Online gaming and social media addiction – and what we can do about it

Notifications on our laptops, tablets, and smartphones can be annoying and distracting; not just for us, but for the people around us too.

Look at any phone and you’ll find that there are numerous sounds for ringtones and notifications. But, as notifications mount up, it’s not hard for that cheerful ‘ping’ sound you once found fun to start becoming a source of stress and anxiety.

In this case, it might seem natural to limit time on smart devices to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Yet, it’s not always that easy – as the need to check in on that ‘ping sound’ can become addictive.

Many of us can’t help but look at each and every notification and feel we have to respond instantly; either due to fear of missing out, letting someone down, or more notifications building up. This can make it difficult to complete a task without getting distracted, and to become stressed by demands that people are making on your time.

If this sounds familiar, then The Guardian has an excellent article about notifications and how to cope with them that you might find helpful.

Outside of work and family life, social media and gaming are also adding many hours onto people’s screen time. Fear of missing out is relevant again here – as lots of people use social media to feel connected to the world, and can feel isolated and detached without it. Some people also do a lot of their socialising via games consoles, and will agree to meet friends online to play together.

Online gaming and social media are also used by many as a form of escapism. Hours can fly by while a person is scrolling through their news feed, or trying to beat their high score on a trending video game.

On the surface, things like gaming and social media usage might seem like harmless hobbies or like something that’s just become a normal part of modern life – and oftentimes this is true. But in some cases, internet overuse can lead to addiction and cause multiple problems, for example; relationship issues, gambling, and even financial difficulties.

The word ‘addiction’ can often be used lightly, but the NHS defines it as “not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you.”

To find out more about technology addiction, it’s worth having a read of this article from the BBC.

Author: wpadmin

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