'They can’t help it': Australians struggle with technology 'addiction'

A growing number of Australians are checking their screens from the moment they wake and every 12 minutes throughout the day – and they’re not happy about it.

The Korn Group’s Switching Off survey found Australians readily admit to over-dependence on technology and are concerned about the incursion of screens into their daily lives.

“Checking their screen is the first thing they do in the morning and the last thing they do at night,” the survey said. “They can’t help it. Their device is always with them.”

The survey found that Australians were uncomfortable about their use of technology, which they “rationalised as necessary but [had] little control over own use”.

Joshua Rosenthal, the senior counsellor at The Cabin, an outpatient addiction treatment clinic in Sydney, usually deals with severe cases.

In one case, he met parents in despair because their teenage son’s compulsive playing of computer games had reached a point where he had dropped out of university, no longer socialised and would miss meals.

The teen threatened to harm himself after his parents cut off the internet at home in an effort to deal with his technology addition, according to “He just went berserk,” Mr Rosenthal said. “He was threatening them: ‘If you don’t do this, I’m going to harm myself’.”

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