Gadget addiction is a kind of behavioural addiction like gambling, shopping, food addiction unlike substance addiction like alcohol, cannabis, smoking behavioural addiction does not involve any harmful substance intake but it can cause serious physical and psychological consequences which can hamper an individual’s socio occupational functioning.


Gadget usage includes using mobiles, I pad, I pod, tablet, laptop, and television. A person is said to be addicted to gadgets when he /she has the following symptoms.


  • There is a progressive increase in the time and pattern of gadget use for recreational purposes.
  • There is inability to cut down on the time spent in gadget usage causing annoyance and criticism from the family and friends.
  • Feeling irritable and uncomfortable when the person has misplaced the phone, or there is no Wi-Fi connection or when the battery is about to die.
  • Inability to involve in other alternative pleasurable activities of natural reward such as social interaction, physical activity, other hobbies.

During the covid pandemic there has been an unavoidable necessity to give them gadgets with uninterrupted internet connection. Unsupervised gadget usage in children especially adolescents may lead to academic decline, irritability, acts of self-harm, depression, anxiety in the long run. Treatment of gadget addiction in children and adults requires continuous motivation, monitoring, self-assessment of the gadget usage, insight in to ones pattern of gadget usage to facilitate gradual digital detox. Parents who are working can use parental apps to control the time of gadget use by the kids and to monitor for any inappropriate content. Professional help is required by many individuals with gadget addiction when there is a failure in using various techniques to cut down on gadget use which could be an expression of underlying depression, anxiety disorder, relationship problems and poor job satisfaction.


Like substance addiction gadget addiction should be identified at the right moment and effective intervention should be designed to avoid serious physical, psychological and social consequences.


Dr. Vidhya Mohandoss is a Psychiatrist
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