How to tell if you're a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

Asia's Tech News Daily

How to tell if you’re a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

A lot of people spend most of their spare time in digital worlds, and studies show that increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some find it hard to tear themselves away from gaming, streaming, social media or chatting. But when can you say someone’s addicted to digital devices, media or platforms, how does someone become an addict?

“It’s really serious if you neglect other areas of your life, such as your friends, family, hobbies, and at some point personal hygiene too,” says Martina Haas, a psychologist specialising in media and online addiction.

These people are so occupied with digital devices that they hardly eat, sleep or shower. Although they’re aware that their behaviour has adverse consequences, they can’t stop, she says.

How to tell if you’re a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

People are spending much of their spare time in digital worlds, and studies show that increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: AFP

“What’s more, they keep increasing the ‘dose’ and experience withdrawal symptoms if they try to stay offline.”

They don’t like to talk about it and feel guilty towards their family, Haas adds, and some immerse themselves even deeper into virtual worlds to escape the stress.

Women and girls suffering from digital addition tend to spend their time on social media, and males on electronic games, according to Haas.

What addicts have in common is a craving for something they’re missing in their life, she says.

“If you find you can’t break free, you’re usually looking for something you lack in the real world.”

How to tell if you’re a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

Smartphones collected from students are placed in a plastic basket during a class at Chilbo junior school in Suwon, South Korea. Photo: AP

Media educator Kristin Langer says it’s not surprising that many people are spending considerably more time with digital devices during the pandemic than is normally advisable.

“Immersing yourself in a digital world can give you moments of happiness and feelings of achievement, but experiencing them exclusively in digital worlds isn’t sustainable in the long term,” says Langer.

The ability to regulate yourself develops gradually with your personality, she explains. “The process takes time and isn’t yet complete in some adults.”

As a general rule, it’s important not to develop a dependency in childhood, says addiction therapist Niels Pruin, since it often remains for life.

The loo is a place you withdraw to and aren’t disturbed. No one wants anything from you there, and you associate this with reaching for your smartphone

Niels Pruin, addiction therapist

“The earlier a child’s problematic media use begins, and the longer the behaviour lasts, the harder it will be to kick the habit in adulthood,” he points out.

Pruin says the people who come to him for digital addiction counselling are often young men who have withdrawn from society and find it very difficult to establish social contacts.

“They’ve lost the ability and are extremely dissatisfied with themselves. Many are afraid they can’t make the grade in real life any longer,” he says.

People suffering from digital addiction frequently have accompanying conditions such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders or social phobias, according to Pruin.

How to tell if you’re a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

It’s important not to develop a dependency on digital devices in childhood. Photo: Shutterstock

“It’s not just a matter of digital media consumption for its own sake. Rather, they’re often trying to compensate for other deficits with their problematic consumption,” Pruin says.

To determine whether you might be addicted to digital media, you should try to dial down your problematic consumption. “If you think you can stop at any time, then do it. And if you realise you can’t, you should seek professional help,” he advises.

Pruin offers a few tips to people who may not be addicted but who heavily consume digital media, for instance with their smartphone.

“If you want to game less with your smartphone, it helps to make it as unattractive as possible, for example with an irritating ringtone, embarrassing wallpaper or very complicated access code.”

How to tell if you’re a digital addict, why your addiction could be hiding a deeper problem, and ways to wean yourself off devices

The earlier a child’s problematic media use begins, the harder it will be to kick the habit in adulthood. Photo: Shutterstock

You could also make the dining and bedside tables smartphone-free zones, and not take the device with you into the bathroom.

“The loo is a place you withdraw to and aren’t disturbed. No one wants anything from you there, and you associate this with reaching for your smartphone,” Pruin says. “It’s classical conditioning in your brain – addiction conditioning. And you’ve got to decondition yourself.”

There are many things you can do to prevent digital addiction, Pruin says. Sporting or creative activities in your leisure time, a basic interest in people, and a circle of friends play key roles.

Being able to bear boredom is also very important, says Pruin. “It’s a really big problem: many people don’t know how to deal with an unpleasant feeling such as boredom because they’ve never learned how.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Omicron variant spread leads to tighter restrictions in Britain

Scientists at the U.K. Health Security Agency said they expected the omicron variant to become the dominant strain in Britain in the next two to four weeks. Read more »

‘Some days I couldn't get out of bed… he would just hold me', Lisa Snowdon on how fiance helped her through menopause

LISA SNOWDON can count George Clooney among her high-profile romances – but it’s a George from Yorkshire rather than Hollywood who has her heart now. The TV presenter could not ... Read more »

Senate aims to reject Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses

WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to approve a resolution Wednesday overturning the Biden administration’s requirement that businesses with 100 or more workers have their employees be vaccinated against the ... Read more »

