Keywords: Technology Dependence; Problematic Use; Attitudes Towards Technology; Need to Belong; Neuroticism
Dependence on technology is often measured by the amount of time an individual spends using their devices or other digitally-based technology; however, as more mobile hardware has become available and required more than ever to complete everyday life tasks, it is increasingly important to consider other factors that contribute to technology dependence. An individual’s perception of technology may impact how likely they are to utilize or depend on the technology available to solve a problem. People may engage in more technology use as a way of maintaining relationships or interacting with others in an online community. In this study, respondents completed a series of questionnaires related to perceptions and use of technology and questionnaires related to their need to belong and personality style. When predicting how dependent an individual is on technology, having a positive attitude toward technology was the most significant predictor (R2 = .283), followed by the social-psychological need to belong, social media use, and neuroticism. Including these five predictors in the final model explained 40.6% of the variance in dependence on technology for this sample. A marginally significant difference in dependence between males and females t(769) = 1.997, p = .046 was found, which is not consistently supported in previous research on technology dependence. Understanding which factors predict reliance on technology may help to better conceptualize the connection between dependence and addiction.