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Tech Addiction May Be Changing Our Brains (for Better or Worse)

Tech Addiction May Be Changing Our Brains (for Better or Worse)

People are more connected now than at any other time in human history. With so much access to information and other people, it seems like we should feel more connected, not more isolated. Otherwise, what is the point of all the tablets, phones, and things which keep us connected all day, everyday? Tech addiction has increased the more objects we have to help us stay connected. Find out how it may be changing our brains and what it means for us in the future.


Email, apps, and social media are means of distraction and interruption in the digital age. Physically, we are as present as ever. We still have feet to walk, ears to hear, and eyes to see. Yet we spend less time actually connecting face-to-face with people, and more time with social media and the internet. Tech users have become so accustomed to interruptions that brains are being rewired for distraction. When our brains and bodies are bombarded by all this technology, we become wired to stay focused for less time and hardwired for distraction. It becomes harder to read real books, focus for longer periods of time, not check devices every few minutes, or stop jumping from task to task even when we are trying to stay focused.

Not Good, Not Bad

Digital technology is relatively new, so there is little research comparatively to existing technologies. Reading books on a tablet is a new phenomenon, as is texting, using instant messaging apps on the phone, and more. We take for granted these are here in our lives but this was not always the case. We also tend to focus on the fact they are negative and bring more challenges than positive aspects into our lives. With any tool of human invention, digital technology can be used for good but has its pitfalls, too. A hammer can be used to create a home, or tear it down. The potential of people to use technology to tear others down is very real but it can be used to support and lift others up, as well.

Evolution of Technology

The beautiful part of technology is that it is ever evolving, shaping our culture and the way we interact with each other. For people in recovery from addiction, for instance, there are more ways than ever to stay connected to sober friends and communities. Tech addiction may be shaping the way we do things, but there are ways to combat it:

  • Lay down devices for a ‘quiet’ period every day (say, after 9 pm)
  • Get a flip phone without internet access
  • Only check social media on a laptop
  • Borrow books from the library rather than buy for digital reading
  • Make friend dates and social events part of your life rather than focusing on texting as a means of staying connected

There are many ways to combat the overuse of technology, but true addiction is harder to kick. It may take professional support to help you overcome technology addiction. Don’t be afraid to reach out and seek help if you think you are struggling with being able to connect with people without technology or devices.

Serenity is a place you can feel safe exploring addiction issues. If you are struggling with addiction and want to get clean and sober, we can help. Call us 24/7 at our toll-free number: 866-294-9401