Impact of Technology on Mental Health
The evolution of technology reinforces the growth of human civilization. Technology transforms society into a more sophisticated, congenial and accessible place. Through these available gadgets, computers, machinery, etc. people are more empowered and creative.
However, the overwhelming presence of technology in the daily life of people causes worries and alarm. Recent studies point to technology as a contributing factor to some mental health problems. It perceives as a source of violence, isolation, depression and trauma.
Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health
With the advent of technology, the gadgets people often use are now compact and portable like smartphones, tablets and laptops. They have become an important accessory or a lifeline that they refuse to let go of whatever the circumstances.
Technology prompts isolation.
People will choose to stay connected with their smart phones rather than socialize with other people. They find joy and comfort in being alone and away from people rather than dealing with real, face-to-face conversations. It is exhausting and unexciting for them.
A study done by the University of Arizona showed that those who are heavily dependent on their smartphones are likely to suffer from loneliness and depression. It slowly consumes their time, money and confidence without realizing that their mental health is on the line.
Technology affects relationships.
Ironically, more people disconnect and separate because of technology. It supposed to connect people from all over the globe but it only weakens relationships. It becomes a distraction. Couples stay glued to their phones instead of talking to each other. They rely on and listen more to their friends on social media whenever there is a problem.
According to a study posted in Computers in Human Behavior, there is a direct correlation between the divorce rate and social media. Based on the results, the 20% increase in Facebook accounts links to the 4.32% increase in divorce rates. Being in an unhappy and unloving relationship is a risk factor for depression.
Technology triggers addiction.
Not many people are aware that they are already addicted to technology. For them, technology is here to make their lives easier and more entertaining. Their world only revolves around technology and how they can use it to their advantage.
It may have given people the freedom in expressing themselves but it can trigger addiction and alongside other mental health issues like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety disorder and borderline personality disorder. Technology addiction may not be considered a mental health condition but it is a growing problem that needs to be managed.
Technology promotes toxic activities.
Some people are so wrapped up with technology that they can be easily swayed to enter into addictive and toxic online activities. Activities such as pornography viewing, online gambling, extreme shopping, and online dating have broken so many relationships and families.
The idea that technology improves how people spend their leisure time is taken into the wrong context. Instead of using technology as a helpful means to a better life, it becomes a hated enemy by many spouses.
Technology disrupts a healthy lifestyle.
Excessive use of smartphones and other devices leads to eyestrain, poor posture, loss of sleep and appetite. These physical problems seem harmless but they will eventually develop into more serious conditions. For example, people who have difficulty sleeping will turn to alcohol or drug abuse. They are more stressed and irritated easily which can result in depression and anxiety.
A healthy lifestyle is put aside because people focus more on their smartphones and other devices. They live a fast-paced life that they ignore getting enough exercise, sleep and eating nutritious food. They overlook the importance of taking care of their physical and mental health.
The advancement of technology has made mental health services more convenient and accessible. But it cannot be denied that technology has also caused an increase in mental health problems like depression and anxiety.
Your mental health should never take a backseat. It should be a priority despite all the changes happening around you. Technology is a prevalent part of human development and it should be used as a tool to strengthen your body and mind.
Many people abuse technology. They define their existence as how proficient they are in computers and devices. Some people think that their identity relies mainly on how active and popular they are on their social media accounts. In one study, 70% of the participants admit that they feel depressed and helpless whenever their phones are missing.
The uncontrolled and excessive use of technology leads to deeper, personal issues. People choose to go online or binge-watch TV shows instead of being with their friends and having meaningful conversations. They spend more time on their phones than with their spouses. They feel happier when they play online games instead of going on a picnic with their children.
Just like anything else in the world, the usage of technology should be in moderation. If you start to notice symptoms of technology addiction, isolation and depression in yourself or among your family, do not hesitate to ask for medical help.
Mindshift Psychological Services offers help and intervention to those who are struggling with depression, anxiety and addiction. You may visit our website to know more about us and our licensed therapists. Contact us now at (714)584-9700.