Back in the 2000s when we were in school, we could just look at these flashy phones that our elders and seniors had, and couldn’t help but fantasize the day when we’d grow up and have mobile phones of our own. Now, when you see around, it’s a brand new story. Three year olds are going around with iPads, kids have their Instagram accounts all updated, and adults glued to their phones with the fear of missing out. Almost all of us, at some point or the other, miss the good ol’ days and regret how we have let technology rule over us while we have become its chained slaves. But, is technology really that bad for us? Is it really messing our mental health? Here is all that you need to know:
# What do the studies say?
- As per a study of University of Michigan, the use of Facebook leads to a decrease in overall satisfaction in life and decreases happiness.
- A University of Gothenburg research in Sweden has traced a link between the excessive use of cellphones in youngsters and symptoms of depression.
- According to two studies conducted by a team of researchers in Australia, the compulsive use of internet by adolescents leads to a poor mental health
- As per a study conducted by Swansea University, when heavy internet users stop using the internet, they often experience the psychological symptoms of withdrawal.
When we look at these studies, it’s very easy to realize the hazardous impact it has on us- mentally, physically as well as emotionally. But, there are some questions which must be answered. For instance, do adults, teens and children get impacted by technology in the same way? Or it can be more detrimental for the developing brains? Also, are certain forms of technology, such as social media, worse than the other kinds, like answering e-mails or Skyping?
Well, the thing is, technology has undergone evolution at such a fast pace that we are yet to know it entirely. We need more and more studies for understanding the effects of technology on our mental health.
# How to win the battle over technology?
Having said all that, let’s face it- we cannot live without our PCs and phones. So, here are some steps which can be taken to minimize the use of technology and not letting it take the better of us. These steps are recommended by experts and are really helpful for our mental health. Here are they:
- Start experimenting with short time periods of ‘No Internet’ access. If it’s permitted by your lifestyle, keep your phone in your pocket or bag and only take it out at some specific times throughout the day for our mental health. You need to fix those time spans for yourself. By designating times, you would slowly be adjusting to a life where you are not in a constant desperate need of accessing your phone at all times.
- If you want to go a step ahead, just leave your phone at home just for a day and see the difference. It may sound like bizarre idea as we all have made phone an inseparable part of our lives of our mental health. But hey, no harm in trying, right? You can let your family and people at work know you’d not be accessible and give them an emergency number of a friend or colleague in case something very important comes up for our mental health.
- Learn the art of moderation. Drinking too much vodka is bad and eating too much chocolate is bad too for our mental health. We need to see technology in the same light.
We all know how important our physical health is and we go for a workout, eat healthy, pop in pills to keep it on track but when it comes to mental health, umm, it often takes a backseat. The more you will take our mental health seriously and make amends to make it better, the happier you will be and it would benefit your physical health too. These days, depression and anxiety are very common but they are highly treatable too. So, there’s still time and it’s not too late. Save yourselves!