The era of rampant smartphone use has ushered in a new wave of addictive behaviors. Nearly everyone has a smartphone, and most people understand the compulsion to constantly check their messages, scroll on social media, or find some way to entertain themselves with these devices. However, smartphone addiction is increasingly becoming a real problem. Many people are letting their cellular devices stand in the way of living healthier and more fulfilling lives.
If your teenage boy is struggling with addictive behaviors, reach out to the experts at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery by calling 866.300.5275. Our team can help determine whether treatment is appropriate for your child and help them find the road to recovery.
Defining Behavioral Addictions
When speaking of addiction, most people think of substance use disorders. But growing evidence has led to the burgeoning field of behavioral addictions research, which looks at specific sets of behaviors that have close parallels to drug addiction. Examples of behavioral addictions include:
- Smartphone addiction
- Internet addiction
- Video game addiction
- Gambling disorders
- Exercise addiction
Today, most behavioral addictions aren’t currently recognized as disorders by the American Psychiatric Association. However, the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual does acknowledge that behavioral addictions are a growing concern. As such, experts are simply waiting for more scientific evidence to come in to give a definitive classification.
Addiction to Smartphones
Of primary concern is smartphone addiction. Addiction to smartphones takes many forms, with some people checking their social media compulsively, others playing mobile games, and others participating in gambling. The common thread is that these behaviors are all conducted on a smartphone and can all stand in the way of living a better life.
Part of the problem is that their creators designed smartphone applications and operating systems to capture your attention. Mobile games, for example, have close parallels to the slot machines in Las Vegas and casinos around the country. They offer bright, flashing lights, satisfying noises, and the promise of rewards to come if you keep playing. All of these systems are intended to captivate, provide a sense of reward, and encourage users to come back over and over again.
The Consequences of Smartphone Addiction
The consequences of smartphone addiction can be incredibly severe. For example, people addicted to mobile games may spend thousands of dollars buying virtual currency to be used in-game, with no tangible reward in sight.
Mobile game developers specifically target their games to reward these players, who are called “whales” due to their incredibly large spending. Their goal is to keep them spending real money for digital rewards.
But mobile games aren’t the only way smartphone addiction can be harmful. People addicted to social media use may spend inordinate amounts of time on their phones, often to the detriment of more productive activities. They may spend more time scrolling Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook than focusing on work, school, or healthy activities.
Perhaps the most significant consequence of smartphone addiction is the loss of enjoyment in other activities. Smartphones can feel so rewarding that everyday activities lose their appeal. Many people would rather spend time glued to their phones than almost anything else. However, treatment can help.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Helps Adolescent Boys Recover
Smartphone addiction is just one of the several problems that adolescent boys face today. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery can help teenage boys recover from addictive behaviors and heal. If your child is struggling with an addiction, reach out to the experts at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery by calling 866.300.5275. Our team can guide you through your teen’s treatment options and set them on the road to recovery.