People are more connected than ever before, thanks in large part to rapid technological advancements. While some forms of technology may have had a positive impact on the world, there is also evidence of technology’s negative effects and overuse.
Social media and mobile devices can cause psychological and physical problems, such as eyestrain and difficulty concentrating on important tasks. They may also contribute to more serious health issues like depression. Overuse of technology may have a greater impact on growing children and teenagers.
The Relationship Between Technology and Mental Health
The use of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram induces many mental health problems. There are many studies that back up this statement. These surveys and reports are widely accepted as fact within the counseling community. Nonetheless, the findings are worth investigating. There’s a study that found, younger adults who frequently used the social networking site Facebook reported feeling less happy. In such cases, the social platform is possibly to blame. Pantic also reported on a study in which he was personally involved, which discovered that among high school students, rates of depression were higher among those who regularly use social media sites.
Passive usage of social media sites (including Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook) has been related to an increased risk of depression. In terms of the link between screen use and physical and mental health outcomes, multiple studies have found that higher levels of screen use in children and adolescents are linked to decreased physical activity, an increased risk of depression, and a worse sense of well-being.
Total dependence on technology has several psychological effects. Here is the list of major psychological effects of technology on us.
Social media was created to bring people closer, connected, and together. But in some cases, it may have the opposite effect. People are now more distant from their loved ones and prefer to stay alone. Study of young adults aged 19–32 years discovered that those who used social media more frequently were three times more likely to feel socially isolated than those who did not use social media as frequently.
We can overcome this by finding ways to reduce social media use. Such as setting time limits for social apps, may help some people feel less isolated. In that case, we need to be aware of how social media affect our minds.
Depression and Anxiety
The authors of a systematic review published in 2016 “The relationship between social networks and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety was discussed by Trusted Source”.
Their research yielded conflicting results. People who had more positive interactions and social support on these platforms appeared to be less depressed and anxious. As they are fulfilling their need of affiliation from social media
However, the inverse was also true. People who thought they had more negative social interactions online and were more prone to social comparison had higher levels of depression and anxiety.
So, while there appears to be a link between social media and mental health, the types of interactions people believe they are having on these platforms are a significant determining factor.
Technology has some serious effects on physical health. Some of them are given below.
Eyestrain Technologies such as handheld tablets, smartphones, and computers can keep a person’s attention for extended periods. This may cause eye strain. Blurred vision and dry eyes are two symptoms of digital eyestrain. Eye strain can cause pain in other parts of the body, such as the head, neck, or shoulders.
Eye strain can be caused by a variety of technological factors, including:
- Excessive screen time
- Screen glare
- Phone or other device’s Brightness
- Inappropriate Viewing points
- Poor sitting posture
Taking frequent breaks from the screen may help to reduce the likelihood of eyestrain. Anyone who has these symptoms regularly should see an optometrist for a checkup.
Many people’s use of mobile devices and computers may also contribute to poor posture. This can lead to musculoskeletal problems over time. Many technologies encourage a “down and forward” user position, which means the user is hunched forward and looking down at the screen. This can put an undue amount of strain on the neck and spine.
A 5-year study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics discovered a link between mobile phone texting and neck or upper back pain in young adults. The findings showed that the effects were mostly short-term, though some people continued to experience long-term symptoms. However, some studies call these findings into question.
According to a 2018 study “The posture of the neck while texting is harmful”. Also, some findings of this study say, texting and “Text Neck” have no effect on neck pain in young adults. The study, however, did not include a long-term follow-up. Other factors, such as age and activity level, may also have an impact on neck pain.
Correcting posture issues while using your gadgets may result in an overall improvement in posture and core, neck, and back strength. For example, if a person finds themselves sitting in the same position for hours at a time, such as while working at a desk, standing or stretching regularly may help reduce strain on the body. Taking short breaks, such as walking around the office every hour, may also help keep muscles loose and prevent tension and incorrect posture.
Disturbed Sleeping Pattern
Using technology too close to bedtime may interfere with your sleep. This is because blue light, such as that emitted by cell phones, e-readers, and computers, stimulates the brain.
According to the authors of a 2014 study, this blue light is enough to disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm. This disturbance may make it difficult to fall asleep or cause a person to feel drowsy the next day.
People can avoid the potential effects of blue light on the brain by refraining from using electronic devices that emit blue light an hour or two before bedtime. Alternatives include reading a book, doing gentle stretches, or taking a bath.
Reduced Physical Activity
Most of today’s digital technologies are sedentary. More extensive use of these technologies promotes a more sedentary lifestyle, which has been linked to a variety of negative health outcomes, including contributing to:
- Heart disease
Finding ways to disconnect from sedentary technologies may aid in the promotion of a more active lifestyle. Other forms of technology, on the other hand, may be useful. According to 2017 Trusted Source research, active technologies that promote exercises, such as app notifications, emails, and wearable technologies, may reduce short-term sedentary behavior. This could assist people in developing healthy habits and becoming more physically active.
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