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Technology Addiction among Youth and Its Impact

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Although the use of tech-gadgets and services has many positive impacts, they are short-lived. In long run, it has negative impacts on the individuals. The digital activities make the youth strong in technical skills but make them weak in real life practical skills. It takes the young mass away from the reality helping them to live in their imaginary world. Due to the time spent on the devices the youth refrain from some outdoor activities with friends and family.

It would have been a lot better if the drawbacks or the negative impacts of the use of the digital services would have been known before some years. As the use of the digital services has negative impacts students should minimize the use of these tools and should aware about its use (Walsh, 2012).

The voracious use of tech services has negative impacts on the youth. Due to these effects youth want to do things faster, easier and cheaper. Everybody wants to do things according to their own schedule and pace, failing in which they become anxious. Face to face communication is avoided by the young mass, which is not good for the society (Erickson, 2012).

Generation-Y i.e. the present generation is psychologically addicted to the Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In etc. The addiction causes intra-psychic conflicts such as intolerance and relapse among the youth (Cabral, 2011).

Internet gaming and shopping are causing depressive symptoms among the college students. Implementation of programs is needed to detect and decrease these activities among them (Cotton, 2001).

The addictive internet use has negative impacts on mental health. There is a positive relationship between Internet addiction and psychiatric disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, etc. So the addictive internet use should need clinical help (Young, 1998).

What makes technology addiction?

Technology addiction is a rather recently identified addiction that has not yet been medically classified but has been linked to the widespread and rapid evolvement and use of technological devices. What actually causes technology addiction is not all that well understood. Researchers claim it may be a combination of inherent genetic traits and elements in the environment. Below are three factors that have been identified as possible underlying causes of technology addiction:

State of an individual’s mental health – Technology abusers is likely to have underlying health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. They also appear to have tendencies towards impulsiveness. Personality traits – Individuals, who tend to keep to themselves and shy away from social contact with others, tend to find the online and technological environment more welcoming to connect with others in a way where social contact is limited. These individuals are more prone to technology addiction because they tend to use technology on an ongoing basis to fulfill their social needs. Environmental factors – Individuals, who experience high levels of stress in their daily environments, for example at work or school, are more prone to utilize technological devices to relieve stress and distract them from their current situations.

Technology fulfills our natural human need for stimulation, interaction, and changes in the environment with great efficiency. When teenagers experience stress, be it romantic rejection or a poor grade on an exam, technology can become a quick and easy way to fill basic needs, and as such, can become addictive.

Social media presents individually-relevant information in the easiest ways centralized, personalized portals, like a Facebook newsfeed, YouTube subscription, or Snapchat followership. Social media feeds our need for human connection by allowing us to share feedback with those who are far from us in time, geography, or social status. As social animals, we need human contact for emotional and psychological health. The appeal of social media is that it helps us to fill social needs without the efforts or restraints of in-person contact.

Risk of usage of technology among youth?

While technology is certainly not all bad, its overuse can pose certain key risks, especially to teens. Technology can give students a false sense of relational security as they communicate with unseen individuals around the world. A slow internet connection or “unplugging” can promote irritability and anxiety for a teen otherwise used to constant connection through technology.

Sleep disorders can develop as teens stay up all night to play with technology, and as a result, academic, athletic, and social performance decrease. Weight gain and other complications of a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, such as cardiovascular disease, may result. In-person social skills may deteriorate. Within a technology-addicted individual, the mind becomes increasingly unable to distinguish between the lived and the alternate realities that produce instant stimulation, pleasure, and reward. As such, the extreme use of technology can disrupt normal patterns of mood and socialization in teens. Dependency upon social media, gaming, or other platforms to function can become the new and unhealthy “normal.”

Studies have shown that brain scans of young people with the internet addiction disorder (IAD) are similar to those of people with substance addictions to alcohol, cocaine, and cannabis. Damage to brain systems connecting emotional processing, attention, and decision-making are affected in both substance addicts and technology addicts. This discovery shows that being hooked on a technology behavior can, in some ways, be as physically damaging as an addiction to alcohol and other drug use.

