How to know if you are addicted to screens?

Losing control – like 70% of young people according to the Ipsos/Macif barometer who are interested in the addictions of young people aged 16/30 – is above all, lose track of time. An example: we play a computer game, we are totally caught up. Then we look at his watch and realize that we have been playing non-stop for 5 hours. This example is not too serious.

You have to start worrying when the loss of control starts either in impact on daily life (sleep little, forget to eat, miss school or work) either affect mental health (We don’t go out anymore, we get very nervous and irritable, even depressive). When you check several of these boxes, it’s time to consult an addiction specialist.

This survey refers to the generation of “Digital Natives”, who have always known the Internet and digital tools since 1995/2000. Then we are not just teenagers in front of game consoles. Everyone is represented as the average age of console gamers is around 40 years old and you find as many women as men.

But we know that abusing video games or mobile phones at night also leads to an unbalanced sleep pattern, concentration problems, fatigue… So less efficiency during the day. The latest technological innovations (smartphone games or virtual reality headsets) immerse you in a parallel world that isolates you from the real world. The development of the Metaverse will not help, as will the parallel digital worlds where you create an avatar and where you can evolve in a fully virtual universe.

This is a trend that will develop very strongly: Facebook, for example, has already invested 10 billion dollars in this universe this year and expects to have 1 billion users by 2030.

The confinements have aggravated the phenomenon

With the confinements, homeschooling and teleworking have been developed. You had 3% of the French working remotely. today you have 25% of employees who are telecommuting. It forces you to spend time in front of screens and creates new habits. Students or employees lose connection with their college or high school classmates. This detachment is much more difficult to grasp for people aged 25/40. Among employees, we lose attachment to the brand and the company.

We see in the United States that many employees refuse to return to the office. We call it “the great abandonment”, the great renunciation. In March, in America, 4.5 million employees have left their company because they didn’t want to go back to the office.

The catch with the digital world is that it doesn’t hurt productivity. Telecommuting has improved the productivity of French employees by 5-10%. But, you have a possible health problem for occupational medicine because with digital tools you can work at any time, at your own pace. The problem is that you also very quickly lose track of the rhythm of life, of sleep, and this can create long-term problems.

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