Few people today can function without some tech items, and in fact, most people have many. Who doesn’t have a smartphone, an iPad, and a laptop? At work, you may have pictures of family and friends on a digital photo frame and work on a desktop computer or laptop. Then there are video games and television programs to plug into in the evening.
You might even be one of those people that just can’t seem to tune out your phone is like an appendage. There are positive and negative effects of technology on society and our health. So how do all these tech-items affect you? Or do they? Let’s consider how tech items are affecting your day to day life and what, if anything, you might want to do about it.
Negative Effects of Technology
Before we discuss the positive effects of technology, we should first know the negative effects of technology on society and our health.
1. Slouched Posture
Another factor at play is one you probably hadn’t thought about. Using tech items like smartphones are hurting your posture. Okay, not good, but not that bad, right?
Unfortunately, it is. Research is saying that slumped over the position you have when on your phone isn’t just a pain in the neck, but that it also has negative psychological effects.
A slouched posture can reflect our emotions like being sad, scared, or feeling powerless or depressed. The relevance here is it seems that bad posture cannot only reflect a negative state of mind but can also cause you to think negatively.
The New York Times did an article about different studies where people were asked to sit upright or slouched and then respond to various situations. Those that were slouched had significantly more responses that were negative such as feelings of lower self-esteem and mood. Some had a greater sense of fear, and others became more submissive in behavior.
2. Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain, otherwise known as computer vision syndrome, is the latest vision issue due to all the time spent on phones and in front of computers. It may involve dry eyes, headaches and neck, and shoulder pain. Improper lighting, glare from screens, and posture may also be factors when this syndrome appears.
Doctors will often ask you how much time you spend in front of a computer and on your phone when diagnosing this condition. If you already have eye issues and wear contact lenses, you are even more at risk.
3. Poor Sleep
Another effect of too much tech activity is one you’re probably familiar with an effect on your sleep. As you’ve heard over and over, better sleep has numerous benefits, including your state of mind and mood. Experts say both falling asleep, and the quality of your sleep can be negatively affected by tech items. Cognitive stimulation is what keeps you from falling asleep. Even an email or video game can cause you stress or tension, which then produces the stress hormone, cortisol. And the small amount of light from these devices delays the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep.
Doctors believe the best way to improve your sleep is to turn off all devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime and try not even to allow electronics in the bedroom. If that doesn’t sound possible, at least you can keep your phone out of the bedroom or away from your bed at night. In the third annual email survey by AOL, over 40% of respondents admitted to checking email in the middle of the night. And if you have children, doctors give the same advice; try to keep all devices out of their room at night.
It may sound like tough love, but do yourself and your family a favor and try to de-tech at times throughout your day, and especially at night.
4. Emotional Weakness
Social media can bring happiness or sadness in your life. It is totally up to you, which type of content you are accessing and posting for the public. If you start comparing yourself to others, then emotional imbalance can take place.
People who spent more time on social media are missing from their friends and family circle. Those who copy celebrities and try to copy their lifestyle they can become the victim of depression and anxiety if they do not receive expected acceptance or response.
FOMO is another different problem of always being on social media. If you were not invited to a party where you were supposed to be, then fear of missing out can bring the feeling of isolation from society.
Positive Effects of Technology
Above we discussed the negative effects of technology, and it’s time to talk about the positive effects of technology. Let’s have a look at the positives of technology-
1. Positive Mental Health
Studies have shown that seeing positive things like pictures of loved ones, actually improve your mood. So, the digital picture frame may be a good influence. That controversial study Facebook did without people’s permission showed just that: when followers saw more positive content, they posted more positive content, and the opposite holds as well.
2. Communication Technology
It is controversial, but technology is bringing people together. People from two different places can stay in touch with the use of technology. Mobile, internet, and messaging apps are doing a great job. You can install messaging apps like – WhatsApp, Facebook Messager, Telegram, etc. to send and receive multimedia messages. Even you can make audio and video calls to stay connected with friends and family.
3. Online Education
In modern-days, we can take online education at our home. We can pursue an online course to learn new skills to get a dream job. Learn the benefits of online education.
Researching different subjects become more accessible with the availability of information online.
4. Healthcare Technology
Healthcare technology is helping us to live a healthy life. It makes it possible to take online medical consultation from experienced doctors. They can give you an online prescription, and you can buy medicines online.
You can take advantage of health apps to track diet, exercise, and mental health information. It is also possible to track chronic illnesses and take doctor consultation worldwide.
You can read the risks and benefits of technology in healthcare.
Sure, technology can be a great thing, enabling you to keep in touch with friends and family online or remember good times, which can improve your physical and mental health; but taking a tech break can improve your mental health as well, making for a double-dose of social improvement!