Monday, April 17, 2017

New Research: Women Have an Increased Risk for Tech Addiction

Woman on her phone
According to new research from Binghamton University, women have an increased risk of developing a smartphone addiction.

In a paper recently published in Information Systems Journal, scientists interviewed 182 college students to better understand how often they use their smartphone throughout the day and also tracked their moods throughout the duration of the study.

Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor of management information systems at Binghamton University, and his team then classified the research participants into five different usage categories ranging from “Thoughtful” (lower usage) to “Addict” (higher usage).

Across the board, more frequent smartphone usage was correlated with negative outcomes such as having more problems at home and at work due to an excessive need to use it throughout the day. Those individuals also self-reported experiencing negative emotions such as social isolation and depression throughout the day.

In this survey, the correlation between high usage and negative outcomes was consistent for both men and women. But, researchers found that women were more likely to fall into the high-risk categories of “Fanatic” and “Addict”, which suggests that they have an increased risk of developing a smartphone addiction.

"Our smartphones have turned into a tool that provides short, quick, immediate satisfaction, which is very triggering," said Vaghefi. "Our neurons get fired and dopamine is being released, and over time this makes us acquire a desire for quick feedback and immediate satisfaction. This process also has contributed to developing shorter attention spans and being more and more prone to boredom."

"While self-identified 'addict' users were in the minority, I predict technology addiction will increase as technology continues to advance and application, game and gadget developers find new ways to ensure users’ long-term engagement with technology," said Vaghefi.

If you are working on your recovery, it’s important to take an inventory of your entire lifestyle, including how you use technology, to avoid developing unhealthy attachments. At Rising Roads Recovery, we can help you learn new life skills to set yourself up for success.

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