The Damaging Effects of Technology on Health
Thanks to the rapid advancements in technology, the masses are more connected than ever. Technology made some positive changes globally, but the traces of adverse effects of technology and its overuse are more concerning .
Social media & constant usage of electronic devices may lead to physical & psychological problems, such as eyestrain & reduced focus on tasks. These conditions, if left unchecked, can result in severe prolonged health conditions, such as depression. The overuse of technology may have many more significant impacts on the developing brains of children and teenagers.
Let’s dig in a little about the physical & psychological effects of technology and how to create mindful habits with technology and avoid burning out.
Excessive dependence or overuse of technology can adversely impact human psychology . Here are some more profound impacts!
The doorstep availability of technologies, such as social media, was designed to bring people together. But they had the opposite effect for the majority of cases. Studies suggest that young people who use more social media are three times at higher risk of feeling socially isolated than those using social media less often . It is important to find ways to reduce social media use. Set time limits for social apps, take a sabbatical, etc. Such steps can help reduce feelings of isolation among people.
Depression and anxiety
Studies have established a link between social media networking and mental health issues . Depression and anxiety are two of the main impacts a whole generation faces. People having positive interactions & social support on online platforms had lower chances of depression and anxiety. Since there is a proven link between social media and mental health, pay attention to your interactions over social media platforms.
Physical health effects
Excessive usage of technology may risk the physical aspect of well-being; this includes:
Like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers, devices hold our attention for long durations. This can lead to eyestrain. Prolonged exposure can lead to blurred vision and dry eyes . This can also cause pain in body parts like the neck, shoulders, or head. Increased access to technology results in physical conditions like eyestrain. This includes increased screen glare, screen time, brightness, viewing too close or too far away, poor posture, underlying vision issues, etc. Consider taking regular breaks away from the screen to reduce the likelihood of eyestrain. Visit an optometrist for a routine check-up.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule for digital viewing . When using any form of a digital screen for a more extended period of time, it is recommended that after every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something at least 20 feet away. Doing this reduces the strain on the eyes from staring at a screen continuously.
The way we use mobile devices and laptops these days may contribute to incorrect posture. Over a certain period, this leads to musculoskeletal problems. Many technologies promote a “down/forward” user position. This means the person needs to hunch forward and look down at the screen. This puts an unnecessary amount of pressure on the neck & spine [7, 8]. An association has been found between texting on mobile phones and upper back/neck pain. You must pay attention to correct posture problems while using technology. This can lead to an overall improvement in posture and strength in the core, neck, and back. Avoid sitting at a desk for long hours, and take breaks to stand or stretch. This helps reduce strain on the body. Take short breaks, walk around the office to keep the muscles loose and avoid tension and incorrect posture.
Using electronic devices close to bedtime cause modulation of brain signals and interrupts sleep. Blue light stimulates the brain, i.e., light from mobiles, e-readers, and computers. Studies  prove that blue light disturbs the body’s natural circadian rhythm. This can make it harder for you to fall asleep, leading a person to feel less alert the following day. To avoid the harmful impact, limit using electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime. Take up gentle activities to sign off your day, such as reading a book, doing gentle stretches, or taking a bath.
Reduced physical activity
The sedentary lifestyle is a by-product of digital technologies. Prolonged use of technology promotes an intense lifestyle that attracts adverse health effects. This includes cardiovascular disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes, premature death, etc. It is important to maintain an active lifestyle to stay healthy and fit [10,11]. You can also plan preventive measures like turning off app notifications, emails, and wearable technologies that promote exercise. This may reduce short-term sedentary behaviour. This helps people set healthy patterns and be more physically active.
Impact on Children:
For children overusing technology, they might experience low academic performance, lack of attention, lower creativity levels, delays in language development, delay in social & emotional development, physical inactivity & obesity, poor sleep quality, social issues like social incompatibility & anxiety, aggressive behaviours, addiction to technology, higher BMI, and many more challenges! 
Children must be taught to interact with technologies in healthy and mindful ways. Their usage must be monitored with time and provide exciting alternatives.
The present-day boom in technology has changed the average lifestyle and life expectancy. While technology has positive effects, there are many possible risks. It is better to cut back on usage and dependency on devices. You also must consider reducing screen time and re-evaluate how you feel with and without these devices. Excuse yourself some time and make sure to spend some time in nature and get some sunlight and fresh air. Put technology to good use and monitor your sleep cycle and patterns using smart devices.
Lifestyle modifications are known to generate a significant impact on optimizing your health. Read here how slight modifications helped breast cancer patients to recover early. It is important to learn how to balance your life and make some space for rest for your mind and soul. Indulge in activities like yoga, exercises, swimming, aerobics, cooking, or anything else you like, and take some time off from that device in your hand!
Stop Procrastinating and start today. Good Luck!
References and Sources:
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The Healing Oracle Team
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