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Health 28 September 2019
By: Natasha Tanga

7 Ways Technology Can Mess With Your Well-Being

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At this day and age, it is especially hard to live without looking at screens daily. Whether it is your phone, laptop, or TV screen, there's no denying the influence of technology in our livelihood. As much as it brings us a lot of usage and a certain degree of convenience, the utilization of technology also has a number of downsides. On this week's journal, we will be explaining a few reasons why it's recommended to limit your screen time and technology usage in general. Read on!

1. Triggers eye strain

Our tendency when looking at screens for an extended period of time, is to rarely blink. This is, of course, done unconsciously as we are occupied with things we see on the screen. When we rarely blink, it means the tears that protect our eyes evaporate without being replaced, and this can trigger eye strain. Reading small fonts and looking at small things on the screen can also exacerbate this condition. Eye strain can cause certain discomfort, including dry, burning, itchy eyes, blurred vision, headache, as well as neck and shoulder tension.

2. Clutters your brain and inability to concentrate

The powerful ability of gadgets these days enables you to do so many things at a time, and therefore making you prone to multitasking. However, multitasking has known negative effects, such as a lack of focus or inability to remember things because your brain is overstimulated and cluttered with numerous informations at a same time. In the long run, this can surely lead to counter productivity.

3. Encourages sedentary lifestyle

Utilising applications in your smartphone to do basic errands, like ordering food, surely gives you a degree of convenience. However, always remember to balance your technology usage, such as watching TV, playing games on your smartphone, or doing work on your laptop, with an active lifestyle. The downside of technology these days is that people rarely get to move and live an active lifestyle, as the things they need to do can simply be done with a tap on their smartphones or a click on their laptops. Therefore, set aside some time daily to exercise or to simply move around. You can hit the gym, walk around the neighborhood, or do gardening; basically anything that gets you away from screens and move your body, in order to have a balanced lifestyle.

4. Disrupts your sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial to make sure you're in a refreshed state the next day and maximize your performance at work or in school. However, you also need to put in some effort and stay away from gadgets that may disrupt your sleeping habits before you go to bed. For instance, it may not be recommended to work before going to bed, as your concentration level is high when you are engaged with something in your mind. This gives a signal to the brain and keeps you awake for a longer period of time.

Another culprit is the blue light emitted by screens on cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions. This blue light restrains the production hormone that controls your sleep cycle or circadian rhythm called melatonin, and making it harder to fall and stay asleep. 

5. Makes you crave instant gratification

It's an irony that the development of technology triggers our patience to run thinner. Research have shown that nowadays, people tend to leave a webpage when it loads for more than 2 seconds. Not to mention, the bombarding of social media makes people crave for instant feedback and gratification, through likes and comments. This habit can be detrimental to your impulse control and most likely affecting your mental health, especially when you get hooked and addicted to it. 

6. Lowers your communication ability

Truthfully speaking, interactions in the virtual and real world is very different. There are many nonverbal and emotional cues that can be seen when you interact with other people face to face, something you can't see when you interact via chat or text message. Therefore, developing communication skills through face to face interaction is very necessary at this day and age, to counteract the awkwardness and antisocial tendencies that comes along with the prominence of digital culture.

7. Can lead to depression

Some research have shown that people who tend to spend a lot of time in front of screens, including gadgets, have a higher incidence of depression than those who choose to do other things with their time. There are numerous reasons for this, including loneliness caused by lack of interaction with other people, unrealistic standards of life, envy and societal pressure from social media usage, as well as increased need for approval and general feelings of discontent.

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