Insights Into Teens

Insights Into Teens: Episode 189 "Technology Addiction"

May 06, 2024 Madison and Joseph Whalen Season 6 Episode 189
Insights Into Teens: Episode 189 "Technology Addiction"
Insights Into Teens
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Insights Into Teens
Insights Into Teens: Episode 189 "Technology Addiction"
May 06, 2024 Season 6 Episode 189
Madison and Joseph Whalen

Feeling chained to your gadgetry in an endless scroll of apps and alerts? You're not alone, as Madison and I dissect the phenomenon of teen technology addiction, drawing parallels to the compulsive nature of drug dependence. This eye-opening discussion traverses the landscape of mental health, revealing the alarmingly similar effects of tech obsession on young brains to those wrought by controlled substances. We'll share our stories of digital dependency, mine as a self-professed tech addict, and Madison's as someone who finds solace in the virtual world when navigating the social sphere. Our conversation is a wake-up call to the reality that over half of our teens feel a visceral tether to their devices, illuminating a path of reflection and understanding for families grappling with this modern challenge.

As we peel back the layers of our attachment to technology, I recount the palpable sense of loss when cut off from the digital pulse, akin to the distress substance users experience during withdrawal. We explore how devices become emotional crutches, providing comfort during stressful moments but potentially perpetuating a cycle of avoidance and dependence. Our chat is not all gloom, though; we recognize the therapeutic promise within creative digital environments and the restorative power of tech as an emotional recharge tool. It's a nuanced look at how managing our relationship with technology is critical for maintaining our well-being and preventing it from morphing into a problematic crutch.

Rounding off our journey, we tackle the intersection of technology with emotional coping strategies, delving into how the digital world can serve as both a haven and a hindrance for young minds. We emphasize the constructive aspects of online communities for youths facing personal challenges and the essential role of parents in guiding their children through the virtual maze. When discussing the delicate dance of depression and technology addiction, we highlight resources like "Glow Kids" that provide insight into the factors fostering tech dependence. Ultimately, we advocate for balance, encouraging digital detoxes and professional support to ensure that our relationship with technology remains healthy and harmonious. Join us for this crucial conversation that's not just about identifying problems but also about arming ourselves and our loved ones with strategies for a healthier digital life.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Feeling chained to your gadgetry in an endless scroll of apps and alerts? You're not alone, as Madison and I dissect the phenomenon of teen technology addiction, drawing parallels to the compulsive nature of drug dependence. This eye-opening discussion traverses the landscape of mental health, revealing the alarmingly similar effects of tech obsession on young brains to those wrought by controlled substances. We'll share our stories of digital dependency, mine as a self-professed tech addict, and Madison's as someone who finds solace in the virtual world when navigating the social sphere. Our conversation is a wake-up call to the reality that over half of our teens feel a visceral tether to their devices, illuminating a path of reflection and understanding for families grappling with this modern challenge.

As we peel back the layers of our attachment to technology, I recount the palpable sense of loss when cut off from the digital pulse, akin to the distress substance users experience during withdrawal. We explore how devices become emotional crutches, providing comfort during stressful moments but potentially perpetuating a cycle of avoidance and dependence. Our chat is not all gloom, though; we recognize the therapeutic promise within creative digital environments and the restorative power of tech as an emotional recharge tool. It's a nuanced look at how managing our relationship with technology is critical for maintaining our well-being and preventing it from morphing into a problematic crutch.

Rounding off our journey, we tackle the intersection of technology with emotional coping strategies, delving into how the digital world can serve as both a haven and a hindrance for young minds. We emphasize the constructive aspects of online communities for youths facing personal challenges and the essential role of parents in guiding their children through the virtual maze. When discussing the delicate dance of depression and technology addiction, we highlight resources like "Glow Kids" that provide insight into the factors fostering tech dependence. Ultimately, we advocate for balance, encouraging digital detoxes and professional support to ensure that our relationship with technology remains healthy and harmonious. Join us for this crucial conversation that's not just about identifying problems but also about arming ourselves and our loved ones with strategies for a healthier digital life.

No Credits Rolled, where we play the games you love but rarely finish them!

