Technology has been around for a while and society has
gotten use to having it around. Technology has evolved from a flip phones to a
touch screen devices. Society loves technology and uses it every day. It has gotten
to the point where society depends on these devices. Technology is so ingrained
in our society that it will not be leaving, it might change and develop. However
too much technology is harmful to its user’s. It harms the user’s physical,
social and emotional health.
Technology’s users are also noticing
negative effects on their physical health. People are noticing that their eyes
are becoming worse due to electronics. According to Susan Patterson in her
article “7 Ways Electronics Quietly Harm Our Mental Health” she wrote “The blue
light emitted by the screens of electronic device is the culprit here…… Excess
exposure to this light has been linked to retinal damage that could potentially
lead to macular degeneration.” Some of the other Side effects are eye strain,
double vision and temporary short-sightedness (O’ Conner). Technology is also
causing people diseases and skin irritation. According to Lindsay Holmes in her
article Sneaky Ways Technology Is Messing With Your Body And Mind she states “Our
phones are actually teeming with bacteria (think about it, where don’t we bring
our devices?). And where are we putting that bacteria? Directly on our face. Germs
pile up on our phones thanks to our external environment, which could trigger acne
or eczema outbreaks”. This is especially concerning to those who are already
struggle with acne or eczema. Acne and eczema is not the only problems
electronics can cause. They can also cause some types cancers. Studies show
that people who intensively use their phone for ten years or more have an
increased chance of getting certain types of cancer such as rare eye, brain and
salivary glands (Chelala). Another area that technology users are noticing
problems with is their spine and joints. “Dr. Ewa Gustafsson, a researcher and
ergonomist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, conducted a study about the
mobile phone habits of 56 young adults who send text messages every day. Half
of the respondents say they suffer from arm, wrist, neck, and back pain due to
prolonged use of their cell phones”( The Negative). The pain
that the young adults in the study experienced comes from texting. Texting
causes a lot of stress on your wrist, arms and thumbs because of constant use.
The neck and back pain is due to being hunched over and bending forward to see
the screen. The back and neck pain are not only from texting but can occur from
anytime one does not have good posture, which happens a lot when spending time
on electronic devices. Having good posture has so many benefits, that people
with too much electronics are missing out (The Negative). The benefits of good
posture is not the only thing that people can miss by using too much
electronics. They can also miss amazing relationships.
health is someone’s ability to make good deep relationships with others and to
be comfortable in a variety of social situations and respond correctly (Koshuta).
One relationship that technology is hurting is the relationship between
friends. Friends are not taking as much time to enjoy face to face
conversations as they us too. This can be very harmful because it reduces one’s
ability to understand non-verbal cues and the relationship is less likely to be
a deep and meaningful one (Patterson). Another concern is that people
especially tweens to teens are making “friends” with people who they do not
know. Besides the obvious reason of protection this can be bad because the
person might spend all their time maintaining this fake relationship when they
should be spending that time on making real friends. The relationships formed
at work are also minimizing. This is partially due to the fact that at breaks co-workers
might all be sitting around the same table but they are glued to their devices
instead of talking to each other. Another reason is that most people are
becoming very awkward so they would defiantly not want to talk to their boss(s)
face to face for fear of screwing up or having awkward silence. This is very
concerning because good relationships can make the workplace better and make
coming to the office everyday a little more exciting. A third relationship that
is taking a toll from technology is the relationship between parents and their
offspring. One of the major reason for this is that the world is very fast
pace. This reasons mean that parents already have a limited amount of time with
their children because often during the day the children are at daycare while
both parents are working. Then in the evening once everyone is home the parents
feel that they have a lot to do like cook supper and they feel quite tired. It
does not help that technology is an easy, always willing and most cost
efficient babysitter (Mari K. Swingle p.123). This is very concerning because
parents and children are not getting the bonding time that they need. However
it is not just affecting the relationship between the parent and child it could
also be affecting the child’s emotional health.
Technology is also harming user’s emotional health. Sleep
is one area that is affected by technology use. According to the article “From
neck problems to hearing loss: How technology might affect your health” written
by Michele O’Connor “Sleeping with your phone near you causes hyper-vigilance –
feeling alert, tense and on guard: ‘Subconsciously, you’re expecting a call or
text and this means your sleep will be lighter,’ explains sleep expert Dr. Neil
Stanley.” This is not the only way that
technology is robing sleep from people. Technology has bright screens which is
fine during the day but it can be very harmful in the evening and night. The
bright screen tells our minds that it is not time to go to bed. It does this by
suppressing the production of a hormone called melatonin and this is the hormone
which helps us to fall asleep (O’Conner). Technology is also making people feel
lonely. It is debated on whether technology more specifically social networks
are causing loneliness or if lonely people just turn to social media (Holmes).
This is a serious concern because loneliness
can cause someone to seek negative attention or get depressed. Technology also
causes addictions and making the addictions more available. Some of the
addictions related to technology is gambling, online relationships, gaming and
online shopping. However “The root cause of these addictions may lie in other
psychological problems such as anxiety, depression or previous addictive
behavior these users have” (Patterson). The largest concern with cyber addictions
is that they can be done with some anonymity. This is concerning because the
anonymity makes people bolder and more aggressive when doing their addictions.
Another concern with cyber addictions is that they can easily go unnoticed and
unchecked even though they are just as dangerous as other addictions (Patterson).
This is concerning because we want people to overcome their addictions and not
become bolder when pursuing it. Overall technology user’s emotional health is
becoming worse due to technology.
Physical, social and emotional health are all deteriorating
due to excessive technology use. Technology is causing weaker relationships in
homes, work and with friends. All of these are contributors to poor social
health. Technology is also causing troubles with emotional health. Loneliness,
sleep loss and addictions are proof of our deteriorating emotional health.
There is also our physical health to be considered. Technology is hurting our
joints, eyes and causing diseases. Technology clearly has its bad sides too. Society
is being affected by technology but dose our society understand fully the
effects of technology?
Cesar. “Health Risks of Electronic Devices.” The Women’s International
Perspective, 12 July
Holmes, Lindsay. “Sneaky
Ways Technology Is Messing With Your Body And Mind.” HuffPost Canada, HuffPost
Canada, 6 Dec. 2017, www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/health-effects-of-technol_n_6263120.
Koshuta, John. “What Is
Social Health? – Definition & Examples.” Study.com, Study.com,
O’Connor, Michele. “From
neck problems to hearing loss: How technology might affect your health.”
Express.co.uk, Express.co.uk, 16 Jan. 2016, www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/634318/Smartphone-tablet-gadgets-effect-health.
Patterson, Susan. “7 Ways Electronics Quietly
Harm Our Mental Health.” Off The Grid News, www.offthegridnews.com/alternative-health/7-ways-electronics-quietly-harm-our-mental-health/.
Swingle, Mark K. “Community,
Communication, Digital Meditation, and Friendship.” i-Minds, New Society
Publishers, 2016, pp. 179–189.
“The Negative Effects of
Electronics on Human Health.” Green Lifestyle Market, 3 Aug. 2014, www.greenlifestylemarket.com/blog/the-negative-effects-of-electronics-on-human-health/.