Has Digital Media Affected Process Addictions?

Has Digital Media Affected Process Addictions?

Digital media can affect process addictions

When people think of an addiction, many immediately think of a drug abuse problem or alcoholism. While these types of addictions still remain the most common, there are other types of addiction out there, including process addictions. Process addictions, also known as behavioral addictions, are addictions where individuals feel a compulsive need and desire to engage in certain behaviors. For example, some of the most common process addictions include sex addiction, gambling, and shopping. Due to the incredible technological advances taking place today, people who are struggling with one or more of these process addictions can easily feed their compulsions via the Internet and additional digital media.

How Digital Media is Impacting Process Addictions

Those who have process addictions struggle to control their compulsive behaviors. For example, a sex addict will find it nearly impossible to not engage in sexual activity when triggered to do so. He or she will also feel the constant need for sexual pleasure and release. The same idea goes for those who are addicted to gambling or shopping – when they are triggered, they will engage in those behaviors, and even when they are not triggered, they will seek them out.

Prior to the rise in digital media, satisfying these types of addictions was more complicated. Now, the biggest way in which digital media is impacting process addictions is through easy access. All an individual needs to continue to fuel his or her process addiction is a technological device (such as a computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.). There are millions of websites dedicated to gambling or pornography, and most retailers offer up access to an online store where individuals can shop from home. Not only are these methods available, but they are also easy to use and access.

In some cases, digital media has created a bevy of new consequences for individuals who suffer from a process addiction. For example, a sex addict might turn to an Internet forum such as Craigslist for a sexual encounter. Soliciting sex via the Internet is not only dangerous because an individual has no way of being sure who he or she is about to meet, but also because it can continue to fuel an individual’s risky behavior. On the other hand, a person who is experiencing a gambling addiction no longer has to sit in casinos to gamble. He or she can obtain nearly instant gambling access, as opposed to having to wait for a table to play at. This can cause a gambling addiction to escalate, as more money is likely to be spent more quickly.

Whatever the process addiction is, digital media such as the Internet has made it easier for a person to continue his or her addiction. Not only is it easy to access, but it also contributes to the secrecy of the addiction that typically comes from the embarrassment and shame of the behaviors associated with it, which can continue to perpetuate this illness.

Do You Need Help Overcoming a Process Addiction?

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