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Smartphones, tablets, or the Internet can be addictive because their use, just like the use of drugs and alcohol, can trigger the release of the brain chemical dopamine and alter mood.

And just like using drugs and alcohol, you can rapidly build up tolerance so that it takes more and more time in front of these screens to derive the same pleasurable reward.

While a smartphone, tablet, or computer can be a hugely productive tool, compulsive use of these devices can interfere with your daily life, work, and relationships.

When you spend more time on social media or playing games than you do interacting with real people, or you can’t stop yourself from repeatedly checking texts, emails, news feeds, websites, or apps—even when it has negative consequences in your life—it may be time to reassess your technology use.

Smartphone or Internet addiction can also negatively impact your life by: Increasing loneliness and depression.

While it may seem that losing yourself online will temporarily make feelings such as loneliness, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air, it can actually make you feel even worse.

While gambling addiction has been a well-documented problem for years, the availability of Internet gambling has made gambling far more accessible.While you can experience these impulse-control problems with a laptop or even desktop computer, the size and convenience of smartphones and tablets means that we can take them just about anywhere and gratify our compulsions.In fact, studies suggest that most of us are rarely ever more than five feet from our smartphones.A 2014 study found a correlation between high social media usage and depression and anxiety.Users, especially teens, tend to compare themselves unfavorably with their peers on social media, promoting feelings of loneliness and depression. One researcher found that the mere presence of a phone in a work place tends to make people more anxious and perform poorly on given tasks.

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