Technology affecting mental health

How technologies influence people’s mental health?

John is from Miami, Florida. He was a jovial student in his school days who used to participate in various sports, quiz programs, etc. in his school days. He had a lot of friends, even when he was in college. After completing his studies, John started working as an accountant.

However, he has changed drastically over the last two decades and hardly attends any social gathering or participate in any even in his office. John does not speak much with his family members, friends, and his colleagues as well. They wonder what might have happened with him that he changed drastically.

It is not that John misbehaves with anyone; however, he is not the same person he used to be while he was in school or college days. Imagine if it happens to any of your family members or even with you. Isn’t it quite strange? Well, it did not happen all of a sudden; however, we tend to ignore things till the time some drastic change is noticed.

There are many people like John these days who prefer to stay alone with their mobile phones, tablet, and laptop. It has been prevalent among youths and working professionals these days.

While technology has brought a lot of conveniences but there is a grave concern as well. Most of the people have become disconnected from their family members, friends, relatives, etc. There are families where people hardly talk to each other; everyone is busy in his/her virtual world. There are many ways technologies may influence people’s mental health. 

  • Addiction to Internet usage: Internet addiction has reached an alarming level, especially among young and adolescents. Many studies have confirmed the fact that people who are addicted to the Internet are prone to mental illness. While almost everyone uses the Internet, however only a few use the Internet positively. The addiction is so much for some people that they glue to their mobile devices for hours, and most of the time, they do unproductive things. Such people leave everything else behind and gradually become ill mentally.
  • Social media: We have seen people often glued to their mobile phones or tablet and spending hours on a social media platform like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. There have been studies showing a link between social media usage and depression. These people get disconnected from the real world and live in a virtual world, chatting with virtual friends. Sometimes, people get addicted to this habit and cut off from their family members, friends gradually that leads to anxiety, grouchiness, etc. If this habit is not stopped, then it can lead to mental instability.

Some people make hate speech, derogatory comments on social media on politics, religion, ethnicity. They use obscene language to win over others. Such people think abusive language is a tool to win against other users. It leads to ill-temper and, subsequently, mental illness.

  • Effect on Children: If you are a parent of a kid, you know how difficult it is to keep your kid away from the television. It is almost impossible. These days kids hardly go to play outside, they prefer to lie on the sofa and swap channels of the TV or use the mobile phone to play games or watch cartoons. They don’t stop there; some kids like to watch violent movies, TV shows, etc. They try to emulate those characters and often commit crimes. Such kids don’t mingle with their classmates or participate in any outdoor game. It leads to depression among children. 
  • Insomnia: Sleeplessness or insomnia is another effect of technology. With the availability of inexpensive Internet, youths are always stuck on the mobile phone to watch movies, music, TV shows, web series, online games, etc. Some people watch Netflix, amazon prime videos, and other web series when they go to bed. They compromise their time of sleeping, watching the contents, and gradually get addicted to this. Regular sleeplessness leads to insomnia and many other physical and mental disorders. 

Even though technology has helped us in many ways, however, it has brought a lot of lifestyle diseases. People skip their food, sleep, and spend time on a mobile phone, tablet, or computer, etc.

Addiction of children to TV, mobile phones lead to insufficient physical and mental activity. They grow an apathy towards studies or doing complex mathematical calculations and logical thinking.

It is very difficult to resist the temptation of TV and mobile phones when there are so many things available on the Internet. However, to lead a healthy life, we need to find a balance.

Technology is excellent until the time we know how and when to use it. It is where the parents, teachers, and elders in the family have an essential role to play. They can guide the youths about addiction to electronic gadgets. Moreover, once we grow up, we should e mature enough to understand how much time we should spend on mobile phones or other devices so that it does not affect us mentally.

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