Yet while it may appear that the United States is starting to provide some much-needed intervention for the growing issue of tech addiction, their efforts pale in comparison to other countries. Globally, social media addiction has been receiving widespread attention.
Many other countries — including Australia, China, Japan, India, Italy, Japan, Korea and Taiwan— already officially recognize tech addiction as a disorder, some even going so far as to declare the issue a public health crisis, leading governments and health-care providers to develop a series of major initiatives, such as in-patient treatment centers, to curb the problem.
The South Korean government sponsors about 200 counseling centers and hospitals with programs on internet addiction and has trained more than 1,000 counselors. In 2013 the Ministry of Education in Japan introduced internet "fasting camps" for young addicts to receive counseling in a tech-free environment. China has more than 300 treatment centers (China officials there estimate 10 million teenagers are addicted).
As there is no standard criteria for diagnosis, especially between countries, it is impossible to put a number on the actual number of people who suffer from digital overuse, but surveys in the United States and Europe have indicated that it ranges between 1.5 and 8.2 percent of the population.
And it's costing corporate America billions. According to a recent study by Vault.com, surfing costs $54 billion annually in lost productivity.
Yet not everyone is buying into it.
"Tech addiction is a hot topic and one that people talk about a lot, but we need to clearly define and differentiate what constitutes a mental disorder that is causing major adverse consequences and distinguish it from just a bad habit that people just wish they weren't doing," says psychiatrist Dr. Nancy Petry of the UConn Health Center, who is also a consultant and advisor for the National Institutes of Health.