ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

One Relationship You May Need To Check Twice-- Your Health and Technology

Updated on May 5, 2020
Erin C Day profile image

Erin writes for a number of blogs on various health, nutrition, and wellness topics.

Photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash
Photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash

I have often heard of people doing a social media cleanse or technology fast in order to improve their mental health and day-to-day life. There may be some benefit to doing so, but using your phone or computer may not be all that bad at times.

Every person’s use of technology is different. One person may check their Facebook page every hour, while another may check it once a week. No matter what your habits are, like everything else, there are both positive and negative sides to technology.

The Negative Effects

According to Healthline, excessive use of technology can affect various aspects of our health. It can cause:

  • Digital eye strain

  • Musculoskeletal problems

  • Sleep problems

  • Emotional problems

These problems can appear after prolonged use of technology, so it is crucial to exercise restraint if needed. If you have to use technology often for work, try investing in a pair of blue light filtering glasses or a posture correcting device.

Blue light glasses filter blue light that comes from screens. “Blue-screen/blue-light glasses feature tinted lenses with anti-glare protection,” says For Eyes. “These lenses limit your exposure to blue light, which is found in your cell phone, certain light bulbs, and even sunshine. Blue light is a high-energy light that our eyes are sensitive to. It can damage your retina, which may lead to blindness.” A good investment if you are often looking at screens.

If you don’t feel like your usual self lately or just more overall lethargic, the reason could lie in your technological habits. Digital Responsibility provides more specifics that can occur by using technology too much:

  • Distraction caused by technology

  • Expectation of instant gratification

  • Narcissism

  • Cognitive losses

  • Deficits in social skills

  • Sense of isolation

  • Depression

Pretty scary if you ask me. Though, now that I know about them, I can definitely recognize having some of these symptoms in part due to my phone or computer usage.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Solutions

Digital Responsibility provides some solutions you can implement in an effort to prevent yourself from experiencing these negative effects such as taking breaks, analyzing your motivations, giving your space an ergonomic makeover, and turning off all lights and screens when you go to sleep.

Healthline also suggests you cut back on screen time by deleting unessential apps, designating a limited amount of time to use your devices, turning some screen time into physical activity time, removing electronic devices from the bedroom, charging devices in a separate room, making mealtime gadget-free time, and prioritizing real-world relationships over online relationships.

I plan to follow these guidelines myself and make it the norm in my own, future home. Kids nowadays may be exposed to technology much sooner than I was, so it is important to start right from the get-go.

Technology and Children

Children are particularly at risk of experiencing the harmful side effects of technology use.

According to Healthline, research has linked too much screen time or low-quality screen time to:

  • Behavioral problems

  • Less time for play

  • Loss of social skills

  • Obesity

  • Sleep problems

  • ADHD

Fortunately, parents don’t have to tackle this issue blindly. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put out recommended screen times based on age. There are other resources parents can turn to find out ways to limit technology use too.

Parents can:

  • Limit their kids’ screen time, allowing it only at certain times of the day

  • Review the programs, games, and apps

  • Play games and explore technology with their kids

  • Take advantage of parental controls

  • Make sure that children have regular, unstructured, tech-free playtime.

Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash

The Positive

A major benefit of technology is how it can assist us in trying to better our health. For example, apps can make it easier to track things like heart rate, sleep, distance traveled, steps, and other physical activity. My Fitbit even has a “relax” function, helping me take a break and just breathe.

USF Health says that even though technology can encourage us to be lazy, it still provides many tools and “positive opportunities for the long-term improvement of our health.”

Technology also makes it possible for things like virtual doctor visits, online education, research, and communication with others.

West Bend Cares claims that, for children, technology can enhance learning, foster problem-solving skills, and develop future leaders.

Basically, it’s all about how you use technology and how much of it you use. You can use it to better yourself or not.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash
Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

What's Important

Technology can both help us or do the opposite. What’s important is making sure your use of it isn’t excessive in order to prevent yourself from developing an addiction to it. It is when we use technology too much that it begins to affect us negatively.

Technology is a part of daily life, and there is no need to change that. All we need to do is be mindful of our technology use. By being aware of our current technology habits, we can check ourselves and adjust if necessary. Knowing technology’s effects can even inform you of a possible reason why you’ve been experiencing a certain symptom and how you can go about changing that.

© 2020 Erin Day

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      9 days ago from USA

      Welcome to HubPages! I enjoyed the article. I don’t envy the challenge faced by parents of young kids these days who are just learning how to temper their social media and overall screen time, especially during lockdown. My young nephew was with us for a month because my sister is a nurse who tests elderly patients for Covid-19, and we had lots of discussions about what he was doing and should or could be doing instead lol.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)