In the nineties, ownership of mobile devices was a preserve for the few rich – and their functionality was limited to calls, and SMS. Rolling back the curtains of history, humanity used telephones (booths – simu ya jamii), and even further back, letters. Most of us millennials would assume that communication and flow of information have always been this easy, but well – our grannies would confirm otherwise. Much has happened in the past few decades that the world is now a “small village”.
Isn’t it surprising that technology is an imitation of nature? The nose of the fastest train in the world is a borrowed idea from the king Fisher bird that lands swiftly in water to get its prey. ‘Twitter’ is a name borrowed from the birds’ act of chirping; just to mention for an example from lots of samples.
Today’s Social Networking Sites – which are part of the fast-developed technology – are assumed to be all good and healthy since technology is largely borrowed from God’s creation. It goes without saying that these, and the core technology itself, have brought about many good advancements and benefits, but the same has caused quite a number of undesirable physiological and psychological effects. Some of the effects have been discussed below:
Nowadays many millennials tend to be more forgetful than seniors all thanks to technology which makes us take in new information constantly barely giving us enough time to think about it and commit it to our memory before something else grabs our attention. This greatly weakens our memory and tampers with our ability to be attentive and may lead to ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
This is largely due to the massive negative information available to internet users over various issues. Talk of the daily discouraging news being reported, exaggerated diagnosis of diseases over the internet et cetera. Who wouldn’t be afraid and uncertain about tomorrow?
- Low self-esteem
Caused by social comparison and social anxiety. Most of us young people see flashy pictures of our fellows and rush to the conclusion that they are doing better than us, they are more beautiful and successful than us. By this, we start devaluing ourselves in our minds and later may resort to self-hate and depression.
- Poor impulse
One might think and wonder how the body’s impulse is connected to technology but the fact is that technology can inhibit the user’s ability to rein in impulsive or aggressive behavior. This particularly affects people who love playing video games. They are forced to make snap decisions in violent situations that inhibit proactive executive control, meaning they are likely to react with immediate unchecked hostility or aggression even in real-life situations. This also affects the way we manage our emotions in general.
- Undermined face to face interactions.
By technology, we are now closer to those far away; and sadly are far away from those around us! The brother and sisterhood that was earlier before this digital era when family and friends would visit each other just to know how the other is doing, to express their gratitude and concern to each other have been eroded. Our ability to express our emotions and feelings has been taken over by emoji. This is even worse for kids and teens who have grown up in this digital era since many have an issue in conversation skills and real social cues.
- Experiencing “FOMO”
This can be better be described as the Fear Of Missing Out, which is a blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can flare up while skimming social media. While surfing the web, pictures of dinners, raging parties, weddings and other social events catch our attention and we often wish that could be us and at times we go on ahead to participate in them so as not to be left out. This makes our taste and preference bland by comparison not to mention our assertiveness being impaired.
It is believed technology addiction is much worse than drug addiction because the brain which is a very important organ that controls the body is affected. Constantly we find ourselves halting our daily activities to pop into Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and text messages. There is a certain gratification that comes with seeing new notifications and messages. This and many other activities like chatting and others take much of our time, positive energy, and also resources.
- “Phantom vibration syndrome”
This is a physical sensation that your phone is vibrating but in the real sense it’s not. It is surprising but I am sure quite a good number of people have experienced this. This is closely related to addiction.
Some effects may be short-lived, but others are long term.
- Poor quality sleep
Electronic devices’ screens are known to emit blue light that affects sleep-inducing and controlling hormones i.e. melatonin. Exposure to bright light may fool the brain into thinking it’s still daytime and can potentially have lasting effects on the body’s circadian rhythms. This is the chief cause of insomnia.
Our dreams are also affected during sleep by the same. A study found out that we dream in colors according to our television sets.
Our eyes suffer strain when we stay for long hours glued to PC and Mobile Phone screens, looking at unnaturally small images and letters.
- Poor body posture
The posture we assume when using our PCs and phones may be detrimental, in the long run. Especially, our necks and backbones are very much affected by this. This is mainly because we assume a hunched position when using the same devices.
- Reduced physical activity
It is agreeable to us all that very few of our devices allow us to be active. We have to be seated, or lain somewhere to Chat, watch a movie, send an email, follow through status et cetera.
What do we do then?
Before you conclude that I am against technology, I would say that it is not all that evil. You reading this information could not have accessed it if it were not this technology. That said and done, it is up to us to make it beneficial and healthy to ourselves in a wholesome, and fulfilling manner. And how can we do that? Well we can achieve it by practicing TEMPERANCE
And every man that striveth for mastery is temperate in all things
1 Corinthians 9:25
mashable.com by Rebecca Hiscott March 14, 2014
You now have a shorter attention span than a gold fish, time health.