Technology and Internet use has become an integral part of our everyday lives and is finding its way into more and more of our daily habits. Most behavioral health and addiction specialists agree that adolescents and young adults are spending close to 6 hours a day on either a computer, Smartphone or tablet. The truth is, it is difficult to be part of society today without a degree of technology use but what do we do when our usage gets out of hand or reaches an addictive level?
Internet technology utilizes user-experience guidelines that make it easy for us to find information, content, or entertainment that we want within seconds. While these practices are helpful from a convenience standpoint, they can have certain, unintended consequences in three ways:
- Each time that your Smartphone, tablet, or computer provides you with particular information, there is a small dose of dopamine that is delivered to the brain. Over time, your brain can become accustomed to these dopamine hits that Internet and technology use provides. Individuals will find themselves feeling bored, uninterested, or unmotivated to do anything that doesn’t involve their screen device. This is a similar set of circumstances with other addictions, such as gambling, food, drugs and alcohol.
- The faster you click on something you like or want online and quicker it shows up on your screen the more potent and powerful that addiction response becomes
- The truth is that the Internet and technology function much like a slot machine where you never know what you are going to get, when you are going to get, and how desirable the content will be for you. That variability makes the Internet experience potentially more addictive in that your rewards (with small elevations of dopamine) are unpredictable and changeable.
Truthfully, your brain does not care what activity, behavior or substance is delivering the dose of dopamine, it just knows that it is desirable. People don’t actually become addicted to technology, but rather the feelings or fulfillment that it provides on a neurobiological level. This is where the Greenfield Recovery Center can help. We focus our program around retraining the brain to redevelop getting fulfillment out of new real-time activities instead of just from the Internet and technology. With help, our Participants can learn to use technology in a healthier and balanced manner and reengage in their daily lives.
Are you addicted to technology? Take a closer look at Greenfield’s Technology Addiction Tests.
Addictive patterns of behavior
To ensure that our addiction recovery center can help our participants achieve their goal of breaking free from Internet and technology addiction, we look for the following signs, symptoms, and behaviors:
- An active pattern of Internet or Screen use that is impacting your loved one.
- The pattern of use may have escalated in time or intensity over 12 months.
- A notable impact in life-balance: including academic performance, occupational issues, personal hygiene and self-care, time management, less social relationships, reduced or excessive sleep, health issues, irritability or anger when access to screens are removed, social isolation, and reduced engagement in previously pleasureful and satisfying activities, and difficulty or failure to launch.
- Life Imbalances within the any of the following spheres of life:
How we can help
Greenfield Recovery Center was specifically built to help people overcome their Internet and technology addictions. We are located in the quiet, calm, country setting of Leyden, Massachusetts. The 19 serene acres of private woodlands in the foothills of the Berkshire and Green Mountain ranges provide a natural environment that allows our participants to enjoy an alternative to screens and technology.
Are you ready to take back the control over technology?
Speak with a recovery advisor now.
Click here to learn how to manage your technology use so it doesn’t manage you.