What Educators Need to Know About Technology Addiction

Most of us have teens in our home. If you consistently examine their daily routine, you will see that they spend many hours on electronic gadgets texting, gaming, watching videos, and posting on multiple social networks--even at the time of doing their homework. I think it is sufficient to wonder: Are our students addicted to technology?

By looking around, it is very easy to see that how media and technology have changed our day-to-day lives comparing decades ago. We carry our electronic gadgets almost everywhere and depend on them for work, school, play, and our social lives. But what is the downside of this "always connected" lifestyle---especially for kids?

To get the answers of above questions in order to support a healthy digital lifestyle, the report by Technology Addiction: Concern, Controversy, and Finding Balance and the poll results of Devices: The Parent-Teen Dynamic are very important. These two describes about the feeling of using technology in their lives. These two can be act as  a springboard to talk with parents and students about the role media and technology play in their lives.

Below are the highlights from the poll:

  • Half of the teens and one quarter of parents feel accepted that they are addicted to their mobile devices.
  • More than three-quarters of parents and 41 percent of teens feel that they get distracted by a device and doesn't pay attention at the time of talking.
  • 72% of teens and 48 percent of parents feel the urge to immediately respond to texts, social-networking messages, and other notifications.
  • Despite conflicts, most of the parents feel that they are unable to modify the addicted behaviour of their teens and made no difference.

Findings from the white paper

·Most of them accept that addiction is potentially serious, but due to many disagreements like how it's measured, or whether it's just a manifestation of another disorder, such as depression or ADHD. However “Internet gaming disorder,” which involves excessive online gaming, may be included by the American Psychiatric Association in the next version of the DSM (the resource used to diagnose psychiatric disorders).

Multitasking may be harming our ability to stay focused. Multitasking can hurt your ability to get things done, slow you down, and make it harder to remember things that happened while you were multitasking. One study of laptop users in university classrooms found that students who multitasked on a laptop during a lecture performed worse on a test than students who were not multitasking. 

Due to the lack of particular research specifically with children, more better research are needed on how problematic media use is affecting children as they grow and how it affects learning in formal and informal environments.