How to say no to alcohol this holiday season: five expert tips to keep you on the wagon or limit your drinking

For people trying to stay sober, or limit their intake of alcohol, the holiday season can be a difficult time. Benjamin Miller, a clinical psychologist and president of Oakland, California-based ... Read more »

'Our best defense': Pfizer says third dose of its COVID vaccine protects against omicron

A third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appears to be as effective against omicron as two doses were against the original variant, according to preliminary data from BioNTech. The ... Read more »

This dermatologist-approved moisturizer has more than 5,000 reviews — and it's on sale for $11

Looking for more gift guides and holiday tips? Sign up for Yahoo Lifestyle Canada’s newsletter! Winter weather can be tough on the skin. Neutrogena’s top-rated moisturizer helps keep your skin ... Read more »

Work from home again: UK tightens rules amid omicron spread

The Associated PressBritain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks at a press conference in London’s Downing Street, Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021, after ministers met to consider imposing new restrictions in response ... Read more »

Tenn medical board takes virus misinformation policy offline

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s medical licensing board has voted to remove from its website its recently adopted policy against the spread of coronavirus misinformation by doctors, acting under pressure from ... Read more »

WHO: Omicron could spread faster but it's still not certain

The Associated PressCommuters wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19 ride a escalator at La Defense business district in Paris, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. The new potentially more contagious omicron ... Read more »

'This is the coziest fleece I have ever purchased': Lululemon shoppers can't get enough of this $178 jacket

Want more winter fashion, shopper-approved buys and the hottest trends? Sign up for Yahoo Lifestyle Canada’s newsletter! Lululemon shoppers are obsessed with this ultra-cozy Cinchable Fleece Zip-Up (Photos via Lululemon) ... Read more »

NHS hits 100million vaccine mark on anniversary of when roll-out began as grandmother who became first in world to get inoculated urges sceptics to come forward

NHS England said the booster program has prevented nearly 130,000 deaths Some 118.6million vaccines have been dished out across the UK in total Maggie Keenan, 91, says she 'felt great' after getting her flu and booster jabs Read more »

Brits to get ‘game changing' new Covid drug at home next week in fight against Omicron

VULNERABLE Brits will get Covid-busting drugs at home from next week under radical plans to slash hospitalisations. Over 50s and high-risk adults will be offered antiviral treatments shortly after testing ... Read more »

Here are 11 of the best Edinburgh bars you should visit and why

© Here are 11 bars you should visit in Edinburgh The Capital has a dazzling selection of unique and interesting bars to choose from. Whether you’re after a glamorous speakeasy ... Read more »

Deliveroo and itsu to give Samantha's free sushi to mark return of Sex And The City

Sex And The City fans, it’s almost time for ‘And Just Like That’ to hit our screens – and to celebrate, Deliveroo has teamed up with itsu to give Samantha’s ... Read more »

Here's why you probably need a THIRD vaccine to protect against Omicron

© Provided by The South African We’re fully aware that it’s difficult enough to get the vaccine-hesitant to have one COVID-19 jab, let alone three. But the data reaching us ... Read more »

World's largest lab-grown steak unveiled by Israeli firm

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters The largest lab-grown steak yet produced has been unveiled by Israeli company MeaTech 3D, weighing in at nearly 4oz (110 grams). The ... Read more »

L'Escargot Bleu shares pictures of its cosy new Edinburgh wine bar, complete with wood-burning stove and private drinking nooks

They’ve created a chic wine bar in a previously unused space © L’Escargot Bleu’s bar One of Edinburgh’s most loved French restaurants, L’Escargot Bleu, has added to its offering with ... Read more »

COVID cases spike even as US reaches vaccine milestone

The Associated PressPeople wait in line outside a COVID-19 walk-in testing site, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Even as the U.S. reaches ... Read more »

SAHPRA approves Pfizer booster shots for adults, immunocompromised children

© Provided by The South African The South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) announced the approval of a third dose – or booster shot – of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine ... Read more »

Everyone Will Be Fighting Over The Last Bite Of This 10-Minute Garlic-Sesame Sautéed Spinach

© Joel Goldberg This easy sautéed spinach recipe is our take on the classic Korean banchan (aka side dish) sigeumchi namul, which is typically made using blanched spinach. This easy ... Read more »

Don't fancy cooking? Try these five takeaway apps

© Provided by Pocket-lint Don T Fancy Cooking Try These Five Takeaway Apps image 1 (Pocket-lint) – Cooking can be great fun and if you are trying to stay healthy ... Read more »

This Vegan French Onion Stew Tastes Impressively Close To The Real Thing

© Andrew Bui With complex flavour and toasts grilled with melty dairy-free cheese, this is just as good as the French classic. Finishing the cheese toasts right in the soup ... Read more »

