The toll of technology addiction

Let’s change the subject from you know who and address a serious issue that is not receiving any attention: an addiction crisis that is affecting us on all levels, i.e. from psychological to physical.

No, it is not the tragic opioid dilemma. Theoretically, while difficult, that could be solved with political will along with appropriate and well-financed medical, rehabilitation and law enforcement resources.

The addiction which is insoluble and dangerous is our dependence on and fixation to technology: the internet, smart phones, iPads, computers, email, video games, etc. It is insoluble because while we may be able to control the pervasiveness of drugs, we cannot regulate legal and voluntary human behavior.

It is everywhere. In any group of people — in waiting rooms, on public transportation, in sports stadiums — almost everyone is on their smart phones. In restaurants, people are not talking to each other, but rather texting or checking emails. In theaters, despite warnings to turn off cell phones, the devices shine bright in the darkness.


It is technological heroin. And just like heroin, it is taking a terrible toll on how we communicate, sleep, eat, interact and even on the physical composition of the brain.

The addiction has led to the establishment of a new industry: rehab centers for tech addicts. And, it has also created a new phobia: nomophobia, the fear of being without mobile phone contact.

In the last few years, several books have been written about the dangers of technological addiction. The latest is “The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked” by Adam Adler, associate professor of marketing and psychology at New York University’s Stern School of Business.


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