Use and abuse of Information Technologies
September 23, 2020
There is an increasingly widespread concept, the Internet of Things that refers to the digital interconnection of everyday objects with the internet. For example, a connected refrigerator that alerts us to the mobile of the expiration date of one of our foods, or tells us what we need to buy. It looks great, but are we really looking at the dangerous or harmful side of this?
Internet addiction is a problem that does not meet the characteristics for an addiction dependent on some substance. But it complies with the elements necessary for what has been classified as, addiction or dependence without substance which can be defined as, a state of concern that arises from the relationship with something or someone, which is maintained as a means to preserve one’s own internal control and balance that, in addition, it provides a sense of well-being to the individual.
Knowing the magnitude and impact of new communication and information technologies (ICTs) on society, one wonders how the use of the Internet, mobile and social media affects people’s relationships and emotional state.
While we may believe that browsing the web or watching diverse themed videos on YouTube is a relatively harmless act, there are some people who spend so much time using their mobile or a computer that it has begun to interfere with their daily lives. When an action or desire becomes an obstacle that takes precedence over the most important aspects of life (relationships, work, school), that’s when we can classify it as an addiction.
Psychological problems related to technology
Non-mobile-phobia. It refers to those moments when, by not having our cell phone with us, we feel that we need something and this gives us terrible anxiety. I’m sure more than one has experienced it.
Symptoms of this disorder include headache and stomach pain, anxiety, stress, obsessive thinking. Adolescent disorder is a disorder that occurs frequently in adolescents.
Imaginary call syndrome
Sometimes it happens to us that we get the feeling that the phone vibrates or that it has sounded and then it turns out that it is not. There are people who have that feeling continuously and suffer from what’s called imaginary call syndrome.
The human brain tends to relate any impulse it receives to the mobile which causes us to immediately think it is ringing or vibrating.
Dependence on the internet
It’s about the sick need to be connected to the Network all the time. It can seriously affect the private and social lives of Internet addicts.
Online video game dependency
A derivation of internet dependency is reliance on online video games. There are people who have generated an addiction to online gaming in such a way that they have gone days without sleep to manage to level up.
It is a disorder suffered by those who look compulsively at their messaging applications, even without any message being received. This also leads to the interpretation of the messages or information that can be obtained from them.
They refer to (fear of missing out), and that could apply to situations in which we are afraid of the possibility of missing a social event or an event. In the networks this would result in a continuous connection to the phone to be aware of everything and, if they cannot do so, for some reason, they suffer great anxiety and distress.
Are users aware that they suffer from cyber addiction?
It is common for the person to realize that they have serious difficulties of self-control in their use of the internet or social networks when their emotional state and life have already been affected. In principle, the maintenance of abstinence in the use of virtual social networks or interactive games should be encouraged. Then gradual and controlled exposure to risky situations must be performed.
It has always been said that the best form of treatment is preventive, getting ahead of what is to come is especially effective in adolescent-young people. We can guide preventive treatment in the following areas:
Time to use. Control over time of use is essential when it comes to avoiding creating the “habit”. We should encourage and teach responsible use, establish and agree on rules of use and supervision, schedule usage schedules by avoiding near-rest times, make the use of information technologies a prize or privilege not a right, use on-screen reminder messages about other activities and tasks, as well as the time used.
Privacy. It is a priority to develop protection factors when accessing the network, explaining in detail the meaning of personal data and the risks of sharing, avoiding and rejecting contact with strangers as well as refusal to give affiliation data, control and restrict access to the profile, not accept friend requests from people who are not known.
Content. The supervision and control by parents of the contents, pages visited, games, etc. will be a priority when assessing the benefit-risk of its use. Video game content should be age-adapted with special attention to online games.
Family. Preach by example, be an example for children in the good use of information technologies, place the computer in a space that can be shared by family members and enable them to participate in network activities, educate and reinforce leisure alternatives, promote oral communication, early detection of warning/alarm signs and request help promptly, try to stay up to date on information technologies to have the same knowledge as children.
Subject. Education and training for the use of information technologies, managing leisure times that nourish the being and the body, where health benefits first and foremost!
Psychological and learning aspects will be worked on to:
- Learn how to organize leisure time and manage anxiety and other non-pleasant emotions without using the internet as a refuge, evasion or alternative to coping with the problem.
- Appreciate being alone or alone and doing so without having “devices” around you.
- Assign trust and self-control to the person so that they the same comes out of the automation and harmful use of mobile, internet or social networks.
- Attribute responsibility to solve “problems”, understand what it means and what role the use of technologies has for the person.