We live in an age where people coexist within both the real and digital world. Technology has become such an integral part of our daily lives that now if you don’t own a smartphone or are connected to the Internet, you practically don’t exist. Even though we need technology in order to do things in our day to day lives, there is such thing as too much, and this addiction can have serious negative consequences.
If we want to lead healthier and better lifestyles, we have to make drastic changes to how much we interact with technology.
The term technology addiction is defined as the frequent and obsessive technology-related behavior increasingly practiced despite negative consequences to the user of the technology. Like most addictions, the user rarely is aware of the negative impacts that comes from their excessive using. These include: increased risk of anxiety and depression, sleeplessness, mood swings, obesity, and eye problems.
For college students, most of whom have had contact with technology for a good chunk of their lives, it is very easy for them to fall prey to excessive exposure to technology. According to researchers, college students spend around 9 hours daily on their phones.
“I definitely spend more time than I should on my phone or laptop,” said John DeFalco, a senior at Marist. “Sometimes I just find myself scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, and then when I look at the time I notice I just wasted like an hour doing nothing.”
DeFalco’s experience is one that is shared by many other students, where they get sucked into a state of trance that makes you lose the concept of time. Some students find that this sort of usage hurts their academic success at college, by making them less productive and altering their sleep schedules.
“Sometimes I’ll get only like 5 hours of sleep because I was on my phone all night watching Netflix or YouTube videos,” said junior Matt Raider. “Even if I know I have a lot of stuff to do the next day, I still find myself doing stuff like that.”
Despite all these bad habits, students are starting to curb their use of electronic devices more and more, mainly due to a recent update to the iPhone software. This update lets the user see how much time they are spending looking at their screen daily and weekly, and will even send a notification if the user’s weekly average screen time has increased .
“Being able to look at how much time I actually spend on my phone gives me a nice little reality check,” said DeFalco. “It’s definitely helped me be more aware and is something that makes me want to spend less time having my eyes glued to my screen.”
This sort of technological addiction is not going away any time soon, but with the right tools and mindset, we can learn to stop being #AddictedToOurPhones.