This After Eight Viennetta Would Make The Perfect Alternative Christmas Dessert

With Christmas well and truly creeping up on us now, you may want to start making a shopping list of all the things you need to buy for the big ... Read more »

One-Tray Bibimbap Is Incredible And SO Simple

© LUCY SCHAEFFER You’ll love the sauce. In Korean, bibimbap literally means mixed rice. And you’ll often see it filled with all different types of meats, vegetables, and toppings. Though ... Read more »

This Creamy Polenta and Mushroom Recipe Is Like Comfort In A Bowl

© Emily Hlavac Green Make this showstopper with a custom blend of your favourite funghi. Make this showstopper with a custom blend of your favourite funghi! If wild mushrooms are ... Read more »

Chickpea Noodle Soup Is The Most Genius Meatless Spin On The Cosy Classic

© Erik Bernstein Whether you’re hungover, heartbroken, or just plain hangry, you can count on this homey soup to make it all a little better. Whether you’re hungover, heartbroken, or ... Read more »

Sweet Caramelised Turnips Are The Roasted Vegetable You Need For Every Meal

© PHOTO: ERIK BERNSTEIN; FOOD STYLING: MAKINZE GORE If you want sweet, tender, caramelised turnips, check out this recipe for roasted turnips! Turnips, much like radishes and parsnips, turn irresistibly ... Read more »

This Vegetarian Paella Is Loaded With All Your Favourite Flavours

© Emily Hlavac Green This veggie-packed paella comes together in under an hour, and, even better, most of the cooking happens in the oven. This veggie-packed paella comes together in ... Read more »

Gino D'Acampo snaps at Holly Willoughby in awkward This Morning moment

© Provided by Hello! holly-willoughby-this-morning-gino Gino D’Acampo snapped at Holly Willoughby during a cooking segment on This Morning on Wednesday.  MORE: Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby reference Piers Morgan’s GMB walk ... Read more »

Perfectly Roasted Parsnips Complete Any Meal

© Parker Feierbach Roasted Parsnips from is unbeatably easy. Looking for a simple side dish to make with your Tuscan Butter Salmon or Caprese Chicken? Parsnips are your answer. ... Read more »

The 10 most-searched for foods on Google this year

© Provided by The Independent Our relationship with food has changed dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic – namely, we’re cooking at home more than ever before. Earlier this ... Read more »

With Roe in jeopardy, California makes plans to become abortion sanctuary; may pay for out-of-state women's procedures

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With Roe in jeopardy, California makes plans to become abortion sanctuary; may pay for out-of-state women’s procedures. Read more »

California plans to be abortion sanctuary if Roe overturned

The Associated PressFILE – People rally in support of abortion rights at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., May 21, 2019. On Wednesday Dec. 8, 2021, a group of abortion ... Read more »

Less stigma, more talking: Everything you need to know about menopause – from itchy skin and no sex drive to cold flushes, rage, and more...

After centuries of women suffering in silence, it feels like everyone’s suddenly talking about the menopause. Finally, the stigma of talking about symptoms such as hormonal rages and fluctuating sex ... Read more »

$56K Alzheimer's drug avoiding Biden's cost curbs, for now

The Associated PressFILE – The Biogen Inc., headquarters is shown March 11, 2020, in Cambridge, Mass. A new $56,000-a-year Alzheimer’s medication that’s leading to one of the biggest increases ever ... Read more »

‘Stealth' version of Omicron detected that might be harder to track, scientists say

SCIENTISTS think they have found a “stealth” version of Omicron that might be harder to track. It is thought a “sister” version has developed alongside the Covid variant threatening to ... Read more »

6 ways you may be causing yourself brain damage – including spending Friday evenings alone

THE brain is arguably our most important organ. Yet many of us are guilty of daily habits that slowly harm the brain over the years. Are you feeling lonely? It's ... Read more »

Alibaba gives fallen star a fresh start to redeem himself, with mission to win hundreds of millions of new consumers overseas

Alibaba Group Holding has designated Jiang Fan, the retail wunderkind who fell from grace because of a public scandal, to head its overseas e-commerce operations and engage a vast market ... Read more »

What your pansexual friend wishes you knew: 'It's a very fluid thing'

Several big name celebrities have come out as pansexual in recent years, including JoJo Siwa, Bella Thorne, Janelle Monáe and Miley Cyrus. But misconceptions abound regarding what may be one ... Read more »

UK Omicron cases surge by 30% as Boris Johnson prepares to bring in Plan B

CASES of new variant Omicron have surged by 30 per cent in a day as the Prime Minister prepares to bring in more Covid restrictions. There are currently 568 cases ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic