What is Technology Doing to Our State of Mind?
“I’ve had a strange feeling in my eyes for the last few days. A friend has just told me that it could be digital eyestrain. Let me google that.” Isn’t it ironic? Modern technology has been altering our bodies and minds for quite some time now, and we don’t even know it. What is technology doing to our state of mind?
Digital eyestrain, sleeping disorders, and various effects of physical inactivity come as a result of the increased use of technology. People spend many hours each day in a sedentary position, starting at the screen of their computers, tablets, and smartphones, making us become out of touch with our surroundings to a certain extent.
However, technology is also altering our state of mind. Don’t get me wrong, the effects of modern technology are not all negative, as the humankind gains many benefits from it. This is what technology is doing to our state of mind today.
Loneliness and Social Media
According to this 2013 study, conducted by Ethan Kross, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, Facebook does fulfill the human need for social connection, but rather than enhancing its users’ well-being, Facebook can actually undermine it. The social network can cause feelings of exclusion and loneliness. It is ironic how a network called ‘social’ can contribute to a decrease in satisfaction and happiness. This phenomenon is called internet paradox and is very real. Heavy internet users, when offline, can suffer withdrawal symptoms similar to those of drug users, according to research from Swansea and Milan Universities.
Anxiety and Googling
Have you ever heard someone being called a cyberchondriac? Cyberchondriacs are people that always try to self-diagnose potential health problems that they might be having. However, one can cause great anxiety by searching for disease symptoms online. If we add the social network addictions to this, anxiety and stress levels can skyrocket.
Tech Can Rewire Your Brain
Too much technology we process day after day can rewire our brains, between the addiction we feel when we’re without it and multitasking. There are consequences of exposing our brains to a digital environment and making them do things we weren’t evolved to do.
Excessive tech use before bedtime can negatively affect one’s sleep cycles because of the screen emitted a glowing light. So, make sure that your computer and phone are shut down before you go to bed. Getting a proper amount of sleep is important for one’s well-being in many ways.
The Positive Effects of Modern Tech
All this technology wouldn’t be invented if there weren’t a need for it, right? It does make our lives much easier, but it’s the excessive use of it that bothers. Here’s what it does for us.
– Today we have access to various kinds of vital information, public libraries, and are able to use computers to explore disease treatment options. Underemployed and unemployed people can search and apply for job positions; students use technology in their education, to conduct valuable research, and exchange information, papers, and books with other fellow students.
– Medical care has been revolutionized by technological progress. With the help of imaging techniques, serious diseases can be prevented by early diagnostic protocols (such as early detection of breast cancer). Different smartphone apps were developed that took health and wellness online. They are helping their users in search for organic food markets, giving feedback on their meal choices, providing workout motivation. Also, they can help in designing individual training programs. There are apps that will help you find your motivation, and get you out the door and into a pair of gym shoes and on your way to health.
– It takes much longer for a letter sent from Asia to reach North America than an email does, right? Modern technology has greatly aided to humanity by providing us with ways of instant communication. We use it to stay in touch with our friends, family members and others who no longer live by, as well as for video conferencing. Communication is wireless, and we owe it to technological development.
If we compare ourselves to people who lived in the 1980s, the ways technology altered our minds, mental well-being, and the stream of consciousness is evident. However, excessive use of technology (as well as any kind of overindulgence and extreme) can make our lives worse. Find your balance, keep your mind and body healthy.