Although children, adolescents, and young adults tend to use more technology than older adults, people of any age can become addicted because everyone is susceptible to the dopamine euphoria that results from technology use.
Dopamine can cloud the judgment of the brain’s frontal lobe, with dangerous or even lethal results.
For instance, texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated; many states now have laws against even holding a cellphone while operating a vehicle.
Anything that has the potential to boost dopamine poses a risk for becoming habitual. And people’s dependence on technology varies according to the content of the technology use.
Some individuals get hooked on Internet dating; others can’t resist web shopping, pornography, online gambling, video gaming, or even email.
Some report using devices as a way to escape from uncomfortable feelings.
One of the most powerful appeals of new technology is the sense of control it brings; people can feel empowered by the instant gratification it provides.
With just a tap on the keyboard or the click of a mouse, we can control the pace of communication with others — or choose to not communicate at all.
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