ReSTART center is treating Internet addiction as a disorder due to similarities in brain function with drug and alcohol addictions.

Soure: The Huffington Post
The reSTART Center for Digital Technology Sustainability explains that the ping of a cell phone for a new text message, or the notification icon on a Facebook page can illicit a release of dopamine. This neurochemical reaction indicative of addictive behavior can arise quickly in children due to consistent and early exposure to these technology related cues which serve as dopamine triggers.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter released in our brain that is linked to the pleasure and reward centers. However, when closely linked to very specific actions or behaviors, dopamine can be the key to unhealthy addictions such as those of alcohol, drugs, gambling, or even social media/internet.

Once the person begins to link the "pleasure" feeling from dopamine to certain actions or behaviors their body can begin a detrimental cycle of dopamine stimulation and deprivation.

This issue is even more pressing with children and teens as a study concluded many participants felt fidgety, uncomfortable, and desperate when they were subjected to 24 hours without their devices. One participant states, "Media is my drug; without it I was lost. I am an addict."

Reviews of a variety of research also showed that children and teens addicted to the internet were more likely to develop depression, ADHD, OCD, violent behavior, and anxiety. The reSTART center is dedicated to treating internet addicts in an effort to diminish these lasting effects.

This article demonstrates the changes our body can undergo when social media and our devices become our link to feeling happy. I believe that children should have limited access to the internet and social media not just because of addictive behaviors but also due to some of their behavior on the internet.

For example, children and teens are more likely to share personal information because they do not comprehend the consequences. I believe that with more limited and age-appropriate access these addictions can be avoided. However, the responsibility falls on the parents to not only supervise but also educate their children/teens about safe internet/media use.

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