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

An original podcast by a husband and wife team of self professed pop-culture geeks. It is a discussion about all things entertainment from movies and music to television and pop culture. We examine some of the more obscure aspects of the entertainment industry.

Create Harmony

This is a podcast about setting an intentional rhythm, savoring life’s blessings and...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Speaker 1:

Insightful Podcasts by Informative Hosts. Insights into Things a podcast network. Welcome to insights into teens, a podcast series exploring the issues and challenges of today's youth. Your hosts are joseph and madison whalen, a father and daughter team making their way through the challenges of the teenage years.

Speaker 2:

Welcome to Insights into Teens. This is episode 189, technology Addiction. I'm your host, joseph Whalen, and my creative and insightful co-host, madison Whalen. Hi everyone how you doing today, maddie.

Speaker 3:

I'm doing all right. How about you?

Speaker 2:

I'm doing as well as I can be with another 80 degree day out there.

Speaker 3:

Fair enough.

Speaker 2:

We have a little bit of background noise today. We actually cranked up the air today in the studio here, so for those of you listening live, I apologize for that. We'll filter that out in post. Can fix anything in post, right, usually. So how you been. It's been a couple weeks since we dida podcast. What's going on? Anything new?

Speaker 3:

um, I'm not really sure. You know, I'm just trying to get through life and so forth wow, that's deep. Okay, I didn't mean it to be like that, I'm just going.

Speaker 2:

I guess. So today we're going to talk about technology addiction, which I consider myself a subject matter expert on. Just putting that out there to begin with. I've been addicted to technology for quite some time now.

Speaker 2:

As you can see, Well, yeah, so technology addiction parallels drug addiction in terms of its impact on the brain. Over 90% of teenagers engage with addictive technology like social media and video games, and approximately 50% of teens acknowledge feeling addicted to smartphones. On today's episode of Insights into Teens, we'll talk about this serious issue and how to combat it, but before we do that, I want to take a moment to invite our listening audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can find audio versions of this podcast listed as Insights into Teens. You can find video and audio versions of this and all the network's podcasts listed as Insights into Things, and you can find us anywhere you can find a podcast Apple, spotify, google iHeartRadio, tunein, etc.

Speaker 2:

I would also invite you to write in, give us your feedback. You can email us at comments at insightsintothingscom. You can email us at comments at insightsintothingscom. You can find us on ex-formerly Twitter at insights underscore things, or you can get links to all that and more on our official website at wwwinsightsintothingscom. Are we ready? Sure, here we go. So what is technology addiction Seems pretty straightforward from the term. Numerous studies have established a parallel between tech dependencies and drug addiction, revealing comparable effects on the brain. Alarmingly, over 90% of teenagers are engaged with social media and video games, two prominent sources of addictive technology. Strikingly, around 50% of teens openly acknowledge being addicted to their smartphones, indicating a significant concern.

Speaker 3:

Although not officially classified as a disorder, in diagnostic manuals tech addiction goes by various names, such as Internet Addiction, Disorder, Compulsive Internet Use and Eye Disorder. But you know, as in the tech eye not, the letter.

Speaker 2:

I not the body part. I the letter. I not the body part I.

Speaker 3:

Estimates suggest that nearly 38% of individuals in the United States and Europe might grapple with tech dependence. Research underscores that technology usage triggers brain pathways, similarly to how significant substances affect drug addicts. Notably, activities like gaming and social media release endorphins and dopamine, driving cravings for more stimulation. The continuous overstimulation also induces a fight-or-flight response, disrupting biological and hormonal symptoms and potentially leading to mood and mental health disorders.

Speaker 2:

In a pivotal move, the World Health Organization recognized gaming disorder as a mental health condition in 2018. The consequences of technology on mental health extend beyond addiction to encompass issues like teen depression and anxiety. Intriguingly, adults with a history of substance abuse are prone to technology addiction, highlighting a link between various forms of addictive behaviors. Research indicates that teenagers exhibiting Internet addiction are more susceptible to substance abuse and eating disorders and eating disorders. This highlights the interconnectedness of different addictive behaviors and substances, emphasizing that the propensity for addiction transcends specific contexts.

