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Various aspects of technology— from smartphone usage to social media— are ingrained in daily routines, but how much social media and technology usage is too much? When does it move from utility and necessity to addictive?

Neuroscience and psychology professor James Koch said the growing influence of technology in the world has began to influence our daily lives.

“It has become such a part of our lives that people wake up and wonder where their phone is or if they got any any text messages,” Koch said. “Literally, the first thought of the day has to do with technology.”

While it has not officially been diagnosed as an addiction, Koch believes that technology can affect the body and has the possibility of becoming addicting.

“Even technology can essentially hijack our brain such that our pleasure sensors then respond to those areas and we find those thing reinforcing,” Koch said.

Koch said he believes a main issue with technology has been the declining ability to hold conversation without becoming distracted by technology.

“Our ability to hold prolonged conversations has started to go a little bit by the wayside,” Koch said. “We are so used to it being there that it has become almost the medium of social interaction rather than it being a sideline to social interaction.”

According to Koch, technology is a necessary part of people’s lives, but it needs to be used in moderation.

“If you’re not hooked up in some way, either through the Internet or through your phone, then you’re not really connected in the way a lot of people are,” Koch said.

“I think it’s a matter of gauging control and gauging exposure just like any kind of addiction.”

Professor Koch shares more on technology and addictions: