How To Avoid Digital Damage On Your Wellbeing?

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How does technology impacts your health and wellbeing?

Communication becomes easier and easier and people continue to search for the things that make life even more convenient.

The television first, and then the Internet, have taken over our lives. And they are slowly but surely turning the entire world population into a species of couch potatoes.

How many people today would actually dare to leave home without their mobile phones?

At least that way, even if you have forgotten your house keys, you could call the neighborhood key-maker to break the locks and make you a new set of keys. Does that sound at all familiar?

And, as if the fact that communication conveniences are pervading our personal lives was not enough, technology seems to be in a conspiracy against the human species. The aim? To try and make us as idle as possible!

technology

But, not all about technology is bad. We know that technology is also great.

Technology and its use is an integral part of our everyday lives. It is so pervasive. We would be hard-pressed to live in a world without it.

Below are some of what it brings to us and why we can’t live without technology:

1) Technology Levels the Playing Field

From small and medium-size businesses to visual, literary and recording artists, to information dissemination technology brings the world to our fingertips.

Technology levels the playing field so that black voices can be heard, black offerings can be marketed and creativity and innovation can flourish.

2) Economic Empowerment

Technology enables blacks to do some incredible things at the click of a mouse.

They can shop for just about anything, pay bills, plan vacations, purchase entertainment, wine and dine at reduced cost and use online services to find the best banking services.

3) Strengthens Family Ties

For many who are no longer living in physical proximity to their closest relatives, technology enables them to communicate on a regular basis in a cost-effective manner.

They can exchange photographs, share videos, send e-cards, text message and call from one place to another at a fraction of what the cost was just a few years ago.

4) Careers in Technology Are Awesome

A career in a technology-related field can be extremely rewarding. It can also improve your quality of life.

Technology skills are unique and in short supply, the work is exciting and gratifying and the financial rewards are relatively high.

5) Great Futures for Your Children

Through technology, the world is literally at your children’s doorstep. Technology enhances the education of children.

Just imagine what could happen if children spent time designing or improving games for the Xbox 360 and PS2, or used their ingenuity to create videos, films, music and literary works.

The possibilities and opportunities associated with technology are endless.

These are just a few. Maybe there are still others that you can add. On the other hand, technology is not all that pretty.

Let us find out what could be the not so beautiful side of this and find out as well how can we surpass or overcome this to continue living harmoniously with technology.

In the last several years, many studies involving the regular use of communication devices such as cell phones have been conducted to verify their impact on health.

While some definitive results have been achieved, it is difficult to know the effect those results actually have on the wellbeing of individuals.

Numerous studies have been conducted showing that the low levels of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other broadcasting devices have a direct impact on the molecules of the body.

The radio waves and microwaves emitted by these devices cause increased oxidation in certain enzymes, marking an increase in overall oxidation levels in the body.

It is still unclear however just how much this increased oxidation actually harms the body, if at all.

Oxidation is a regular part of life, but increased levels of oxidation over time can damage cells and possibly even lead to cancer. Therefore, there is at least some reason to be wary of the potential damages.

There have been a few studies that have shown strong evidence that those foods and substances high in antioxidants can prevent a large portion of radiation-induced oxidation.

Substances such as gingko biloba and bee propolis are good examples (Ilhan et al. 2004) (Ozguner et al. 2005).

technology 2

A more concrete and perhaps even more dangerous potential threat of improper technology use is the psychological effect it can have. 

While many studies have been done on the mental and social impact of technology, a few particular studies stand out from the pack.

A study done by Andrew Przybylski at Essex University demonstrated that even the mere presence of a cell phone during an in-person conversation can decrease the mental and emotional effectiveness of the interaction via decreased bonding and decreased attentiveness (AK Przybylski, 2013).

While this may not have a large impact in situations such as a business conference or other group settings, it can have potentially disastrous consequences when it comes to establishing and maintaining personal relationships.

The second study, done by Sara Thomeé and a few others, shows how many young adults suffered increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression due to increased cell phone usage (Thomeé et al. 2011).

There is no firm mechanism for the cause has yet to be established, but there are several likely candidates. One possible cause of technology related stress is the sense of constant inadequacy targeted at one’s self and their life circumstances.

As technology advances, it becomes easier to keep an eye on the progress of your neighbor, and also to publicize the best about yourself.

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are loaded with photo-shopped pictures of friends and acquaintances looking beautiful and having the time of their life.

As a result, this often leads individuals to compare themselves to others, and the result is increased dissatisfaction with their own life.

Another way technology impacts psychological health is by having a constant tether to the stresses of life.

Having a cell phone on hand at all times means that the boss can get in touch at any time, or that the bill collectors can find you no matter where you are, even if that happens to be on a tropical island loaded with piñacoladas.

Even when the stressful calls are not coming in, the cell phone serves as a reminder that debts, obligations, and work emergencies still exist, and make it much more difficult to truly let go and relax.

A more tangible reason for increased stress levels are continual the distractions allowed by devices that don’t allow a person to focus on one task long enough to finish it, and so they are constantly having to find their place and in effect, start over again.

This causes mental confusion, decreased productivity, and increased the feeling of perceived stress as the mind is bombarded by multiple threats simultaneously, instead of being able to focus on one at a time.

The adverse effects observed in this study varied depending on individual use and perception of technology, but the overall results show that the issue is big enough to merit attention to how a person approaches the use of their technology.

A third study done by Erin Gemmill and Michael Peterson took a slightly different approach.

They studied how cell phone use contributed to external stress issues, such as arriving to class or work late, being interrupted in the middle of the night, missing out on vital information, and turning in homework late.

All of which tend to be heavy sources of stress in the lives of students. The study found that 25% of participants in the study experienced an increased amount of technology-induced stressors (Gemmill and Peterson, 2006).

While technology has powerful potential to help facilitate a fast-paced and productive lifestyle, it can also be a double-edged sword, especially if used irresponsibly.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help maximize efficiency and also manage technology related stress:

  • Check emails and messages only at certain times of the day or week. Tell people to call you instead if it an emergency.
  • Don’t multitask with your technology. Focus on one task, and leave the messages and emails until you are done.
  • Turn off your cell phone at night. If you use it for your alarm to wake up in the morning make sure that notifications are turned off, or just buy a cheap alarm clock.
  • If using social networks, limit your use to only a few hours per week. When you get on, do what you intended to do, and get off. Don’t just browse endless photos and posts.
  • Don’t compare your life circumstances to those of others, which are often photo-shopped or exaggerated in other ways.
  • Limit news media browsing to only a few minutes per day. Don’t overwhelm yourself with information.
  • Take some time to disconnect each month, or better yet, each week. Leave the phone at home and go outside to do something with your friends and family.
  • Put your phone away when you aren’t doing anything specific with it. When you feel the itch to take it out and check it, opt to start a conversation with someone nearby instead.
  • Never have the phone present or the TV on when trying to have a deep or emotionally charged conversation with someone you care about.

digital world

Is Technology Isolating Us from Friends and Family

Psychologists have done studies on the effects of internet chats on people. The number of cases going to doctors is increasing day by day. People, who are shy and restrained in the real world, log on chats to vent out their frustration.

They assume pseudo identities and assume a new life, sitting hours at a stretch. These cases have been causes of many marital problems and divorces.

Rejection by cyber friends has also been a big reason for depression cases. It only serves to increase loneliness which has been proved.

Even internet surfing, to some, has become an addiction. Hours and hours are spent online with no care in the real world. It’s the same thing with online games.

People suddenly become a recluse. They ignore their home and family. Hanging out is no longer for them.

This phenomenon is real in many places. Loneliness creates frustration with the outside world. A gregarious attitude is lost.

Everything is a product of new and latest innovations of technology companies. And they are only researching and testing for more of these gadgets.

Gone is the time of 70’s and 80’s when Saturday nights were nights with friends, hanging out. Nowadays you also hear about online meetings with friends using instant messengers.

SMS has reduced the need of speaking on the phone. People are no longer as outgoing and sociable as they were before.

Even movies and concerts can be downloaded home on demand preventing the need to go out. In fact, you can even work from home and not even go to the office.

Everything you need to shop can be ordered online or on the telephone.

Talking of education, even graduate degrees can be obtained sitting at home. There is no need to attend lectures and classes in universities. There’s no need to stay in a college dormitory with new friends.

The old favorite TV started the couch potato idea. Studies showed people all over the US were becoming obese and lethargic.

Children instead of playing football outdoors were watching inane programs for long hours. All this only promotes loneliness.

Some years back, there was this man who named himself dotcom guy. He stayed in a room for an entire month with just a computer and a net connection.

Everything he needed or wanted to do could be done or bought with the help of the net. Publicity and encouragement were given to him as if he were doing a great job. Maybe he demonstrated the power of the computer- nothing more.

Man is a social animal-a cliché and a truth. He always needed the company of others for happiness. Marriage is a symbol of the same- the need for a companion.

Current technological progress is only undermining the same. It’s creating hermits everywhere. There may be a day when no one needs to come out of their home.

Now, even marriages are webcast, so that relatives can bless the couple online without needing to come over. What more can they think of?

In all things, there is always the good and the bad, the advantages and disadvantages. Learn to separate and sift the good ones for your benefits. At the same time, limit and find ways to get away with the bad ones.

Balance your way of life. Learn to live a life in the real world from time to time, away from the digital world.

Do not let your life behind as the internet world changes and technology advances. Be a wise, human being on the driver seat.

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

How does technology impacts your health and wellbeing?

How many people today would actually dare to leave home without their mobile phones?

Benefits of Technology
1. Technology levels the playing field
2. Economic empowerment
3. Strengthens family ties
4. Careers in technology are awesome
5. Great future for your children

A more concrete and perhaps even more dangerous potential threat of improper technology use is the psychological effect it can have.

The mere presence of a cell phone during an in-person conversation can decrease the mental and emotional effectiveness of the interaction.

Many young adults suffered increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression due to increased cell phone usage.

Increased dissatisfaction with their own life.

Constant tether to the stresses of life.

Is Technology Isolating You from Friends and Family

  • Vent frustrations on the internet
  • Cause many marital problems and divorces
  • Increase loneliness
  • Internet and online games addiction
  • Become recluse, ignoring home and family
  • Undermine family and social ties

Balance your way of life.
Learn to live a life in the real world from time to time.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– How does technology impacts your life?
– Can you live a day without your cellphone?

– Can you live a day without checking your email and social media accounts?

– Are you addicted to internet surfing or online games?

– How do you balance your way of life between the digital world and real world?


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