Thirty years ago, technology was a relatively new concept. Things like cell phones, social media, and the internet were mostly unheard of and only a very small class of people were familiar with them. Today, by contrast, almost everybody has a mobile device that allows them to do virtually anything from calling to even making money.
However, there is a downside to the convenience that mobile technology affords us in this day and age. Many do not realize that our devices actually play a huge role in our mental health and the way our brain functions. Therefore, they can cause many negative consequences in the body and the brain.
It is not news that the different devices we use to access the internet take up a lot of time. A recent study shows that 1 in every four adults is online almost all the time. Our phones and gadgets give us unlimited access to every conceivable form of entertainment. Even teenagers and adolescents are on their phones all the time.
Over time, this consistent activity of devoting our attention to our devices begins to rewire our brains. As we now do almost everything online, we have no time to invest in offline relationships and interactions and give our brain a chance to be in its default mode. We continuously shift from app to app, and our brain loses its executive functioning. This severely affects our ability to pay attention as human beings.
Loss of Emotional IQ
Many people are familiar with the mental IQ, which defines our abilities to excel in analytical and quantitative tasks. However, we also possess an emotional Intelligent Quotient (IQ).
Emotional IQ is an incredibly useful topic. When it is groomed and primed enough, it allows us to function effectively in social situations and interactions. Mental IQ might determine the extent of our hard skills, but emotional IQ governs the softer side; empathy, active listening, focus, and ability to socialize effectively.
However, extended screen-time can significantly hamper emotional IQ development, especially in children and young adults. Online interactions are undoubtedly fast and efficient. However, they lack one crucial factor; the human component. Human beings are designed to connect, but the internet’s facelessness and impersonality do not make room for these nuances.
Disruption in Sleeping patterns
Sleep is a vital part of living. When we sleep, we give our body the opportunity to rejuvenate and reset itself. It is proven that people who get better and longer rests have improved brain and cognitive functions. This is why it is widespread for people to take naps when they are stressed.
Many factors can disrupt sleeping patterns and compromise the quality of your sleep. One of them is prolonged light exposure, typically from an electronic screen. The LED screens on our computers and phones emit a blue light wave. This wavelength and the degree of exposure to it can affect the circadian rhythms that govern sleep. This leads to shorter sleep duration, frequent sleep disturbances, and general body unrest.
In conclusion, technology is not inherently bad. There are several benefits to it, including being connected to the rest of the world at every point in time. However, we must determine where to draw the line. To live healthy and balanced lives, we have to control the use of technology in our lives and make it work for, not against, us.