Speaker 3:

Safeguarding teenagers from the pitfalls of technology addiction requires a comprehensive approach that acknowledges its neurological underpinnings, mental health implications and its potential to intersect with other forms of addiction. Raising awareness about tech addiction, fostering healthy technological habits and encouraging open discussions around digital well-being can contribute to a more balanced and sustainable relationship between teenagers and technology.

Speaker 2:

So how much time do you typically spend? I know you're not a social media person, but how much time do you typically spend on social platforms or playing video games each day?

Speaker 3:

Um, well, typically, um, I guess like maybe seven hours watching videos and then like two to three hours for video games.

Speaker 2:

Now, do you feel anxious or uncomfortable if you're unable to access your smartphone or the Internet?

Speaker 3:

Well, I guess it depends on the situation. If I'm in, like, if I'm like alone in my room, I'm not like that anxious because, like you know, I'm alone in my room. I'm not that anxious because I'm alone in my room. I'm comfortable there. I don't need to be on my phone constantly in my room, it's just regardless. I can find ways of keeping calm. But if I'm in a major social situation where there's a lot of people around me maybe I'm riding the bus or something I don't really like, not having to listen to music, like there's some instances I'd be fine with it.

Speaker 2:

But if it's like a really crowded area and I can't really listen to it, my anxiety kind of goes through the roof now, is that a coping mechanism for other sources of anxiety, for being in crowded areas and stuff like that, or is it more like a like a comfort blanket to you?

Speaker 3:

I think I kind of use any form of technology as a way to get back into a comfort level, because usually when even when I go to like school and so forth like I have heightened anxiety for a variety of reasons and I think I like associate technology as a way to like get away from the world and kind of like either go into another reality or just focus on something else so that I don't have to focus on whatever was making me anxious.

Speaker 2:

That's interesting. So your use of technology is more an isolating move than it is as a social outreach type thing. Would you agree with that?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and like there are a few, a few times that I use it to, like, talk to friends and so forth, but for the most part I kind of use it to get away from people is probably the best explanation I can give.

Speaker 2:

So then, I guess this next question I want to ask is kind of answered already, but have you noticed changes in your mood or behavior that correlate with your use of technology? And it sounds like for you it's a positive thing for you to help you cope with other anxieties. Is there any other mood altering or behavior?

Speaker 3:

altering effects that you've seen from technology. Instead of focusing on a different reality or focusing on like someone else, like a commentary sort of thing or something, I am now back in reality and like I'm hearing something that's happening in the world around me and it's like oh, I don't like that.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. Well, I joked at the top of the show that I'm a subject matter expert on this and I really am. I mean, I'll be the first one to admit that I have an addiction to technology. You kind of can tell that, especially on like long trips, by the amount of technology that I pack up and take with me. But it's a serious thing and the studies that we talked about here kind of parallel how the addiction to technology is indicative of addictive behavior in general. And I have an addictive personality. Obviously, you know you look at me on the screen I have eating issues. You know I have weight issues from eating, so I'm addicted to food. As know I have weight issues from eating, so I'm addicted to food as much as I'm addicted to technology. So there's definitely a parallel and there's credence to that. Do you think that the way that you use technology, that you're addicted to technology or not?

Speaker 3:

I guess it kind of depends, like like there's certain things like I guess the best example I can give right now is kind of video games, where, well, it's different when it comes to different forms of technology, cause it's like with video games I can get sucked into it and stay in there for like hours. But then it's like when I have free time and like the thought of a video playing a video game pops up, I'm like I don't really want to do that right now. But then when it comes to like watching youtube videos, I kind of like almost absently do it and like I always. I do think I'm at least addicted to that, because it's like I always have to find my phone, because it's like I want to watch something and it doesn't even really matter what it is half the time.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean to kind of go down that path. You don't watch a lot of television. I mean, you've got a TV in your room. You don't watch it very often. Most of your media consumption is on your phone. Is that correct?

