There’s no doubting that technology has made life easier and allowed us to be more connected than ever before.
However, despite all the innumerable benefits it brings, there are some drawbacks too. Health and wellness writer Wendy Rose Gould has identified four new stressors brought about by technology – as well as tips on how to deal with them.
1. Reliance on our devices
Technology has become so ubiquitous, and our devices so central in our day-to-day lives, that simply being disconnected for any length of time can leave people feeling vulnerable or detached. In fact, there’s even a name for the fear of being out of signal: nomophobia.
That said, over-use of devices can bring its own issues – so balance is key. Psychologist Dr Lisa Strohman advocates setting non-negotiable time away from devices to break the dependency and help find balance.
2. Message anxieties
Everybody knows that written communications can’t easily convey tone or inference. That knowledge doesn’t stop us from reading far too much into otherwise innocent messages, however. We’re still all too ready to become anxious about a text that appears blunt or snippy.
Thankfully the solution is simple – just speak to the individual and it will quickly become apparent whether they came across as intended or not.
3. Digital addiction
It may seem like a conspiracy theory, but fostering addiction is a genuine target for some online platforms. Web-based games, for instance, will be able to present users with many more ads (or get them to pay real money for in-game items) if they’re addicted, rather than just a casual player.
Tech addiction can have a serious impact on a person’s life, but often grows from very small beginnings. As above, setting boundaries is best in the long run, even if it feels like putting shackles on the fun initially.
4. Compare and despair
Social media has offered us tantalising glimpses into the lives of our friends, colleagues and even major celebrities. Of course, it’s only natural to see what others are doing and compare yourself with them. This, however, is a potentially dangerous slope.
With people carefully curating their online presence you’re only ever afforded a varnished look into their lives – and there can be no real comparison with the messy and unpredictable real world.
As Dr Strohman puts it: “Pictures do not say everything about a person’s life and that these carefully curated posts are only the happiest, best, most exciting photos.
“[They are] trying to sell the idea of perfection.”