Are you Digitally Addicted?

by Dr Raian Ali

*Please note that this post contains extracts from other blog posts, links to which are provided.

“We defined digital addiction as the obsessive and excessive usage of digital media which could be associated with negative life experiences such as distraction, anxiety and preoccupation. Pokémon Go is special in making people immersed not only using creative and playful online techniques and virtual reality but also in using the power of the physical real space itself.

Pokémon Go would not be called an augmented reality game, which is the popular description of it, but rather augmenting the cyber space with elements from reality. We are now witnessing an era where the cyber space is starting to take the lead and, indeed, host our physical space.


Pokémon Go: Are You Addicted?, photographer: Mahmut Bolat, models: Boscombe Pier visitors

We advocate the need for bespoke legislation or at least tests with regard to the manipulation power and the responsibility of certain technology such as games and social networks to make, even indirectly, people immersed, lose control and make decisions under the effect of irresistible urge.A Pokémon Go gamer may feel the urge to visit unknown and dangerous places aiming to catch Pokémon. Technically we can detect that easily, but would the game send a warning? Would the place put a warning? Would the party governing a place be able to communicate messages to players in its physical area?

In our research at Bournemouth University, we have already advocated the need to consider that care about users is a social responsibility of technology developers.

We proposed the use of interactive and intelligent labels and warning messages to keep people informed about their technology usage and make them able to take an informed decision. This could include using timers and progress bars to show the time spent using technology or sending recommendations like switching off the phone while sleeping if activity is detected.

Full text can be accessed via:

Overall, here at Bournemouth University we study Digital addiction (DA) as an emergent research area and explore a problematic usage of digital media described by being obsessive, excessive, compulsive, impulsive and hasty. We particularly focus on aiding people adjust their usage style through the use of digital technology itself.


Digital Addiction, photographer: Bournemouth University MarketingComms team

Read more about digital addiction research in the Telegraph and Huffington Post and La Stampa.

BU Digital Addiction research news can be followed on Twitter @bu_esotics

Read published research by the team:


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