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So in that case, I think it's probably a different use case scenario for you, where I think what they're largely talking about here are people that are addicted to social media, that have to get in there and see what their friends are doing and see what the updates are and reach out to them through that, or you, you know, they're tied to a video game, playing online with their friends for hours. It sounds like that's not the case with you, is that correct?

Speaker 3:

yeah, not really, because, again, when it comes to like social media, like sure there are certain youtubers I watch that like if they have a new video I'll watch it, but half the time it's like like the thing is it's I actually watch videos on both my tablet and my phone and for some reason my tablet now like I'm not able to like randomize, like the videos don't randomize for me and I have to actually search stuff up and it's like it's weird not having it randomized because like I can still have it on my phone. So I've been using my phone for that sort of thing. Unless I have a specific thing I search up and like I feel like that's the randomization I get out of it. Um, but it's not really like a checking up so much, unless it's for like specific people I watch.

Speaker 2:

It's really just like a okay, let's see if there's anything interesting it sounds almost like you use your phone, you use your YouTube connection, like most people watch television. So I don't think it would kind of fall into the same criteria that we're talking about with the technology addictions that we have here, which, for your part, is a good thing.

Speaker 3:

I guess so yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's one less anxiety causing thing for you to worry about, because it sounds like it's an escape for you. It sounds like it's a healthy thing the way you use it. That's good. You got one up on me there. I mean, I don't do like my thing is, I don't do uh.

Speaker 3:

Social media most of the time for the most part.

Speaker 2:

You know I'm on linkedin and stuff like that. I very rarely touch Twitter or X anymore and and I hate logging into Facebook. You know, occasionally somebody will share something with me a picture or something and I have to log in, but that's like once every three months. For me, my use of technology is kind of like I don't know it's, it's weird, it's like I wrap myself in it. I don't know it's weird, it's like I wrap myself in it Like you know I play games or I watch TV. You know I do all that stuff through media or I do podcasts. You know I enjoy editing the podcasts and working on D&D adventures and you know stuff like that. I enjoy doing the research, but I'm just as likely to curl up with well. I'd say I'm just as likely to curl up with well.

Speaker 2:

I, I'd say I'm just as likely to curl up with a book, but even the books on technology too. So I use a, I use a Kindle reader for my, my books, but I enjoy reading stuff like that. I enjoy reading about history and technology, and so I don't know it's an addiction, but I don't think it's as detrimental to me as a substance abuse addiction would be, which I guess is good. We're going to take a quick break and then we'll come back and we'll talk about some of the complexities of technology, withdrawal symptoms. We'll be right back.

Speaker 4:

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Speaker 3:

Today we're talking about technology addiction and now we're going to discuss the complexities of technology withdrawal symptoms. The phenomenon of tech dependence among teenagers has given rise to a range of concerning symptoms, with emotional manifestations akin to those observed in substance abuse and drug drug withdrawal that too, delving into the intricacies of tech dependent and its withdrawal symptoms reveals the multi-faceted nature of this modern challenge.

Speaker 3:

Adolescents grappling with technology addiction experience profound anxiety when distanced from their digital devices, be it video games, social media or other online platforms. This emotional response parallels the distress observed in substance abuse scenarios and drug withdrawal processes. The similarity underscores the potency of tech-dependent in shaping psychological experiences.

Speaker 2:

Several telltale signs point to tech-dependence among teenagers, preoccupation with digital activities, a predominant focus on digital engagement, whether through social media or video games. There's also emotional turmoil upon separation. Feelings of sadness, anxiety, restlessness or irritability emerge when individuals are disconnected from digital devices or the internet.

Speaker 3:

There's also an ability to limit usage. Despite recognizing the problems arising from excessive technology use, the individual struggles to reduce their screen time. Then there's also diminished offline interests Activities once enjoyed offline lose their appeal, illustrating the shift in priorities toward digital engagement. There's also dishonesty about usage, concealing the extent of technology use, including gaming or online activities, from family and others.

Speaker 2:

There's also emotional self-medication Using technology as a means to alleviate negative emotions like guilt, anxiety and hopelessness, which is kind of what you use it for. So there might be, you know, some things there that have to be addressed. There's also neglect of self-care. Prolonged tech use can lead to ignoring personal hygiene, eating and other self-care routines. Finally, there's impacts on life domains. Technology dependence can have far-reaching consequences, from deteriorating job performance and relationships to academic underachievement.

