Technology addiction is serious. It’s a huge problem in most first-world countries, and unfortunately, it’s an even huger problem for young adults. So, why are young adults addicted to technology? What causes it? How does it affect them? And are there other age groups that struggle with the same issue?
There are many questions that need to be answered regarding technology, and luckily this article goes over all of them. So, with that being said let’s get into our first question: What causes addiction to technology?
What Causes Addiction To Technology?
Why are young adults addicted to technology?
Well. To start off, we’ll first have to understand the causes of technology and internet addiction. This addiction has no single distinct cause, typically when it comes to people who form unhealthy habits with technology and media you’ll find that there are several factors that can play a role in making them develop an addiction.
Mental Health Conditions & Disorders
Depression, anxiety, insomnia, and so on can play a huge role in causing an internet/technology addiction. As we’ll talk about later on in this article, you’ll find that technology, media, games, and the internet serve as on sight distractions to discomfort within our lives and disgruntling things we experience.
Not only do they serve as an escape to whichever unpleasant reality you may be currently living, but they also feed the brain instant dopamine which makes them more appealing to you rather than things in life that might now appear more mundane and less rewarding. In short, if you are struggling with a mental health condition there’s a chance that it’s playing a role in your addiction and that you might be using it as a means to escape.
Boredom or Lack of Purpose
At the same time, you may find yourself addicted to technology simply because you’re bored.
Maybe you’re not doing anything in life right now. You feel you’ve got nothing better to do, and whether it’s falling into a rabbit hole of weird tweets on Twitter, binging Tik Tok and YouTube shorts, or just spending a measly 7 hours on your favorite computer game, you don’t mind. Because hey, it’s entertaining and at least it’s keeping you occupied, right?
Boredom and having a lack of something productive and fulfilling to do can definitely play a role in addiction to technology. Our minds are active, and whether we like it or not, they typically like to keep themselves doing something that can keep their interest. It’s important to remember that if you’re developing an unhealthy habit with technology because it could play a role in the reason why you have that unhealthy habit.
Another possibility of an individual developing a technology addiction could be parent absenteeism.
Maybe your parents weren’t too present when you were on your electronics. Maybe when you were younger you didn’t have many people to spend time with, and instead, you had an Xbox or an iPhone that became your primary buddy.
As kids, we’re extremely irresponsible, so not having someone monitor you when you’re on your devices can prove to be harmful to the habits you cultivate as an individual. Maybe you’ve never been grounded, or never had any limits on how long you could play on your games or be on your phone, or maybe you were allowed to use your devices however you wanted, whenever you wanted, wherever you wanted. Things like this can be a possibility as to why you’re addicted to technology today, it could simply be unhealthy habits you developed as a child (or teenager).
Environmental & Internal Discomfort
As mentioned before, technology serves as an escape from reality for a huge cut of young adults in today’s world. And oftentimes when we want to escape from reality, it’s because of things that are causing discomfort to us.
Whether it’s environmental factors such as your circle, your job, living space, partner or family, or an unfortunate situation you’ve stumbled into. Or internal factors such as thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or mental issues you’re currently struggling with. Both environmental and internal factors of discomfort could be the reason you’ve become so detached from reality and so attached to technology; you could be distracting yourself from something you don’t want to do or think about right now.
You’re a Social Butterfly
The reason you might be addicted to technology might simply just be because you’re a social butterfly. Some people are just very social. You might be busy talking to your friends from school or college on PlayStation, or maybe you’re busy texting your new friends that you just made from work on Snapchat, or who knows maybe you made a couple of internet buddies on Discord, and now you’re texting them.
As said before, some people are simply just very social, and that’s actually fine. Being social can be a good thing in a lot of ways, if you’re worried about your technology consumption then there are alternative activities you can do as a social person.
However, if you’ve become too intertwined and invested with the social intricacies of technology to the point it’s become unhealthy then…
You Might Care Too Much…
Omg! Did you see what Elon just Tweeted? No way. Did see what Kylie wore today?! I’m going crazy, Playboi Carti was recorded doing laundry, how ABSURD!!
Being too invested in the internet world can definitely become unhealthy. Sometimes, something that plays a huge role in a technology addiction is simply just caring too much.
You care too much about celebrities, you care too much about drama, you care too much about memes, you care too much about other people’s opinions, you care too much about what lipstick Kim Kardashian put on today, and not enough about your personal life. Simply put, you might care too much about things that you shouldn’t care about, and you might care too little about things you should care about.
