Do You Suffer From These 4 Tech Afflictions?

Quick: How many devices do you have on-hand at this very moment? How often have you checked your social media accounts in the last hour? When was the last time you played a video game?

The answers to these questions may seem inconsequential, but tech addiction is real, and it can have dreadful consequences.

According to a January study published in PLoS ONE, a journal of the Public Library of Science, people addicted to the Internet may experience chemical changes in their brains similar to those of alcoholics and other drug addicts. And that’s just the Internet — think about all the other aspects of technology we succumb to every day.

Check out the following ailments that you should avoid at all costs.

1. Phantom Vibration Syndrome

Do you ever reach for your cellphone because you feel it vibrating, only to discover that it hadn’t buzzed at all? This could be what many call “phantom vibration syndrome,” the sufferers of which feel vibrations even when their devices are in an entirely different room.

The name is most likely based on phantom limb syndrome, a condition in which someone who has lost a limb experiences sensory hallucinations that it is still attached to the body and functioning. Similarly, those with phantom vibration syndrome feel their phones as extensions of themselves.

According to Larry Rosen’s book, iDisorder, 70% of those who say they heavily use mobile devices experience phantom vibrations. It’s common, and you’re able to recover from it, based on at least one study.

2. Internet Addiction Disorder

Internet addiction disorder (IAD) refers to compulsory use of the Internet, such that it interferes with daily life. Studies show that addiction to the Internet can cause the same type of social problems as other established addictions, such as gambling.

It’s important to note, however, that it is not yet recognized as a disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It may be included in the DSM-5 (previously known as DSM-V), which is slated for May 2013 publication, though there has been no clear decision.

In a 2008 editorial in The American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Jerald J. Block wrote that IAD can be characterized by excessive use, feelings of withdrawal and negative repercussions, such as arguments and fatigue.

Pathological use of the Internet can also cause severe levels of depression.

3. Social Media Addiction

Considered a subdivision of Internet addiction, social media addiction is probably one of the more common tech addictions of late.

Researchers from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business surveyed 250 participants, fitting them with devices that logged nearly 8,000 reports on their everyday desires. According to the study, checking social networking sites for updates is a much harder habit to break than alcohol or tobacco.

In Norway, researchers came up with the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale, a test to help you figure out whether you suffer from a social media addiction. The test is based on six metrics, for example, using Facebook to forget about problems or trying to cut down on Facebook use without success.

4. Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction, like IAD and other addictions, is characterized by the interference of gaming with other aspects of life. Although it is not yet considered an official addiction by the American Medical Association, video game overuse has led to terrible consequences.

In July 2011, a 20-year-old computer programmer died from deep vein thrombosis from sitting for too long. A blood clot started in his calf and eventually caused fatal blockage in his lungs.

How much is too much tech? Let us know in the comments where you draw the line.

Images courtesy of iStockphotoPamelaJoeMcFarlanecourtneyk.

Source : Mashable


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