We live in an age where society has become dependent on technology. The demand for technology has continually been on the rise. This advancement is extremely useful in various fields of study such as medicine, engineering, and business. It serves as our medium for communication, learning, and development. However, its poor application has caused pollution to our environment and posed a grave threat to society. Technology also has a connection to several mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D. says, “You’d think that taking away uncertainty would make us less anxious. But instead, because technology has lessened our experience handling uncertainty, we’re less prepared to deal with ambiguity when it arises.”
Mental issues are most prevalent among the youth, specifically those who have become dependent on the use of technology at a very early age. With the growing number of cases among the youth, studies have determined its cause as technology.
Technology And Anxiety
It is critical to determine the effect of technology on one’s mental health. This way, you can make the appropriate adjustments to your lifestyle. Here are three reasons why anxiety can develop from technology.
- You exceed your social circle limit.
In the 1990s, a British anthropologist named Robin Dunbar proposed a theory on an individual’s relationships. According to him, there is a cognitive limit to the number of people we can maintain a stable social relationship with. These are relationships where we know each other and our relation to other people. He was able to identify that humans can maintain only 150 stable relationships.
With the growing use of social media, exceeding such a number is easy. It makes it uncomfortable to meet people whom you only get to interact with online. Situations arise where you’re able to talk to someone online but ignore them when you see each other in person. It also becomes easier to move on to new people given how easy it is to meet them online.
Dr. Nicholas J. Westers, a clinical psychologist, believes that technology does have benefits. “When we use it to reach out and connect with others or to discover and learn something new, then those are great, productive uses of social media and technology,” he says. “But when we become a passive audience to newsfeeds and posts, it can create negative feelings, including those of loneliness and depression.”
- Everything becomes too fast.
With the use of technology, daily activities have decreased in time. It becomes easier to wash our clothes, clean our room, or cook our meals. Everything is within our reach. With that, we often have too much time on our hands. It leaves some people without anything to do and thus leads them to boredom. With boredom, there is a chance of developing anxiety due to a lack of stimulation, which may cause you to feel very uncomfortable. Given how things are going too fast, we may lose patience in the smallest of things such as falling in line.
- You become dependent and addicted.
The overuse of technology slowly absorbs individuals. For some, their phones become an indispensable object they must bring everywhere. We keep looking for ways to enhance the way we do things. However, technology can’t replicate everything. We are slowly losing our traditional practices. As we lose them, there is a chance that we lose ourselves in the process. We may begin to question our heritage and culture.
People also become too dependent on the use of the internet. Some treat it as their world and as the thing that only matters. Some studies have related the overuse of the Internet to addiction. It is possible to develop symptoms of other forms of addiction, such as withdrawal, when they lose access to the Internet.
Tracy A. Dennis-Tiwary, Ph.D. wrote, “When teens consistently avoid uncertainty and discomfort, they lose opportunities to develop grit and determination. What happens when bad things actually happen? Teens are more likely to be gripped by anxiety, worry, and stress.”
Combating The Negative Effects
There will always be something you can change. If you believe you are experiencing some of the problems above, don’t worry. You can still improve your condition. Here are three useful tips.
Are you lying down doing nothing? Stand up and move your body! Breathe fresh air and take in the wonders of nature as you jog outside. Keeping your body in shape will benefit you more. It is better than just exercising your fingers as you scroll through social media networks.
- Keep everything in moderation.
Too much is never a good thing; it is always best to keep things in moderation. Just like how we limit what we eat, we shouldn’t dwell too much on the use of technology. Set a limit to how often you play the games on your phone. Don’t reside too much among your social media accounts.
It is best to meet people face to face. By traveling, you get to have many opportunities to experience things you only see through the screen. Instead of containing yourself into enjoying those things, why not go out and experience it yourself? You need time to be outside. Get off the screen and live life head-on.
We shouldn’t create a world in the digital realm. We already have one; go live it out and appreciate its beauty. There is life away from a screen.