Digital Detox for Digital Disorder: Avoiding the Side Effects of Technology

By DD Mishra

April 15, 2016

Original Article on Tech2


Digital disorder is on the rise and will lead to an increase in anti-social activities, reduced workplace productivity and family dysfunction.

There’s no doubt that the benefits of the digital world are immense, from economic development through digital business to new channels of communication that enable growth, financial transactions that are faster and less expensive, ubiquitous availability of information and improved access to diagnostics and healthcare. We live in a connected world, and the reality is that we are “always on”, constantly switching from personal to professional domains, using digital gadgets to interact with friends and family, and to transact and conduct business.

Business leaders need to take preventative action to minimise the impact on employee health. We found that the proliferation of digital technology and smart machines in our daily personal and professional lives also has a significant negative impact, as it disrupts human processes. We are seeing a sharp rise in digital disorder as individuals become increasingly obsessed with the virtual world, most often experienced through the Internet, social media, e-commerce, smartphones and other digital technology.

Widespread impact on the rise

Victims of this disorder may display abnormal psychological and behavioural symptoms that severely impact their daily lives, such as obsessive compulsive behaviour, dysfunctional social relationships, anxiety, anger, frustration, insomnia, depression and social isolation. These symptoms can lead to more serious issues when they drive behavioural changes.

This is not a new phenomenon, with Internet addiction disorder identified in 1995. What is new is the widespread impact of digital disorder as more and more people have access to the devices and software that connect them to the virtual world. When these changes lead to anti-social activities, there will also be social issues.