Purpose of Review
Modern methods of communication and engagement, such as social media, video games, and online shopping, use a variety of behavioral techniques to encourage and reward frequent use, opening the door to addiction. The technological addictions (TAs) are a set of disorders that accompany the technological advances that define the digital age. The TAs are an active source of research in the literature, with promising treatment options already available.
There are promising therapeutic and psychopharmacologic treatments for a broad range of TAs. Stimulants, antidepressants, and cognitive therapies may all be effective for internet gaming disorder (IGD). Cognitive therapies may be effective for other TAs, such as social media addiction (SMA), online shopping addiction (OSA), and online porn addiction.
Society’s dependence on addictive technologies will only increase. Many of the TAs can be addressed with medication and therapy, with more research and literature developing at a rapid pace.
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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Psychiatry in the Digital Age
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Sherer, J., Levounis, P. Technological Addictions. Curr Psychiatry Rep 24, 399–406 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-022-01351-2
- Technological addictions (TAs) – behavioral addictions that result from overutilization of modern technologies, many of which are necessary parts of everyday life today
- Internet gaming disorder (IGD) – persistent overuse videogames leading to clinically significant impairment or distress played alone or with others online
- Social media addiction (SMA) – preoccupation with social media, evidenced by irresistible urges to use and increasing time spent using online platforms, resulting in impairment or distress
- Online shopping addiction (OSA) – problematic shopping behavior via the internet that may be excessive, compulsive, and that causes economic, social, and emotional consequences
- Internet addiction (IA) – an antiquated term which referred to addiction to the internet broadly speaking. It has largely been replaced with more specific terms
- Cybersex – online sexual activity, experienced alone or with others, that may involve technologies such as apps, webcams, or virtual reality that is not necessarily indicative of a disorder