Speaker 3:

Tech withdrawal is not merely a cessation of activity. It entails a complex emotional response rooted in the brain's adaptations to constant stimulation. Separation from digital devices triggers emotional distress akin to drug withdrawal.

Speaker 2:

Accentuating.

Speaker 3:

Sorry that technology has on teenagers.

Speaker 2:

The convergence of emotional symptoms in tech dependence and substance abuse underscores the severity of technology addiction among teenagers. Recognizing the signs and understanding the physiological I'm sorry the psychological intricacies of tech withdrawal are crucial steps in addressing this issue. Establishing healthy tech habits, fostering digital well-being and encouraging open conversations about the impact of technology on mental health are essential to mitigating the adverse effects of tech dependence and fostering a balanced relationship between adolescents and their digital devices. So, based on that, do you think that you use technology to escape having to deal with other anxiety-causing things in your life?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, probably.

Speaker 2:

So it might be keeping you from addressing those other things, but it's doing so in a way that's at least emotionally helpful to you, I assume. So that's not necessarily a bad thing. That's like when you have a headache, you take aspirin, right. You don't necessarily worry about root cause analysis when you have the headache.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So I think it's. If anything it's, it might be a case of self-medicating with technology. There might be a case of self-medicating with technology there. I find my technology addiction really hits hard in extreme but insignificant situations. Case in point we could be in the house watching TV in the evening during the summertime. A storm blows through and we lose power. I almost go into panic mode when that happens, and it's not because I'm addicted to video games and I can't play games or I can't check my email.

Speaker 2:

It's technology is a comfort to me. Technology is a comfort to me, and in the summertime it's very much a direct comfort to me because of air conditioning, cause you know I can't stand the heat. So if it's at like nine o'clock at night and we lose power, I it's like I'm I'm freaking out Cause I know I'm going to be up all night long Cause I can't sleep in the heat. Or if here's another great example so if the internet goes out in our area there's not a lot of competition. So we have Comcast and Comcast isn't the most reliable internet in the world. They go down from time to time and when they go down and I don't have my connectivity, it drives me insane to the point that we went out and got a backup internet with T-Mobile's home internet. So now, if Comcast goes down, at least we still have an interconnection. So that's probably a prime way to highlight my internet or my technology addiction. This episode's really more for my benefit, I think, than it is for you.

Speaker 3:

Fair enough.

Speaker 2:

Have you ever felt anxious or upset when you couldn't use a digital device?

Speaker 3:

I mean probably indirectly. It's more in the sense of I use that technology typically when I'm home and I'm away from everybody and I'm, you know, in a period of I'm just going to rest right now because I just had a really stressful day and I really don't want to be around anybody or do something that isn't this right now.

Speaker 2:

So it's almost like that's how you recharge your battery. You separate yourself from the world, from all the troubles, all the stuff that annoys you today. You go off, you take your phone and, whether it's listening to music or watching videos or whatever it is, sounds like it's a form of meditation for you, is it not?

Speaker 3:

pretty much.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what it is do you find that ultimately it helps you in the long run get through difficult times?

Speaker 3:

I mean, yeah, it's like if I was like emotionally distressed, uh, during the day, I'm usually able to kind of get over it through that, um, in a way that I wouldn't be able to if I wasn't allowed to step away from everything.

Speaker 2:

Okay Now when things are really rough I mean there have been weeks that you've come home multiple days from school and you've been stressed out. When you think about your daily activities, have you noticed a shifting your interest away from offline activities that you once enjoyed, Because the technology gives you that comfort level where you may have done something around the house or something with mom and dad or something like that. And you just weren't up for that, you kind of needed that. You space and the technology wins out in situations like that. And you just weren't up for that and you kind of needed that.

Speaker 3:

You space and the technology wins out in situations like that I don't really think it's entirely based on the technology, because I think it's just kind of a natural response at this point, because it's like, like, and obviously it's nothing against you guys or any of my friends, but I've noticed that I kind of have been isolating myself more.

