In the past seven years or so, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in teens and emerging adults with unhealthy relationships with their electronics. They’re relying on their cell phone, the internet and social media, or video/computer games in a concerning way. In such a technology-driven world, it can be difficult to know if the behavior is normative or a legitimate cause for concern… Could it really be an electronics addiction?
How do you know if your child has a problem?
Below are some characteristics of someone with an unhealthy or “addictive” relationship with their electronics. Think about your child’s cell phone, internet, and/or video/computer game usage as you read through the list. If you see your child’s behavior reflected in 3 or more of these statements, then there may be cause for concern and a need to seek out assistance for your child.
- Using electronics for longer than originally intended.
- Wanting to cut down or stop using electronics but not managing to.
- Cravings and urges to use electronics.
- Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of electronics usage.
- Continuing to overuse electronics, even when it causes problems in relationships.
- Giving up or missing out on important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of electronics usage.
- Continuing to overuse, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by electronics usage.
- Feeling the need to increase electronics usage to get the effect you want.
- Extreme irritability, sadness, or anger and/or preoccupation with the next opportunity to use electronics when forced to abstain from usage, even if only for a short period of time.
- Lying to others about electronics usage or hiding usage from others.
Does your teen or emerging adult have an electronics addiction? Contact Dr. Crystal I. Lee for a free 20 minute consultation to see how she can help.