Today we live in a world surrounded by different technologies; From laptops, tablets and mobile phones to technologies that we do not know much about but have made medical, scientific and educational advances. Technology is an enduring phenomenon in human life that is constantly evolving. Any new technology that enters our lives can help improve our lives, but in some cases can be a threat to our physical and mental health.
In this article, we will point out some of the negative effects of technology and provide solutions for the optimal use of technology. Stay tuned to Wironal.
Negative effects of technology
The use of technology is inevitable these days. We need the Internet and smart devices to do most of the work, and conditions such as the corona outbreak have made us more dependent on technology. In this age, our social relationships, our work and even our education have become dependent on the Internet. Therefore, it is not bad to know its disadvantages in order to manage the use of technology products. The use of technology and attractive facilities that it provides us may have the following disadvantages.
Experts say long-term use of digital monitors such as computers, laptops and cell phones can damage the eyes. Such injuries are accompanied by the following symptoms;
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
Excessive screen light, poor ambient light, and inappropriate distance from the screen are the most important factors that cause these injuries. Experts recommend that you follow these tips to prevent eye injuries;
After every 20 minutes of watching the screen, rest your eyes for 20 seconds and look at a place 6 meters away from you during the break.
When using smartphones, it is possible to keep your head in an abnormal position and lean forward. This puts a lot of pressure on the neck, shoulders and spine.
A 2017 study based on participants’ self-reports found that there was a clear link between smartphone addiction and neck problems.
Another study conducted many years ago in the 1990s found that adolescents with low back pain and neck and shoulder pain increased. In the same study, it was found that the cause of this phenomenon is the increasing use of communication and information technologies.
Excessive use of technology can also cause repetitive pressure (RSI) damage to the fingers and wrists.
If you experience one of these pains, you can take steps to reduce it;
- Use the rule of frequent rest, that is, rest several times at regular intervals.
- Do stretching exercises at rest.
- Create an ergonomic workspace.
- Maintain proper posture when using devices.
If these measures do not reduce the pain, you should see a doctor.
Using technology in the bedroom can disrupt sleep in several ways. A 2015 study showed that exposure to artificial blue light emitted by devices can reduce the secretion of the hormone melatonin and disrupt the order of the biological clock. These negative effects cause sleep disturbances that lead to decreased concentration throughout the day.
It is best not to take electronics with you to the bedroom. Their presence in the bedroom tempts you and makes it difficult for you to put them aside. In this situation, when you decide to sleep, you will not fall asleep so easily.
4.mental health problems
Using social media helps you to connect more with others. This widespread connection can also have negative consequences. For example, comparing yourself to others is one of those negative consequences that makes you experience feelings of inadequacy or loneliness.
A recent study looked at more than 1,700 people between the ages of 19 and 32. In this study, it was found that excessive use of social networks can increase the tendency to social isolation.
In 2011, a number of high school students were enrolled. The study found that using the Internet caused problems for 4% of participants. Researchers have linked the use of the Internet to problems such as depression, drug use and aggressive behavior. Researchers also point out that high school students, especially those who use the Internet more, may not know much about these problems.
A review of scientific findings in 2016 showed that the use of social networks is associated with the development of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. Scientific evidence also confirms the existence of this relationship.
Of course, researchers say that the usefulness or harmfulness of social media depends on the issues that arise. But more research is needed to draw conclusions about the problem factors.
If using social media has caused you depression or anxiety, stop it for a while. You may see positive changes.
Negative effects of technology on children
A 2014 study found that technology affects the health of children and adolescents. In this study, it was found that the negative impact of technology on health is not less than eating harmful foods. On the other hand, proper use of technology is as effective as exercise in improving health.
Researchers believe that the main cause of these negative effects is long-term viewing of screens. The prolonged use of television, video games, and smartphones are examples of this harmful behavior. Researchers conducted an anonymous study in an online survey and concluded that parents and educators should help children reduce the time they spend watching screens. Children need to learn about the negative effects of this behavior.
