The term technology comes from the Greek word “techne”, which means the art or skill used in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/ output relation or perform a specific function; technology is the making, modification, usage and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques and method of organization (Liddel, Scott, Jones & McKenzie, 1940). That means, it can refer to the collection of tools, including machinery, modification, arrangements and procedures. Over the last 200 years there has been a significant change in the term technology. In the 20th century i.e. during the industrial revolution the term has gained its popularity worldwide (Cradock & Baldwin, 1833). Technology is the energy that acts as the driving force to drive or to run our lives. It is nothing but the results of the innovations and creativity of human beings. It converts the natural resources into consumer goods which are used by the society and human beings. It has brought the automation level into such a height that human effort and his time has been saved to a great extent. Due to this, the access to information has now become easier and the distant locations are getting closer. IT and communication system has provided such facilities that the world is now feeling like a small globe virtually. However not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes. The development of weapons of mass destruction has created serious threat to society throughout history. Technology has always been advancing throughout the years. It made a big impact to people specifically to the teens on their lifestyle.
Addiction to Technological Gadgets and Services
Recently, every other day information technology or IT invents lucrative gadgets are attracting the attention of the present generation. As a vulnerable group, the youth becomes the largest consumer of such devices and services, which in turn makes them addicted to them at some point of time. Addiction is the continued repetition of a behaviour or an activityindependent upon the adverse or negative consequences of the same (Angres & Angres, 2008) or it can be a neurological impairments which leads to such behaviours (American Society for Addiction Medicine, 2012). There is no such limitation of the use of the term addiction to some specific behaviour such as drug addiction, food addiction etc. Psychological control over substance and behaviour, preoccupation with the subject and the continuation of activities despite consequences are generally the symptoms of addiction (Morse & Flavin, 1992). Actually the term addiction means the high degree of likeness towards a particular thing or subject. So if somebody is addicted towards something then he loses control over his own mind and faces difficulties to get rid of the claws of that object. Most of the teens today spend too much of their time with their faces buried in technological gadgets. According to Kimberly Young (1998), addiction to technology is a habitual compulsion to engage in using technology instead of using it to address life’s problems. They use technology as a coping mechanism to avoid conflict. Long term compulsions can lead to psychological problems such as insomnia, irritability and depression. For example, compulsion to use technology in favour of rare and exciting life events such as parties or vacations might signify addiction. Attitude changes in teens, sudden depression, loss of self-esteem, and problems in paying attention to study, are often symptoms of Internet addiction (Young, 1998). According to Young, teens are particularly vulnerable to technology addiction. Teens have poor coping mechanisms. When they face stress, they often chose what is comforting to them, usually something easy to focus on such as online videos or social media sites. Also in the teen years, self identity is uncertain. Most teens struggle to understand how to present themselves and by the mean time technology help them in doing so. In the present generation, teens are obsessed in using Gadgets. They usually want to buy the latest gadgets to satisfy their desire and to have the newest of the new.
Another aspect on which the technology addiction has an effect is the life style of an individual. As in case of addiction to technological gadgets time and choices are the concerned factors, the lifestyle is necessarily affected by the same. Life style is nothing but the way of life of an individual or a group of individuals or the society as a whole. Somebody’s attitudes, values, world views etc are reflected by his/ her life style. So life style means making some sense of the self and creating some cultural symbols which will reflect the identity of a person. All the aspects of life style may not be voluntary in nature because one is associated with the society and that surrounding plays an important role in shaping the choices of an individual’s life style. Accordingly the individual creates the symbols of life style by which he /she project the self before the world and also before himself (Spaargaren ; Van Vliet, 2000). The aspects like views on politics, society, health, intimacy and many more play an important role in shaping the life style of a person (Giuffrae ; DiGeronimo, 1999). Life style is dependent upon both seen and unseen factors. The former includes the demographic profile of the individual and the latter includes the psychological status of an individual. The life style is always a changeable concept because the choices of human beings and also the natural environments are changeable. Depending upon the changing mood individuals select their activities and fix their timing to those.
The discussions above led to the ideas about the impacts of the addiction to the technological gadgets and services. Addiction to technology has a negative impact on mental health and it also affects the social behaviour of the individual by being the cause of change in his life style. The current study is on the interrelation of the above three concepts. It will focus on the impact of the addiction to technological gadgets and services on mental health and life style of the youth. The study is on the youth of a premier engineering institute of Eastern India towards the use of the tech-gadgets and services.