It’s always important to balance where you place your attention and regard. Sometimes we care about things that don’t really matter, and if it’s creating an unhealthy addiction it’s important to rebalance where and what you pay your mind to.
Moving on, why are young adults addicted to technology again? Overall, there are multiple things that can play a huge role/factor in an unhealthy addiction you’ve developed to technology. Even with taking all of the possibilities above into consideration, it’s more important to self-explore and tries to understand what it is in your life that could be causing the addiction you have.
With that being said; Are young adults the only ones affected by this dreadful technology addiction plague? Or are there other age groups as well struggling as well?
What Age Group Is Most Addicted To Technology?
Fortunately, young adults are actually not in the lead as the most addicted age group to technology. The most addicted age range is teenagers, sources say that “the level of Internet addiction was the highest among the 15-16-year-old age.”
This usage of addiction typically bleeds into the 18 – 25-year-old range (and older), which could explain why young adults appear to be so addicted to technology.
If you’re still wondering ‘why are young adults so addicted to technology’ it’s smart to remember that young adults also usually pick up more responsibilities as they age from a teenager to an adult, which could also explain why they’re usually on their technological devices more such as their laptops, iPhones, and computers. They may be required to be on them because of school, work, network, or communication.
How Does Technology Addiction Affect Young People?
Why are young people addicted to technology? So far, we understand what can play as factors and possible causes as to why young people are so addicted to technology. We also looked at other age groups that are struggling with the same problem which also helps us to understand why young adults are so addicted to technology.
But, that leaves one last subject for us to go over so that we can fully wrap our minds around this issue so many people struggle with:
What are the signs and symptoms of technology addiction, and how does it affect young adults?
Emotional instability or mood swings can develop as a result of technology addiction. Whether you’ve lost all patience and are more prone to becoming irritated or agitated by daily life activities and events, or you’ve become more susceptible to sadness, melancholy, and depression (which we’ll talk about more later), technology addiction has shown to have an effect on one’s emotional stability.
Depression & anxiety
As mentioned above, technology can play a role in developing emotional instability in an individual. This means disorders such as depression and anxiety can start developing if you become inseparable from technology in an unhealthy fashion. You might find that you’re developing a deep sense of unsatisfaction in yourself and in your personal life, or that you may no longer be comfortable in the physical world as you only seek the internet. Regardless, an unhealthy addiction can provoke these problems and make them a reality.
Distrust & Dishonesty
Whether you lie to others around you to continue to be on your technological devices, or you’ve become accustomed to being untruthful online with a persona you’ve generated—dishonesty and distrust are 2 things that can be provoked by an internet/technology addiction.
Getting used to being dishonest is not a good thing, not only does it start making it a task for you to be truthful and real with yourself and others—it might also make it hard for you to trust others as well, as you feel everyone else around you is also dishonest and aren’t to be trusted.
Isolation & social withdrawal
Technology addiction has also been shown to have effects on one’s socialness and participation in society. Growing unhealthily attached to technology and the internet can make online become the only comfort zone you have, which in turn can curate a reclusive/shut-in nature where you no longer leave the internet.
Attention, boredom, & loss of interest
To add to a social withdrawal, a technological addiction can also make you lose interest in normal/daily routine activities that are productive, fun, or exciting. This newfound underlying boredom with everything you do that isn’t technology or internet related can be because your mind is hyper-fixated on what it finds rewarding, and technology and the internet serve as hotspots of dopamine which can make everything else look mundane in your eyes. Not to mention that sources say technology addiction can cause “Damage to brain systems connecting emotional processing, attention, and decision-making…”
A lack of attention and interest in personal life and a newfound disregard for what is important to you can also be caused by technology addiction. Procrastination, high disregard, thoughtlessness & carelessness, failure to launch syndrome, and so on are all things that can be caused by a bad addiction to technology.
So, Why Are Young Adults Addicted To Technology?
Ultimately, there are many things that can play a factor in a young adult’s addiction to the internet and technology. And as we’ve just seen, there are also many consequences that can come with developing an unhealthy relationship with today’s tech; so what’s most important is that we’re sure to spot and notice when our technological & internet use is getting out of hand and then be sure to take care of it accordingly.
There are many positives to the internet and to today’s technology and there are many advantages that you can take out of this age’s innovations. It’s just simply important that we don’t let our use of these devices get out of hand—that we are sure to keep it in moderation—that way we don’t develop unhealthy connections and struggle with the consequences that come along with them.