Children are at an important stage of mental development, and in this situation, playing games outside the home is better for them than having fun with electronic media. Children as young as 2 can watch screens, but this entertainment should not replace important learning opportunities, including outdoor games.
According to researchers, watching too many screens is associated with the following problems in children;
- behavioral problems
- Spend less time playing and not learning social skills
- Sleep problems
Like adults, children who spend a lot of time with digital devices may experience eye injuries and experience symptoms of these injuries. Experts advise parents and educators to watch out for signs of eye injuries in children and encourage children to take frequent breaks if they do. Children need to rest more on their own eyes.
In 2018, a number of 15- and 16-year-olds were studied. This study was based on the self-expression of participating students over a period of 24 months. These students pursued 14 different activities in digital media. In this study, it was found that excessive use of digital media can provide the conditions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Of course, more research is needed to confirm this cause-and-effect relationship.
Recommended times to watch screens according to children’s age
Experts recommend the following points for the duration of children’s use of the media;
- Until the age of 18 months: Except for making video calls, viewing screens is not allowed.
- From 18 months to 2 years: Watching the right programs with parents and educators is okay.
- 2 to 5 years old: One hour a day can watch screens in the form of appropriate programs.
- From 6 years old: Plan for them with the goal of using the right media with a specific schedule. Adjust your schedule so that media use does not interfere with health-oriented behaviors such as getting enough sleep and exercising.
Experts also recommend that parents and educators set times such as dinner time and places like the bedroom as times and places without media.
The positive effects of technology
Technology is embedded in almost every aspect of our lives, and in many cases we may not pay attention to the role of technology in our lives. Technology can play a role in maintaining and promoting our physical and mental health. Let’s take a look at some of the solutions to the positive effects of technology.
- Applications to track the condition of patients with chronic diseases and transfer vital information to physicians
- Applications for recording and evaluating information related to diet, exercise program and mental health
- View the patient’s electronic record online and learn about medical records and test results
- Virtual examination of the patient
- Prescribe and receive treatment prescriptions online
- Online training and ease of conducting research
- Strengthen social relationships and improve related emotions
Solutions for the optimal use of technology
With each new development, our use of technology becomes easier and more, and this process can continue to the point where it causes us trouble. If we reach this stage, we will see its effect in our minds and bodies. So to what extent should we use technology?
The answer to this question depends on the situation of the people, but if you see the following signs, you rely too much on technology;
- Other family members or friends object to your use of technology.
- Technology has caused you to not pay enough attention in your face-to-face relationships and ignore your partner or companions.
- Technology is interfering with your work.
- Are you experiencing a lack of sleep or lack of physical activity due to the use of technology?
- The use of technology has caused stress or anxiety.
- The use of technology has resulted in physical side effects such as tension headaches, eye injuries and muscle aches.
- When you start using technology, you can not stop it.
If you are familiar with these signs and have decided to spend less time watching screens, you can use the following tips;
- Delete unnecessary applications.
- Set a time limit for using electronic devices.
- Spend some time watching sports screens.
- Move electronics away from the bedroom and even put them in another room to charge.
- When sleeping, turn clockwork and light-emitting devices against the wall.
- Do not use electronics while eating.
- Prefer face-to-face social relationships to online social relationships.
If you are in charge of childcare, you can get help from the following solutions:
- Limit screen time. Only allow children to use them at certain times of the day, and avoid using them during meals as well as at bedtime.
- You need to know what children are using these devices for. Check out their apps and games. Encourage children to use informative programs instead of spending time on programs that are just fun.
- Participate in games and use apps with children.
- Taking advantage of parental control can help.
- Make sure children play games outdoors regularly with physical activity.
- Encourage children to prefer face-to-face friendships to online friendships.
Technology is a part of our lives, the positive and negative effects of which depend on how we use it. If technology is used properly, the positive effects and benefits outweigh the negative effects and harms. Today, technology plays an important role in education, health and public welfare.
Understanding the negative effects of technology and the factors that cause them will help you to take steps to reduce these negative effects and continue to enjoy the positive aspects of technology.