What Is Digital Addiction & How To Get Help

Nowadays, we seem to rely on technology for everything. But if we’re not careful, device use, screentime, and internet use can become an addiction. If you think you may have digital addiction, TheHopeLine is here to help with resources and support.

What is Digital Addiction?

Digital addiction happens when you use digital devices compulsively. You can develop digital addiction as a result of using:

  • Internet browsers
  • Pornography sites
  • Smartphone apps
  • Tablets or computers
  • Video games

More than overuse or habitual use, digital addiction happens when you:

  • Can’t stop using your digital devices (or feel like you can’t)
  • Use digital devices instead of talking about or dealing with your problems or challenges
  • Feel withdrawal symptoms when you stop using or are told you can’t use the internet or your devices (irritability, anger, mood swings, jitters, etc,)
  • Hide your device use from others

If your behavior has changed significantly as a result of a lot of digital device use, or if you have seen negative effects on your relationships, it’s time to talk to someone about getting help for your digital addiction.

With more and more people using devices for hours a day, it’s important to have a realistic understanding of your risks for developing an addiction to digital devices.

Harmful Effects of Digital Addiction

If you are struggling with digital addiction, it can be tempting to think, “It’s just me and my computer (or my smartphone), so why is it a problem?”

But like any addictive behavior, digital addiction is a big claim on your time and attention. For every hour you spend scrolling social media, surfing the internet, or using smartphone apps, an hour is lost that could be spent in your work, your spiritual and emotional development, or with people you care about.

Think back to the last time you were with friends or family. Can you remember how much time you spent talking to them versus looking at your phone or computer screen?

Addiction to digital devices or internet use also has a negative impact on the mind and body. You might be experiencing:

  • Increased agitation and fidgeting
  • Shortened attention span
  • Feelings of loneliness or isolation
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Tension in your neck, back, and shoulders
  • Headaches, squinting, or worsening vision

If you’ve been noticing physical effects as a result of using digital devices, it’s a good time to take a breather.

What to Do About Digital Addiction

If you’re concerned, ask people you trust to give you honest feedback about your device use. If their answers upset you, it’s a good indication that you may need some additional guidance and support.  You can reach out to TheHopeLine mentors anytime for confidential digital addiction help, or:

  • See a physician or counselor
  • Meet up with an addiction support group
  • Spend unplugged time with friends and family
  • Reach out to a prayer partner, or someone in your faith community

In addition, spending time outdoors, finding a new hobby, or your favorite physical activities, can give you an outlet for emotional expression that your digital devices can’t fill.

We are here for you, and we believe anyone can find freedom and healing from digital addiction.

Want to learn more? Search our library of podcasts, ebooks, and other resources for answers to questions like:

  • How Do I Deal With Shame About My Addiction?
  • Does an Addiction Ever Go Away?
  • Will God Forgive Me for My Addictive Behavior?

Most Recent Blogs on Digital Addiction

Addiction Recovery: What to Do After a Relapse

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If you live with an addiction to substances like drugs and alcohol, or harmful behaviors like self-harm or pornography use, it feels terrible to relapse or slide back into those unhealthy patterns after you’ve started on the road to recovery. I’m here to tell you that addiction recovery is never..Read more

How to Break the Silence: I’m Afraid to Talk About My Addiction

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Most people know that struggling with an addiction is an uphill battle. But not too many people realize the trauma that comes with revealing that addiction to others. Breaking the silence may feel more difficult than the addiction itself, but talking about substance abuse is an important and necessary step..Read more

Addiction Recovery: Warning Signs of Addiction

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If you’re concerned about developing an addiction, or have a history of addiction in your family, it’s good to know the warning signs and get the guidance you need. I want to help by sharing some of the things I’ve learned and observed about addiction and recovery. You Are Not..Read more

Is Pornography Addiction Harming Your Relationship?

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I’ve talked to a lot of young couples about relationship issues, and pornography is coming up more and more. People feel trapped by it and don’t want to talk about it. But whenever they do open up, they begin to experience freedom. That freedom starts with understanding why porn use..Read more

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Pornography Addiction: Being a Muslim to Christianity

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Before I Became a Christian and Pornography Addiction My life before Jesus Christ is an interesting story. I was not brought up as a Christian. I used to be a Muslim.  When I was 9 years old, my family moved from Iran where I was born and raised and came..Read more

Resources for Digital Addiction :

Spiritual Perspective :

Free eBooks

ebook-resources

Free eBook: Understanding a Relationship with God

A guide to understanding the basics of Christianity and a meaningful relationship with God.  Do You Feel Like Life is Meaningless? Are you wondering what your purpose is? Do you have questions about what Christians believe or what it means to be a Christian? At TheHopeLine we believe real and lasting HOPE can only come […]

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Additional Resources

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