The Dangers of Internet Addiction Disorder

Adriana Lucero, Junior Reporter

When you walk down the street, into a high school, or in a café what’s the first thing you
notice? Is it the smiling faces of those who walk by or the bright screens that they are looking
down at? A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that 78% of Americans aged 12
to 17 have cell phones, and a study by King University shows that 50% of teens admit “cell phone addiction”. Teens all across the country use their technology for school work and keeping up with friends, but using technology also has a cost.

According to Talbott Recovery, the risk factors for Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) include the following:

  • Suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health or mood disorders
  • Feeling lonely
  • Not having enough social interaction or support
  • Already struggling with other addictions (gambling, alcohol, drug, sex)
  • A change that limits social activity or mobility such as moving, job loss, disability or having a baby
  • High levels of stress

“[Using my phone] definitely causes me to get less sleep. I guess I just don’t want to go to bed
even though I’m tired and I’ll just be scrolling through Instagram or something and then I’ll just snap out of it and be like ‘okay I actually need to go to sleep now,’” said Sam Richardson (10).

The overuse of technology may ruin some relationships between friends and family. “[Technology] could [ruin some relationships] just because of misinterpretation. I don’t believe it has ruined any of my relationships personally,” said Stuart Myers (9). “[Technology] can be both useful and really distracting.”

Of course, there are ways to prevent IAD. Here are some things that may help prevent it according to the Readers Digest:

  • Choose outdoor activities instead of technology: ride a bike, take a walk, work out, hike, or
    some kind of healthy physical activities.
  • Rearrange the family furniture: design your family room or your own, move things around, clean out your cabinets.
  • Limit your social media use: log off, answer questions, write in a journal, draw, color, do your homework, or read.
  • Set aside reading time; make a routine of reading at least once a day.
  • Create projects for yourself: label cabinets or spices you have.

“Once you get home if you just put it down for a while do your chores, eat some food,
chill out, maybe read a book or something, you don’t always need to be on your phone,” said
Richardson. “ You just have to know when to put it down.”