The term “technology addiction” brings 54,700 hits on Google, with “internet addiction” coming in at 1,370,000. These phrases – but specifically as related to use of technology and the internet – are now becoming part of the public consciousness, and are used regularly in the popular press, in magazines and of course within the internet itself. It would certainly seem that there is no shortage of both information and opinion.
This essay sets out to examine something of the changing use of those terms themselves, and how they are deciphered by those who see them. My investigation covers a mix of academic texts, the popular press, podcasts, TV, radio, and on-line sources, and as I retrieved information I examined how the word addiction was used in relation to technology and the internet.
I have looked at the common themes they bring to describing the human situations to which they apply, discussed whether this is a new phenomenon, and at how attitudes and opinions have changed and developed along with those technologies to which they relate.