This type of addiction, which can be defined as “technology controlling people” and “unhealthy communication of the individual with digital technologies”, can lead to failure to fulfill responsibilities, deterioration of relationships due to too long use, and physiological or psychological harm.
While there is problematic use of technology at all ages, many people continue their lives without realizing that they are addicted.
YEDAM, which was established in 2015 to provide free psychosocial support to addicted individuals and their relatives, has held numerous interviews with more than 500 individuals on technology addiction, for which it has been providing face-to-face interview service since 2019.
Purposeful, functional, safe and healthy use is necessary to benefit from technology.
Green Crescent Deputy Chairman Dr. Mehmet Dinç told Anadolu Agency (AA) that technology addiction is largely caused by digital technologies connected to the internet because the internet has many different dimensions and this diversity causes people to be exposed to content for a long time and in such a way that they can be harmed, and waste time.
Pointing to the academic data, Dinç emphasized that what chemical addiction affects physiologically, psychologically and socially, how much harm it causes and what it costs, online games and gambling harm people.
Noting that the biggest problem in technology addiction is “perception”, Dinç stated that people do not seek treatment because they are not thought to be as harmful as chemical addictions.
Dr. Dinç talked about the points to be considered when using technology to benefit:
“Purpose use is very important. ‘Why am I in charge of the computer, telephone, internet or any application of digital technologies?’ It may include learning and having fun, but if we don’t draw a framework for it, we may have problems there. The other is functional use, that is, using it in a way that makes life easier. One is safe use. I must have a consciousness that will not be harmed by its use. Another is healthy use. In this period, especially in young people “We see a lot of physical problems appear. There are problems with posture, muscle-bone pain, weight-related problems. Adults have similar problems. Psychologically, exposure to content that is not suitable for their age and development, or triggering problems that they will experience psychological difficulties.”
Suggesting that adults should think about what they should do not only for children and young people, but also for themselves when “technology addiction” is mentioned, Dinç said, “Children largely share the culture of the society and they start to share this culture from their parents and the adults around them. Mom, dad, ‘How much do I use? How purposeful, functional, safe, healthy?’ He will evaluate it, and then he will start to worry about his child.” he said.
Emphasizing that it may take time for a technology addict to accept this, Dinç said that helping those around him would be beneficial, and said that helping should not be perceived as being stubborn, giving orders or forbidding, but as facilitating and enriching the life of the addicted person and showing him other ways.
Children should not be exposed to the screen between the ages of 0-2 in order not to harm their development.
Dr. Mehmet Dinç stated that the foundation taken in childhood and youth is more critical in the use of technology and its transformation into addiction, and made the following assessment on the age range at which children should be introduced to the screen:
“Drawing a framework and making arrangements during childhood and adolescence is an important contribution to saving his life. When a child comes to this world, he has great responsibilities. Throughout our whole life, the period in which development is fastest is between the ages of 0-2. Within 2 years, children’s colors, Learns people, shapes, speech, words, sounds, moving, lifting, lowering. The more the child comes into contact with life and learns from different channels using the 5 senses, the more healthy his mental and other developmental dimensions will develop. Just by looking at the screen, There are many examples of a child’s development being damaged if a one-dimensional reception is in question. It may be difficult for many people, but the ideal is that we should not expose our children to screens as much as possible, between the ages of 0-2 and even 0-3 years. Let them touch, smell, taste, lift, lower the soil, the furniture, the wood. The more they move on the horse, the more they gain real-life experience, the more beneficial it will be to their development.”
Noting that after this process, the use of screens will not harm children’s learning and development, Dinç noted that it is beneficial for parents to be aware of their children’s use of the internet and digital technology and to guide them so that they do not use technology in an unlimited, aimless and insecure manner.
“Pandemic is a difficult time multidimensionally”
Reminding that they provide rehabilitation support to people who are addicted and at risk of addiction at YEDAM, Dinç said the following regarding the applications made regarding technology addiction during the epidemic:
“Pandemic is a difficult period in terms of many dimensions. In this difficult period, people resorted to unhealthy ways when they could not find healthy psychological support. One of these unhealthy ways was the aimless, unmeasured and unlimited use of digital technologies. The number of people who suffer from this and want to get help from us is 2 “Digital technologies are a new thing for the whole world. The number of experts, the number of institutions providing services, and the structured and useful programs are very few. In this sense, people in Turkey are very advantageous because they are available free of charge to people from all over the country at 105 points anywhere in the world.” It is not possible for them to receive structured support from psychologists and social workers. In this sense, the Green Crescent has a great service.”
Green Crescent Deputy Chairman Dr. Mehmet Dinç said that 29 experts from 16 countries took part in the “5th International Congress on Technology Addiction”, which started online today and will end tomorrow.
Dr. Dinç added that participation in the congress, where various addictions such as gaming, gambling, pornography and social media, as well as the effects of Kovid-19 on technology addiction will be discussed, is free of charge.