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Mobile Addiction: Texting, Tablets and More

You've probably heard the word "dependency" used to describe certain addictions. Millions of men and women across India find themselves dependent on drugs, alcohol or prescription medication. But according to a leading psychologist, mobile devices can develop dependency too.

If you're wondering how it's possible to develop dependency to screens, ask the parents of our next generation.

Technology Addiction: Dependency?

Biologist Aric Sigman, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society warns parents to stop fiddling with their mobile phones and iPads in front of their kids. His studies conclude that parents' constant attraction to screens can drive children into a "lifelong dependency on screens." [ref] http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/personal-tech/computing/Mobile-addicted-parents-guilty-of-child-neglect/articleshow/13406746.cms [/ref]

And the affect of this alleged addiction to computers, mobile phones and television has already been observed. An article in the India Times demonstrated that texting has become the preferred mode of communication between youngsters in India.

Obsessive Texting

The study discovered that 60 per cent of the youngsters in our country receive more than 125 text messages every day. And 80% admitted to checking their phones every few seconds hoping for a new text message.

The amount of time spent bent over their little screens shows the development of an addiction. And according to Sigman, it all starts with the parents.

As India develops so does its mode of communication and source for research and knowledge. Like the rest of the world, India is becoming more and more dependent on technology, and cell phones have become an obsession.

Cell Phone Cessation?

Is it time to start setting up cell phone cessation clinics? Maybe not.

But a study done by industry body Assocham connects health problems with excessive texting. [ref] http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-05-18/news/29555883_1_text-delhi-ncr-cell[/ref]

  • The report indicated that extensive cell phone usage could cause problems like insomnia, depression, lack of eating and isolation.
  • Another study demonstrated a connection between brain tumors, and infertility with excessive cell phone use.

Mobile Addiction and Alcoholism

Interestingly, addiction to cell phones and other devices complete with screens, wifi and live news is chemically similar to alcoholism and other addictions.

Dopamine, the chemical in the brain largely responsible for reward-driven learning, is released during excessive computer or cell phone use. The continual release of this chemical often leads to addiction.

Addiction to substances like cocaine or alcohol demonstrates addiction where dopamine is either released quickly or stored up. [ref]http://www.wakehealth.edu/Health-Central/What-Drives-Alcohol-Addiction/ [/ref]

Mobile De-Addiction

Maybe it's time to put away the cell phone for a couple days, or limit the amount of time you watch TV. Whatever you need to limit, don't let the influx of technology in our country overtake your life.

Be careful. And, as always, respect the potential of addiction.