FAQs: Is Electronic Addiction Real?

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Lindsey Blakley
Apr 20, 2021

1. What is dependence on electronics called?

If you ask a psychiatrist, electronic addiction isn’t technically possible. At least the word “addiction” isn’t a viable descriptor of what is happening. Psychiatrists would rather call it Internet Gaming Disorder. Regardless, it is apparent that many people now show signs of unhealthy patterns and attachments to electronics in their life ever since the dawn of the age of the computer. 

For argument’s sake, we will be referring to electronic addiction as such because this is what it is known as to those that aren’t in the medical field. 

2. What Constitutes An Unhealthy Relationship With Electronics?

Do you have an electronic addiction? Like many other flaws within ourselves, it can be hard to look at yourself objectively enough to admit that you may have an electronic addiction. The raw truth is, most people in today’s world do. 

Here are a few things that may help you figure out if you are addicted to your electronics.

Does it feel impossible or severely cumbersome to go about your normal day of activities? If your electronic habits make it to where you no longer have the motivation to partake in things like: 

  • School
  • Work
  • Sports
  • Socializing 
  • Hygiene 
  • Proper sleep 

There might be an issue. That’s not to say it isn’t easily “cured,” so to speak, because it is! However, you first must be able to recognize it within yourself. 

You may even say, “No, I still do all of those things!” 

Okay, well, must you always have an electronic at your side while doing so? Must you check your social media accounts the moment you open your eyes in the morning? Must you check your notifications in the middle of class? Are you sitting on your phone the entire time you are at a friend’s house? 

These are all warning signs of electronic addiction. 

3. How To Know If a Mental Disorder Is the Problem?

Oftentimes, we hide our emotions in our electronics. As a society, we are taught to always look outwardly and find distractions and stimulation to keep us from acknowledging our own inner turmoil. Your electronic addiction could be a side effect of an undiagnosed mental disorder. 

Some signs that you might be masking a mental health issue with your electronics are: 

  • You show no interest in life outside of your electronic one
  • You get unrealistically angry or upset when problems ensue with your electronics
  • You experience extreme depression or anxiety when you cannot be with your electronics
  • You cannot maintain relationships 
  • You get bored easily or cannot focus on things happening in real life
  • Your habits affect your sleeping, eating, and hygiene habits  
4. What are the Long-Term Effects of Severe Electronic Overuse?

Aside from mental issues and struggling to maintain healthy relationships in your life, if you struggle with overusing your electronics, you could also suffer from long-term physical effects. 

Common long-term effects include: 

  • severe eye strain and damage, especially when used in the dark for prolonged periods of time
  • Bad posture that leads to chronic pains in the back, neck, and shoulders
  • Wrist and thumb pain that can lead to carpal tunnel 
  • Chronic headaches 
  • Physical fatigue and sleep disorders
  • Stress and agitation 
  • Obesity 
  • A compromised immune system 

We now live in a world where many kids are given electronics from very early ages, whether it’s an iPad to play games or even watching tv. To put it in perspective, even infants that are just brought home from the hospital are placed in front of a tv because their parent is watching it while holding them. As a result, the younger generation is more apt to suffer from this electronic overuse and an inability to regulate their emotions and mental obstacles. 

It is important that children, as well as adults, know how to maintain proper and healthy relationships with the electronics in their life so they can learn to use electronics as a way to enhance their lives without overtaking them.  

5. How Can I Maintain Healthy Habits With My Electronics?

First and foremost, it is crucial to set personal boundaries with your electronics. This means duration boundaries as well as what you allow yourself to use your electronics to accomplish. Those that only use electronics for personal and professional gain or development tend to have healthier habits with their electronics. 

Secondly, giving yourself a few minutes to rest and regroup between turning off the device and beginning a real-life task will help you not to become agitated or stressed out. Meditation is an extremely beneficial mindfulness exercise that brings you back to the present moment and allows you to release attachments. 

Discipline!

Above all else, it takes a healthy self-discipline regime and self-accountability. Electronics are in our lives to stay, and it is best if we all learn how to use these forms of technology as a way to enhance our lives rather than meaningless forms of distraction and stimulation. If you find yourself slipping into unhealthy habits with your electronics, don’t be afraid to reach out for assistance. Bringing in an outside influence can help you build a relationship while simultaneously removing unhealthy habits from your life. 

Lindsey is a full-time copywriter, editor, and mother with a passion for all things related to mental wellness and personal growth. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and e-books.

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