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Internet Addiction Can Lead to Decline in Mental Health

Formerly an economics and humanities student at UCLA, Oe Kaori is now an intern for the United Nations.


Our internet addiction maybe driving us into insanity. According to a new study published in Nature Neuroscience, the modern-day internet user has more chances of suffering from internet addiction than drug or alcohol addicts.

It has been found that excessive use of internet also leads to the formation of abnormal brain pathways and damages the brain connectivity of users. According to the authors of the study, this is the first study to determine whether there is a “social-conditioned” internet addiction.

So, basically the research found that users’ brain gets hooked into a dopamine reward system, which further damages the connectivity of different brain regions, leading to a sense of dissatisfaction and inability to relax in order to sleep. These results could have a serious impact on some teenagers, who spend a large amount of their time on the internet.

According to the study, 22 percent of teenagers spend more than seven hours on their devices daily. Experts suggest that parents and teachers should guide the young ones to reduce the time they spend on the internet.

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The Dilemma with Tech and Silicon Valley

Internet addiction is ruining mental health. Tech leaders are embracing it The Silicon Valley isn’t just in a debate about whether the technologies it builds are harming our souls; it’s also grappling with the fact that for a good number of its workers, addiction might be harder to cure than smoking or binge-eating. Leading figures in tech are now saying that the way in which tech companies are developing products can have harmful mental and emotional impacts on its employees. In addition to speaking out about the addictive nature of smartphones and other internet-connected devices, several tech leaders have said that tech addiction is now affecting our health.

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tweeted that she believes tech addiction is a “growing health crisis.” She called on other tech leaders to speak out about it. “I recognize now that I was part of the problem. … Let’s solve it together,” she wrote. I recognize now that I was part of the problem. I’ve truly felt regret and responsibility for not recognizing the issue. I feel deep responsibility to ensure we don’t leave more behind. It’s on us, our families and our society to find a better way.

November 7, 2018 In a series of tweets, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said, “We feel a responsibility to ensure people don’t feel lonely,” adding that it’s “incredibly important to us that Facebook isn’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being and for society overall.” Google said in a blog post that while tech addiction is “a complex issue” that “gets at the heart of some difficult questions,” it’s also important to remember that “much of the information in the media can be challenging to distinguish from fact.”

A number of social media users have responded to the Silicon Valley’s growing acceptance of the idea that tech addiction may have a serious negative impact on users. As BuzzFeed News writer Anne Helen Petersen tweeted: “What a time to be alive.” When you ask someone why tech and social media are so bad for you & they respond with a thought-provoking, insightful response, only to be dismissed as a “fringe” thing…

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Oe Kaori

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