Technology and Psychology Issues

Today’s breathtaking speed of tehnological change is dramatically altering people’s behavior. Research indicates technology is helping to produce new unintended psychological disorders. One such disorder, sometimes called internet addiction, is also coupled with smartphone usage marked by excessive and dysfunctional levels of texting, tweeting, networking, gaming, browsing, emailing, blogging, online shopping, dating and online pornographic use. More than one percent of all people are estimated to display this pattern, leadng many theorists to argue that it should be a bonafide category in the next DSM, similar to gaming disorder and gambling disorder.

Normalizing Risky Behaviors

The internet, along with social media and video cameras, has brought new exhibitionistic and voyeuristic features to certain kinds of abnormal behavior. A growing number of people for example, now use video websites such as YouTube to post videos of their self-cutting and other self-harming behaviors that had presumably been conducted in private before the existence of the internet.

The risk of these types of videos normalizing and promoting dangerous abnormal self-injury pushes the envelope. It fosters an online community in which self-injury behavior is acceptable, These are people who need professional help that isn’t being addressed. There is a risk of a triggering effect that can urge an individual who may have a history of cutting or someone with just a curiosity, to self-injure – to take the next step, causing serious damage, even death.

Young People Vulnerable

Additionally the number of children, teenagers, college students and young adults who network on numerous social media sites has grown parabolically. Today, more than three-quarters of all online teens and young people use social networking sites. The practice makes them vulnerable to people who wish to stalk or bully others, express sexual exhibitionism, pursue pedophilic desires or to satisfy other urges. The proof of this can be shown by the vast number of men arrested and prosecuted for their abnormal internet behavior.

Many people struggle with impulse-control problems. For example, internet gambling is readily available and all too inviting. In addition, violent games may contribute to the development of antisocial behavior. Research shows a link between violent gaming disorder and the onset of conduct disorders, anger and aggression issues.

There is also a question of identity crisis among young people who change their online identities and personalities as often as they change social media sites.

Fear of Social Exclusion

Many clinicians claim that social networking, constant texting, tweeting, etc., may help shorten attention spans and establish a foundation for future attention problems. (Richter, 2010) Other research suggests that social networking sites provide peer pressure that increases social anxiety in some adolescents. (Charles, 2011; Hampton et al, 2011) Social sites may cause some individuals to develop fears that others in their network will exclude or “unfriend” them. Similarly, there is concern that these sites may facilitate withdrawal of shy or socially anxious people from valuable and real face-to-face relationships.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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