Video game addiction is real, and more families are coming to terms with this reality every day. Nevertheless, popular culture continues to downplay the seriousness of gaming and technology addiction. As recently as 2017, journalists such as Romeo Vitelli in Psychology Today have suggested that “the basic science still isn’t there.” Nevertheless, the science is there. A compelling and growing body of empirical research confirms the reality Dr. David Greenfield first described in his 1999 book, Virtual Addiction; tech addiction is real.
In ESPN’s Outside the Lines segment, “Video game addiction a real thing,” Dr. Greenfield joins a panel with Dr. Chris Ferguson of Stetson University and Chris Kluwe, a former punter for the Minnesota Vikings. Dr. Ferguson compares the triggered dopamine response from video games or social media to other pleasurable activities such as food or exercise. Although this comparison accurately describes the neurological chemistry, it completely fails to account for the ubiquity of technology in our lives, or the way reward triggers are intentionally structured into our experience of gaming or social media.
Dr. Greenfield encourages the panel to recognize the serious challenges of tech addiction faced by families. Chris Kluwe, who struggles with gaming addiction, highlights how in a single generation the world has been radically transformed. Everywhere we go, technology has been integrated into every facet of our lives. As Raymond Kurtzweil described in “The Singularity Is Near” the technological paradigm is shifting at an accelerating rate, rendering many of our assumptions obsolete.
After more than twenty years conducting research and treating patients, Dr. Greenfield wants families to know without question that what they are experiencing is real. If technology – gaming, social medial, Smartphone use – are preventing you from you from living the life you desire, you are not alone, and there is help.
At the Greenfield Recovery Center, young men learn to reengage with the real world through a variety of activities in the natural beauty of our rural campus. They learn new recipes through our culinary nutrition program, and establish new inner resources through meditation, mindfulness, and yoga. Participants return to their creative selves through music and art therapies. Hiking, mountain biking, and martial arts provide an opportunity to reconnect to life of the body. Greenfield Recovery Center is the place to re-engage in connected relationships and learn to plug back into life. If you would like more information, call us today or complete our contact form.