Speaker 3:

And even if the technology is part of that isolation, I think it's also just because of the fact that, like, I don't really think anyone else can really help. And, being around other people either, I don't want to show them how I'm feeling, because if I show them, they're not going to really know how to deal with it and then we're both going to be uh, not great. And then the other thing is just like I don't, they wouldn't really know how to go through this because I don't know how to go through this. So it's like if I isolate myself from people, um, you know and like, even technology hasn't worked in certain instances when it comes to stating my anxieties and so forth, but it's the best thing I've got right now.

Speaker 2:

So I think that makes sense. I know we've talked in the past about how you have a tendency to bottle things up because you don't want to be a burden to other people, because you don't want to be a burden to other people, and it sounds like this is one of those situations where, instead of you feeling like you're a burden to someone else, this is your chance to kind of go off and deal with it yourself. And I think it sounds like whether it's the technology and when we say technology for you it's not social media, it's some video games, but you're not big on video games, but a lot of your artwork is done using technology and that kind of counts in this situation but it sounds like it's a therapeutic thing for you where it allows you to go off, have that time to yourself, deal with the issues, recharge, and then you can come back and not be not that you are a burden to us, and it's important to point that out. Mommy and daddy are here to help, if we can. I understand how you don't want to burden us with these problems because you are trying to deal with them yourself, and that in and of itself is admirable, but it sounds like this is a good way to help you through that, where I hate the idea that you have a problem with it or that you're upset about something and you go off on your own, and I hate the idea of you having to deal with it on your own and it sounds like you don't.

Speaker 2:

It sounds like this just happens to be something you use to help out with those things, and that's a good thing to be something that you use to help out with those things, and that's a good thing. I mean, I think you're constructively using the technology in a way that most kids your age aren't doing. You know, most kids your age. The technology tends to be a source of the problem, not a source of a solution for it or a coping mechanism. So I think that's a good thing. So I think that's a good thing. Have you ever found yourself using technology to deal with negative feelings or to escape from stressful situations, as a means of avoidance, or is it just a means of getting some level of distance from a problem so that you can then handle it better?

Speaker 3:

It's kind of both. Sometimes I want to ignore what goes on because, like it's still going to be there when I get back and I still don't know how to handle it. And then other times it's usually just a way to like step back and have some time to like just think for myself and have some time to just think for myself.

Speaker 2:

Now, have you ever actually used technology in a way to address any of these issues, whether it's research or reaching out to someone else or maybe commuting with an online community for help or anything like that, or any self-help stuff that you may be using technology for where it's actually helping you to solve the problems, or is it really just a coping mechanism and a and a dealing with a type thing?

Speaker 3:

really just a coping mechanism, like I am kind of seeing counselors, so, um, but I'm not really the one that typically messages them. Um, I usually have tell mama to like, say like, hey, I want to meet with them at blah blah, blah, blah, blah, and usually she does the whole thing with that For the most part. I really don't know. I don't really do any of the research or anything like that.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, and and the reason I ask is there's a lot of resources out there and we talk about a lot of them here where, when we go and do research for the shows, we find these resources online that you know, if nothing else, they might offer you some advice, some clarity. I know one of the troubles that that we all run into when we have these kinds of anxiety ridden days is one labeling the problems, identifying the problems, labeling them and then dealing with them, and there's there's ways that technology can actually help you with that, with some of the online communities. So that might be a worthwhile direction to go at some point in time, to just to do your own research and and and do a little bit of reading on it and educate yourself on some of these things too, to take what you're doing already as a constructive use of technology to the next step. Let's take our last break, and when we come back, we'll talk about depression and technology dependence and much more. We got a lot more to talk about. We'll be right back.

