Plugged-In, Can’t Log-Out: Technology Addiction

As the world becomes more digitally connected, technology addiction continues to become a real issue, especially among teens. Just last year, Pew Research Center released a report of its findings on teen technology usage. Research concluded that 92 percent of teens use the internet daily, which includes 24 percent that say they are online virtually constantly.

technology addiction

Photo credit: flickr user – David Vespoli

Is technology addiction really an addiction?

Let’s look at the definition of addiction. From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, addiction is “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble).” From this definition, yes, technology addiction is very real. An example of this would be texting and driving; the need to check your phone is overwhelming your knowledge that it’s dangerous to do it and drive at the same time.
Though it is still being debated on whether to add “Internet/Technology Addiction” to DSM-V, the glaring symptoms don’t go away on their own. Teens are struggling, even if it’s not official, and it has something to do with overusing technology.

What a parent can do

Create No-Tech Zones: This could start off as something as simple as no technology during dinner. Then bump it up to no technology in the car. Just use good judgement. Don’t go overboard and try to make everywhere a tech-free zone, just start off small and move from there.
Talk to Your Teen: Try to engage your teen. Ask how they’re doing, what they’re interested in, and how they’re feeling. Try to be casual about it, not overbearing. Getting them talking is time that they’re not focused on their devices.
Be a Role Model: If you tell your teen their phone too much and then you spend a ton of time on your phone in front of them, what does it make them think? Hypocrite. In order to really drive home that they shouldn’t be so obsessed with their technology is practicing what you preach.

Trails Carolina is here to help

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. We strive to help our students through issues such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, technology addiction, and much more.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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