We’re living in an era of technological advances. Every day, hundreds of inventions are added to the already-full, ever-expanding (thankfully) tech industry. Is that really a good thing, though?
Well, it is, but it isn’t.
Don’t facepalm me just yet. Technology is a double-edged sword. While it can render our lives easier and more comfortable, it does come with a few drawbacks. Below, you’ll find the top three reasons why technology can be harmful, or even dangerous, according to my own experience.
So, how is technology bad?
For me, the gravest impact of technology is on one’s health.
How is technology bad for your health, you might ask?
Well, for starters, using a smartphone, tablet, or computer for extended periods of time can lead to digital eye strain. Symptoms of that condition include headaches, dry eyes, and blurred vision, all of which can affect your life and daily activities in and of themselves. And mind you, those aren’t my words – that’s what the American Optometric Association (AOA) says.
To avoid such an issue, you ought to follow the 20-20-20 rule. It’s pretty simple, as all you have to do is take a short, 20-second break every 20 minutes when using an electric device. Easy peasy.
Technological devices don’t affect only your eyes, though, as extended use can also affect your bones and muscles. Most people hold their head in an unnatural, forward-leaning position when using their smartphones – a position that puts a lot of pressure on the neck, spine, and shoulders. Furthermore, excessive typing can lead to repetitive strain injuries. It’s time to stop tweeting every time your dog catches a ball, am I right?
The quality of your sleep can also go downhill because of technology. Studies have shown that exposure to the blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, and computers can suppress melatonin and interrupt your circadian clock. Those two effects can make falling asleep harder at night and, therefore, make you less active during the day.
Social and Emotional Impact of Technology
Social media can be a fun (yet unproductive) way to pass your time, but it can have a negative effect on your emotional state. That happens because social media gives the impression that everyone, except yourself, is continually having a great time and enjoying their life. That can lead to significant adverse effects, such as depression, aggressive behavior, and substance use, according to a 2011 cross-sectional survey.
The emphasis here is on “illusion.” Everyone is trying to boast their lives through social media, but they’re actually just looking for validation, which is another big problem in and of itself.
There’s also the problem of smartphone anxiety. Smartphone anxiety is the unnatural angst that you get when your device isn’t nearby or when the battery drops below 20% while you’re out.
Technology and Distraction
I’m a business and productivity enthusiast, and I continuously try to make the most out of my time. In recent years, I’ve been noticing a new trend in workplaces: people are getting distracted continually because of technology.
Smartphones are so engaging that people are finding it hard to stay away from them for more than a few minutes. The problem becomes even worse when users start using their phones and checking social media while doing other activities, such as driving. Even calling can be dangerous when one is driving. Now, we’re starting to see people hooked to their phones even when their hands are on the wheel.
Technology is here to stay, there’s no denying that, and while it can be harmful if misused, it can yield great benefits when used adequately.
Don’t fear technology, embrace it, but do it in a reasonable way.