Speaker 1:

Insights into Entertainment a podcast series taking a deeper look into entertainment and media. Our husband and wife team of pop culture fanatics are exploring all things, from music and movies to television and fandom. We'll look at the interesting and obscure entertainment news of the week. We'll talk about theme park and pop culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions culture news. We'll give you the latest and greatest on pop culture conventions. We'll give you a deep dive into Disney, Star Wars and much more. Check out our video episodes at youtubecom backslash insights into things. Our audio episodes at podcastinsightsintoentertainmentcom, or check us out on the web at insightsintothingscom.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back to Insights into Teens. Today we're talking about technology addiction, and now we're going to talk about depression and technology dependence. Existing research underscores a clear correlation between technology engagement and mental well-being, specifically concerning adolescents who partake in social media and video gaming. However, experts remain uncertain about the directional relationship between teen depression and technology. It's unclear whether excessive tech usage triggers depression or if heightened tech consumption is indicative of underlying depression. This complex interaction fosters a self-reinforcing style that contributes to the emergence of technology addiction.

Speaker 2:

The book Glow Kids how Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids and how to Break the Trance discusses the concept of technology dependence. According to this perspective, addiction's essence lies not solely in the specific substance or behavior, but in a confluence of underlying factors, including genetics, psychology, environment and neurobiology, which collectively make an individual susceptible to addiction.

Speaker 3:

Within the realm of technology dependence. Individuals experiencing isolation and emotional distress are particularly prone to seeking refuge in on-screen experiences, offering an avenue for escapism and connection. Additionally, the idea is raised that exposure to digital experiences may act as a stepping stone to other forms of addictive substances, presenting a potential escalation in addictive behaviors.

Speaker 2:

The intricate relationship between depression and technology dependence poses a complicated puzzle, with the causation I'm sorry with the causative direction remaining uncertain. These insights, coupled with expert perspectives, highlight the intricate web of factors contributing to technology addiction. Acknowledging this intricate link is pivotal to devising comprehensive strategies that address both prevention and intervention, ultimately fostering healthier interactions between adolescents and the digital domain.

Speaker 3:

Addressing Technology Addiction. The initial step in mitigating technology addiction involves reducing dependence on the internet. Notably, technology can play a paradoxical role in aiding avoidance of addiction. A notable study tested a tool that utilized smartphone vibrations as reminders, effectively limiting excessive engagement with a social media app. Effectively limiting excessive engagement with a social media app. This method led to a substantial 20% reduction in app usage demonstrating technology's potential to counteract its own addictive nature.

Speaker 2:

A digital detox holds promise in assisting adolescents to diminish their reliance on technology. By disengaging from the perpetual stimuli offered by the digital realm, teens provide their nervous systems with the opportunity to regain equilibrium. The process of unplugging opens avenues for real-world experiences, facilitating connections with peers, immersing in nature and engaging in physical activities.

Speaker 3:

Establishing healthy routines concerning technology uses is paramount for adolescents. However, recognizing the gravity of severe technology addiction is essential. Comparable to substance addiction, profound tech dependence often signifies underlying issues encompassing trauma, self-esteem challenges, attachment complexities and depression.

Speaker 2:

Addressing severe technology addiction requires professional intervention. Paralleling substance abuse treatment Programs tailored for teenagers address the core emotional triggers. A fusion of clinical methodologies and experiential therapy equips adolescents to overcome tech addiction by instilling equilibrium and fostering constructive coping mechanisms.

Speaker 3:

A comprehensive strategy to combat technology addiction incorporates early prevention, harnessing technology for self-regulation, digital detoxification, establishment of positive habits and targeted professional intervention when necessary. Recognizing technology addictions as a symptom of deeper emotional struggles empowers adolescents to confront underlying issues while forging a harmonious relationship with technology. The journey to recovery involves not just disengaging from screens, but also reconnecting with genuine experiences, cultivating resilience and paving a path towards sustained well-being.

Speaker 2:

So have you noticed any changes in your mood or feelings when you spend a lot of time on technology, playing video games or watching videos or anything?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, typically I feel more relaxed and calm and I feel like I'm not entirely anxious most of the time. I also, you know, can feel happy at times as well, if with like a certain video or a certain game I'm playing.

Speaker 2:

So it sounds like it has the exact opposite effect that it has on those who have a technology addiction. Would you agree with that?

Speaker 3:

I guess so yeah.

