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Friday, July 31, 2020

Bad Habit or Addiction to Technology?

A thing to look at again .... ever since gaming started we have been examining, but now its everywhere, all the time.   Examining addiction vs negative behavior.   I think with the integration of a stronger social component, amplified by social pressure, its harder yet to distinguish

Are We Addicted to Technology?   By Logan KuglerCommunications of the ACM, August 2020, Vol. 63 No. 8, Pages 15-16

It's easy to think the world is suffering from full-blown technology addiction.

We read daily headlines about how social media platforms threaten our mental health, our relationships, and even democratic society itself. We hear smartphone addiction is the latest scourge sweeping the nation's youth, and we even see tech leaders like Chris Hughes, who co-founded Facebook, publicly call for the break-up of the firm he created because of its addictive content and features.

It certainly seems like "technology addiction" is a real condition and that it is everywhere. But the truth is a little less black and white.

Technology addiction is a broad term that isn't always well defined. It can mean any type of negative behavior across video gaming, smartphone usage, and use of social media platforms like Facebook. It is medically unclear if these negative behaviors are actually addictive, and it is difficult to tell if these behaviors are due to the way the technology in question works or because we have a hard time controlling our own use of individual technologies.

Video game addiction was added by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 to its International Classification of Diseases, which the organization describes as the international standard for disease reporting. The move was welcomed by some who see video game addiction as a real disease, but it was contested by others who argued that video game addictions—and other types of technology addiction—do not meet clinical standards of addiction.

While everybody seems to agree video gaming in excess can cause harm, there is less consensus on whether or not smartphones and consumer technology have negative effects on our behavior and, if so, how to classify these effects.

Bad Habit or Actual Addiction?
WHO says video game addiction occurs when gaming interferes with life, and the individual is unable to stop gaming despite this interference. It also says this severity of behavior must occur for a year or more to classify as an addiction.

Clearly, some people experience real physical and mental harm from overusing video games.

"For gamers who struggle with video game addiction, it's a real condition that impacts many areas of life, including school, employment, mental and physical health, and relationships," says Cam Adair, founder of Game Quitters, a video game addiction support group. Adair describes himself as a video game addict who was hooked for 10 years, playing up to 16 hours a day, until the habit caused problems in his life, including forcing him to drop out of school. Today, he speaks and writes about his recovery, and helps other video game addicts kick the habit. He sees validation for video game addiction as a harmful condition worth treating in the 75,000 people in 95 countries looking for help on Game Quitters every month.

Adair sees clear negative effects from excessive video gaming every day in the people he helps. Extreme video game addicts, he says, may neglect to eat, sleep, or to perform work or school duties. "The most common case I see is a college student, usually male, who is now beginning to fail school and can't seem to get themselves away from games," says Adair.   ... "

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