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.
"Three weeks later, I can’t quite believe I have managed to keep my tech use under control. Already I feel more connected and present during chats or out with friends"
"I found myself connecting much more deeply with the people around me. Without distractions, our conversations were much richer and more interesting."
“My expectations were very high but this exceeded them all. I feel like I have completely rebooted my life!”