Speaker 2:

So what are some activities or hobbies that you do enjoy doing outside of technology?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, Um, well, technically I have started drawing, but like not on my tablet. I've been like drawing some stuff, like in school, when I'm not able to be on like my tablet, and so forth. Um, I have like toys that I might occasionally play with. Uh, I have the cats that I spend time with and we also do like fun stuff with them, uh out and, you know, go to like shows and so forth. I sometimes go out and hang out with friends. It's not as often as it used to be, but like I do that there's times when I kind of like hang out with my friends and we're not entirely playing video games, we kind of just talk to each other.

Speaker 2:

So I think it's pretty safe to say that you really don't suffer from technology addiction. All the warning signs that we've talked about here and your typical behavior and use of technology seems to speak the exact opposite, that for you, technology is a therapeutic type of activity. I would say keep up the good work with it. I mean, there's been a couple of times where you may have been listening to music or something like that and you didn't hear mommy or I call you, and that kind of is a a bit of a noise. But you've solved that problem by not, you know, keeping both headphones in at the same time, and we've worked around any problems we've ever had with technology with you and you know, the funny thing is you never ask for technology. Any technology that you have is stuff that I got for you. So I think you're okay. I think, if anything, I probably need more help than you do when it comes to technology addiction. What do you think?

Speaker 3:

I mean, I would say you are probably more addicted to it, at least in the sense of you know how, like when you get hooked on a drug, you have to constantly continue pouring money into it. I'm pretty sure that's kind of you at this point.

Speaker 2:

Well, that you know. I think my problem is I tend to be a addictive personality in general, so usually anything that I get into I usually go all in.

Speaker 3:

Which like, yeah, that was also how D&D worked at that point.

Speaker 2:

That was also how it worked when I was in marching band and you needed to get like stuff to film me yeah, when I used to play star wars miniatures, it was the same things like anything that I do when I did the the guild on the star wars guild for my online game. Whenever I got invested in something, I I'm fully invested in it, and technology is probably no different. If anything, technology is an enabler for me, probably. So I'm a uh, a cautionary tale to the kids out there don't be like me. I think that was all we had today. Let's uh, take our final quick break. We'll come back, we'll get your closing thoughts and finish up with the business of the podcast. We'll be right back.

Speaker 3:

So to everyone out there, I just want to say that again, like everything in life I'm pretty sure I've said this plenty of times on the podcast you need a good balance of it podcast. You need a good balance of it. Technology is a good thing and it can be a good thing in a lot of different instances, but it can also be a kind of a bad thing if you're too addicted to it and it can, you know, spread negatives. So finding a healthy balance between how much you're online and how much you're offline, as well as what you enjoy online and what you enjoy offline, I feel like is a good way to live.

Speaker 2:

I think that is sound advice, as always, and before we go, I do want to once again invite our listening and viewing audience to subscribe to the podcast. You can get audio versions of this podcast listed as insights into teens. Audio and video of all the network's podcasts can be found as Insights into Things. We're on Apple, Spotify, Google iHeartRadio, TuneIn, etc. And we'd also invite you to give us some feedback and email us at comments at insightsintothingscom. Hit us up on Twitter or X at insights underscore things. You can also find high res versions of all of our videos on YouTube at youtubecom slash insights into things. We do stream five days a week on Twitch at twitchtv slash insights into things. If you happen to be an Amazon prime subscriber, you do get a free monthly Twitch at twitchtv slash insights into things. If you happen to be an Amazon prime subscriber, you do get a free monthly Twitch prime subscription. We'd appreciate it If you threw that our way. It helps us keep the lights on here. You can find us on Facebook at facebookcom slash insights into things.

Speaker 3:

Podcast and Instagram at instagramcom slash insights into things or links to all those and more on our official website at wwwinsightsintothingscom, and you and don't forget to check out our other two podcasts insights and entertainment, typically hosted by you and mommy, and insights into tomorrow, typically hosted by you and my brother, sam and don't forget to check out our other affiliate podcast, hosted by Sam.

Speaker 2:

No Credits Rolled about video games that you love to play but never seem to finish. Yep, that's it, another one in the books. Bye, everyone, bye, thank you.

(Cont.) Insights Into Teens: Episode 189 "Technology Addiction"