Photo by Erik Mclean
Originally Posted On: https://www.caron.org/blog/2020/03/healthy-digital-use-or-dependence
This is a hard time for most of us. Stores, other than those deemed essential, are closed. The library is closed. Movie theatres are closed. And, your favorite restaurant down the street is either closed or only providing take-out.
Adjusting to the temporary, but seismic, changes that are in place across the nation to help #StoptheSpread of COVID-19 can take its toll – personally and professionally. Whether we are required to work from home, remain on the front lines working in essential businesses, or are forced to collect unemployment because the business we work for is closed, we’re all trying to establish some sense of normalcy. The isolation of staying at home to stay safe can be stressful.
Many of us find comfort in connecting to the world or escaping from it through our digital devices. That escape can become dangerous if we need our devices to feel good and/or if we isolate ourselves by using our devices to avoid people and other activities.
How do we know when we have crossed a line from healthy to unhealthy use of our digital devices?
These are the signs to watch for in ourselves or our loved ones:
- Lying about how much time we spend online or hiding our use
- Spending more money than you intend to pay for “power ups,” in-game or online purchases
- Hiding what we spend or stealing to continue our onscreen activities
- An inability to regulate the amount of time we are playing games or are onscreen
- Spending a lot of time onscreen and excluding oneself from other activities we formerly enjoyed – often at the expense of personal relationships
- Misusing medications, like Adderall, for example, to extend time on screen
In this video about digital use disorder, Ryan Hanson, executive director of Caron Renaissance, discusses tech addiction, otherwise known as digital use disorder, what it looks like, which age group it surprisingly affects the most, and how to address the issue – for ourselves or our loved ones.