for the next generation, so it is important to see your child grows up with a healthy routine.

How Important is Technology in Your Life

How many hours a day do you us technology, which does not include work.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Pamela Oglesby

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