Technology has made our lives faster, easier, and better. But it has also ability to negatively affect our physical and emotional health. Technology is here to stay, but it’s always modifying and expanding. As each new technology enters the scene, it is likely to improve lives. But, in some cases, it also has the potential to negatively affect our health. The overuse of technology may have a more adverse effect on developing children and teenagers.
In this article, we will take a look at a few possible negative effects of technology as well as how to create healthier ways with technology and avoid overuse.
Physical Health Effects
Digital Eye Strain
Technology’s increasing presence in our lives may lead to eye strain. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), prolonged use of handheld tablets, smartphones, and computers, can lead to negative effect on our eyesight.
Symptoms of digital eyestrain can include:
- Blurred vision
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Dry eyes
Certain factors that may lead to eyestrain are screen glare, poor sitting posture, Screen brightness, and incorrect viewing distance.
The AOA recommends the 20-20-20 rule for digital viewing to relax eye strain. To apply this rule, after every 20 minutes try to take a 20-second break to look at something that’s 20 feet away.
The way many people use computers and mobile devices may contribute to a lot of stress on your neck, spine, and shoulders. Overuse of technology can also lead to repetitive strain injuries of the wrists, thumbs, and fingers.
You can follow the steps below to reduce these issues:
- Take short breaks to stretch
- Correcting sitting posture while using your devices
- Build an ergonomic workspace
Reduced Physical Activity
Overuse of these technologies builds up a more sedentary lifestyle, which leads to have negative health effects, such as
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Premature Death
Research indicates that active technologies, such as emails, app notifications, and wearable technologies that support exercise may reduce short-term sedentary behavior.
This could help people arrange healthful patterns and become more physically active.
Most technology we use such as cell phones, tablets and computers emits blue light. This blue light suppress melatonin in the body, the hormone that helps you sleep, leading you to stay awake longer.
To avoid the potential impact of blue light on the brain, stop using electronic devices in the hour or two before bedtime.
Gentle activities such as doing stretches, reading a book, or taking a bath, are alternatives of using electronic devices.
Depression and Anxiety
The evidence in a 2016 systematic review suggests that social network use correlates with mental illness and well-being.
Their research found mixed results. People who had social support and more positive interactions on these platforms turned out to have lower levels of anxiety and depression.
However, the other side was also true. People who recognized that they had more negative social interactions online and who were more prone to social comparison experienced higher levels of anxiety and depression.
More research is necessary to see consequences on cause and effect.
If using social media makes you feel anxious or depressed, try to reduce its use to see if doing so makes a difference.
Spending your time on social media can makes you feel more connected to the world. But in reality it has opposite effects. A 2017 study in young adults aged 19–32 years found that people’s who spend more time on social media were more than three times as likely to feel lonely and isolated than those who did not use social media as often.
Finding out the ways to reduce your time usage on social media, such as setting time limits for social apps, may help reduce feelings of loneliness in some people.
Negative effects of technology on kids
Children’s brains are in developing condition and may be more sensitive to the effects of technology and its overuse than adult brains.
The findings of 2018 studies noted the possible negative effects of children using different technologies.
Researchers suggest that the children who overuse technology may be more likely to experience issues, including:
- Lack of attention
- Poor sleep quality
- Low creativity
- Aggressive behavior
- Delays in social and emotional development
- Less time for play
- Loss of social skills
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children Younger than 18 months avoid screen time other than video chatting. While 2–5-year-olds has to limit one hour per day of supervised high-quality viewing with an adult.
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