Technology Trappings: Is It Effecting Your Health?
You stuff your smartphone in your back pocket. You park it in your desk chair for 8 hours a day, almost non-stop. Your commute to work is accompanied by earbuds and an iPod on shuffle and repeat.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that we are living—breathing, sleeping, playing—more with technology than ever before, and it stands to reason that this must be affecting our health. How could it not?
Between mental and physical adaptation, technology has us changing our nature, and here’s the facts about what’s happening and on what you can do about it.
- The Mental Consequences
It’s true that technology has made our world’s so much more organized, efficient, and most importantly, connected, but it’s had it’s fair share of effecting our world as well.
You know how you get when you have something that looks like a blister from new shoes but you Google it and end up thinking you have cancer? It happens to everyone; the go-to search engine for everything is trustworthy enough for a little research, right? Wrong.
When you consult the World Wide Web instead of your physician, you end up with lots of different ideas that may be completely far from the truth—but it can still stress you out like the truth. Hypochondriacs everywhere know the feeling, and trying to self-diagnose through Google is exactly how to increase your anxiety. In this instance, we recommend not doing it; just pick up your phone and make an appointment, it will save you time, effort, and sanity.
If you think self-diagnosing is the biggest threat to your mental health with technology, think again; spending time with technology regularly is actually rewiring your brain. No, we are not making this up.
Due to the hours we spend on our devices, the hardwiring in our brains is constantly updating, teaching us what to do with our technology addiction, and freaking out when we go without it, just like real withdrawal. Special bootcamps in Korea have become internet famous for taking teens out of their virtual, video game playing worlds and tearing them from technology by going cold turkey. And it’s not pretty.
With Millenials spending up to 18 hours a day using technology, this fix is a simple one: just unplug. Whether you commit to having a technology free dinner, or insisting that you and your families have a specified time limit to spend on technology everyday, make sure you’re getting those hours away from the phone as well.
Sure, it will be difficult at first if you’re used to satisfying every down moment without an update of your Facebook newsfeed, but it’s not worth it to become addicted. Trust us, even Pixar can’t make the consequences look pretty.
- The Physical Consequences.
While your company’s SIP trunking system may be making it easier to network from home, and therefore increase your productivity on those days you are sick, or just can’t get out of your pajamas, it doesn’t mean the ease isn’t taking a toll on your body from the couch.
From pimples caused from the bacteria on your smartphone to weakened eyesight due to staring at a screen all day, it’s true all the tech hours are taking a toll.
You think you’re chatting with friends but you could be increasing acne and triggering eczema, putting pressure on your spine, or lowering your sperm count. And although it’s not official yet, “tech claw” (which is surprisingly similar to carpal tunnel) is caused by the exact curvature of your fingers and wrist when you work on a keyboard, tap on a screen, or click a mouse, and it’s wreaking havoc with your digits.
And while all of these things are bad, we like to think that you just need to put this information into perspective and not get scared away from the inevitable need for technology use (we’re not expecting everyone to recreate the plot line of The Village). If you take heed of these problems and plan accordingly, there’s no need to worry, because the answers for the mental consequences are the same for the physical ones; put your phone down every once and a while, it’s just good for you.