Image by Catalin Pop

Nature is calling....

"Which side of the screen do you wish to live on?"

Are you suffering from Media Addiction?
  • Do you stay online, play video games, or watch TV longer than originally intended?

  • Do you use media as a way of escaping from problems or to relieve your feelings of loneliness, guilt, anxiety, depression, helplessness, boredom, etc.?

  • Has the overuse of media jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational, career opportunity, or kept you from fulfilling your life goals?

  • Have you made sincere efforts to control, cut back, or stop your use of media but have been unsuccessful?

  • Are you preoccupied with social media, constantly needing to check your status?

  • Do you need to use the Internet, watch TV or play video games with increased amounts of time to gain satisfaction?

  • Do you find you are restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to control media use?

  • Have you ever lied to family members, therapists, or others to conceal your involvement with media programs?

  • Do you avoid being in nature and prefer to stay indoors alone with your media.

  • Do you prefer to live in a fantasy world of film or TV rather than face the real world?

  • Do you avoid picking up the phone or taking care of loved ones when you are on your electronic media? Do you sometimes get impatient when someone interrupts your programs?

  • Are you always trying to look good on-line, compete with other's on social media or feel jealous of others or hurt if people don't respond to your posts the way you want them to? Do these preoccupations affect your ability to show up in your job and close relationships?

  • Do you feel you don't have enough time for important things in your live? Do you put off home chores, personal care, and taking care of business while still finding time to focus on your electronic media?

  • Do you tend to neglect healthy intellectual stimulation because your mind is so focused on passive media consumption?

  • Do you plan to use electronic media to further your businesses, goals, or visions and yet end up distracted from your target by it? Do you end up having even less time to focus on these things?

  • Do you believe it is necessary to spend time with your electronic media in order to relax? Is electronic media your main source of recreation?

  • Are you getting adequate rest or do you stay up late on electronic media?

  • Does your sleep becomes disrupted from late night media activity?



What are the Symptoms of Media Addiction?


Signs and symptoms of media addiction may present themselves in both physical and emotional manifestations. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Inability to prioritize or keep schedules

  • Procrastination

  • Isolation

  • Avoidance of work

  • No sense of time and chronic lateness

  • Boredom with routine tasks

  • Loneliness

  • Feelings of euphoria when using electronic media

  • Depression

  • Dishonesty

  • Feelings of guilt or shame from how much electronic media you are using

  • Anxiety

  • Defensiveness

  • Agitation

  • Mood swings

  • Fear

  • Binge watching

  • Overeating while watching or being on electronic media

  • Weight gain or loss

  • Poor nutrition (failing to eat or eating excessively to avoid being away from your             media).

  • Backache

  • Neck pain

  • Headaches

  • Disturbances in sleep

  • Insomnia

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

  • Blurred or strained visions

  • Dry eyes and other vision problems

  • Poor personal hygiene (e.g., not bathing to stay online)
     

 

What Causes Media Addiction?

Whenever Media addicts feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, lonely, bored, or anxious, they use  their electronic media to seek solace and escape. Certain people are predisposed to having media addiction, such as those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Their lack of emotional support means they turn to electronic media to fill this need. There are also those who have a history of other types of addiction, such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food, shopping, and gambling. Even being stressed and unhappy can contribute greatly to the development of an electronic media addiction.


 

Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of a Media Addiction

The short-term effects of electronic media addiction include unfinished tasks, forgotten responsibilities, weight gain and general lethargy.

Long-term effects create more physical symptoms such as backache, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and vision problems from staring at the screen. Media addiction also lead to under earning, debting, and bankruptcy, especially if the time spent online is focused on shopping, gambling and gaming. It can also cause social withdrawal, feeling more at ease interacting with people online rather than in person. Media addiction, especially if someone is addicted to porn or adult sites can cause relationship break-ups and loneliness.

Over all the cost of Media Addiction is not unlike the cost of any addiction. A life of loneliness, loss of self-esteem, loss of the ability to self-actualize, and loss of authentic human connection.

MEDIA ADDICTION SELF- ASSESSMENT

Are you a media addict? Here is a list of questions that relate to life experiences common among people who show signs of addiction to electronic media:

1. When using any electronic media do you find that you lose track of time and feel surprised when you realize how much time went by without being aware of it.

2. Have you ever felt ashamed of or tried to hide how much time you spend on your electronic media devices?

3. Have you tried to spend less time using your electronic media devices but found it you couldn't quit indulging in its overuse?

4. Do you find yourself wondering about things on the internet when you are not able to use your electronic media?

5. Are you trying to fall asleep while browsing or watching something on your electronic media or TV?

6. Do you wake up in the middle of the night to check your electronic media devices?

7. Do you believe you cannot fall asleep without the aid of watching something or listening to something on your electronic media?

8. Do you find yourself frustrated and/or upset when others seek your attention while you are on your electronic media?

9. Do you isolate and want to be left alone with your electronic media programs.

10. Have you experienced issues related to sore fingers/thumbs, eye strain, numbness of extremities, headaches or other physical complications from long periods of electronic media use?

11. Has anyone in your personal life expressed concerns about the amount of time you spend on the internet?

12. Do you find yourself using electronic media in situations where it might be inappropriate or even dangerous? For example, while driving, at school during class, while at work despite rules against it, during a ceremony (funeral/wedding/church service), at a theater during a concert/play/movie, etc.


 

How did you score? If you said "yes" to five or more of these compulsive behaviors, you may be a media addict.

Image by Dan Meyers