Addiction or mere dependence? It’s a fine line. However, developing a compulsive need to use your digital devices, to the extent where it interferes with your life and stops you from doing things you need to do, is the hallmark of an addiction.
There are three different types of digital addiction which include phone addiction, internet addiction and social media addiction.
Phone addiction is a dependence syndrome and a clinical addiction where users are affected by smartphone overuse which impacts their daily lives in a negative way. Addiction expert and therapist Paul Hokemeyer explains that this addiction can be a result of underlying behavioral health and personality issues. Those who do suffer with this addiction could have underlying issues like depression, anxiety and a socially challenged personality, causing them to constantly use their devices for comfort.
Social media addiction is quite easy to define. If you spend far too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to the point where you document each and every aspect of your life on any/all of the platform, you could be a social media addict. Although there’s no medical recognition of social media addiction, the term itself has become subject to research and investigation within recent years and overuse of Facebook in itself has been proven to be linked to a decrease in feelings of satisfaction and happiness.
Internet addiction is defined as an impulse control disorder, also known as pathological internet use, where some may find it difficult to differentiate between the virtual world and reality. Sufferers tend to spend excessive amounts of time online, not only eating up time but also causing a higher risk of overspending by getting involved in online gambling and gaming.
“I wanted to test how I would react without my phone. Generally I felt much more relaxed and with better concentration. From this experience I know that I can live without my phone. I’m going to encourage other people in my life to develop this ability a bit more too!”
"Corny as it sounds, when the retreat was over, I felt cleansed. I hadn’t checked the news but I didn’t fear that the world had fallen apart. I felt recharged, not anxious about the work I’d missed."
“I loved it. After this, I’m going to get a landline and turn my mobile off for some weekends. I’m also going to take social media off my phone.”