It stands to reason that if we can prevent technology addiction, we may also be able to prevent other risky behavior and dangerous consequences to Youths.

In addition to the causes of technology addiction, there are also risk factors that have been identified that can make an individual more prone to developing technology addiction. Some of these include:

Gender – Although both males and females are at risk of developing technology addictions, men are more prone to online gambling, pornography, and gaming addictions, whereas women are more vulnerable to online shopping, social media, and texting addictions. Pre-existing specified mental health issues – Individuals who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) appear to be at a higher risk for developing technology addictions. Pre-existing addictions – People who already suffer from another addiction, particularly drug, alcohol, nicotine, or sex addictions, tend to be more prone to developing technology addictions.

When is technology protective

Of course, the advent of smarter, faster, more mobile technologies can be used positively with teens too. The following list reflects the many ways that technology, used in a healthy way, can encourage teens to explore their world and express themselves:

Some teachers use Facebook as a communication hub, creating a public page or smaller, closed groups for classes. Using technology like this, teachers can keep parents informed, distribute homework or permission slips, and share photos and videos from classroom activities and field trips.

Technology can promote student creativity by prompting expression through user-friendly tools. Some studies have shown that blogging, or web journaling, enhance students’ creative thinking.6

Metacognition the ability to be aware of, attend to, and use information about one’s own cognitive processes allows students to strengthen critical thinking across academic and artistic disciplines. Utilizing Internet-based technologies that ask students to reflect on and reiterate their learning processes provides a framework for the development of teen metacognition skills.

Now common technologies like tablets and smartphones are often much less bulky than notebooks and textbooks, allowing students to flex their imaginations, read fiction, write poetry, doodle, or take pictures through the ease of software applications found on highly-mobile devices.

Socialization-When monitored properly by a parent or guardian, the use of social media can create safe and healthy friendship networks for teens with like interests online, through already established mutual friendships or within shared interest hubs, like a blogging community or Facebook group.

Preventing technology addiction among youths

Technology will only grow in its use in Youths’ world. Preventing youth addiction to technology means finding a balance in students’ lives so that teenagers do not misuse their technology as an escape from real-world challenges, emotions, socialization, or identity. Adults can help children, teens and youths have healthy relationships to technology when they:

Balance activity and productivity with healthy stress management. Everything in life requires energy, and often youths feel like they have too little energy to spend on too many demands. If they are not guided by adults to discover healthy ways to replenish their stores of energy, they may default by overusing easy fixes for entertainment or stress relief that promote technology addiction.

Nurture pro-social identity development in the real world. Adults must be proactive, creative, and excited as they help kids to discover who they really are. Once teenagers find something they are good at and want to do, they will naturally gravitate toward it. It is easier to create an Internet fa?ade, but far more rewarding for youths to cultivate true purposes and genuine identities within their families, schools, and communities.

Inpatient treatment for technology addiction starts by removing a teenager from both the Internet and the surroundings that allowed a technology addiction to occur in the first place. It is a form of intensive therapy. Other treatments can include ways to help technology addicts see the offline world as more pleasurable, without fully removing the online element from their lives.

In view of the above summary, it is evident that technology plays a major role in behavior change of the respondents. The youths mostly used technology for communicating with their friends and families. The fact that technology is part of them especially having been born in this era of emerging technology, most of them cannot do without it. They depended on it for various positive things such as research and contacts with old friends and getting in the loop of what was happening either in their circles, nationally or internationally. Thus it is known that technology not only has negative effects on the youth but also serves towards their well-being.

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GradesFixer. (2018, Jun, 14) Technology Addiction among Youth and Its Impact. Retrived June 3, 2020, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/technology-addiction-among-youth-and-its-impact/
"Technology Addiction among Youth and Its Impact." GradesFixer, 14 Jun. 2018, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/technology-addiction-among-youth-and-its-impact/. Accessed 3 June 2020.
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