Life moves at a dizzying pace in modern times with technological advancement and social media platforms completely overshadowing our lives. There is a plethora of gadgets and gizmos for people to connect with each other. People have become so dependent on technology and media that the very thought of having to forgo any of these can make one feel uneasy.
Technology is so ubiquitous that at times, it might seem impossible to sail through without it. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey 2017, 99 percent American adults own an electronic device, 86 percent have computers, 74 percent own a smartphone and 55 percent own a tablet. This may be a sign of prosperity and empowerment but there is also a flip side to it. All these technological innovations have robbed us of our inner peace and tranquility.
Here, we look at some of the ways in which technology has influenced the psychological health of the general population:
Evolution of ‘constant checker’: Almost 43 percent Americans face the problem of constantly checking their emails, texts and other social media accounts. It is an obsession and they have little control over it. Many call it the ‘Fear of missing out’ or the ‘FOMO’ syndrome. At times, this habit might make people feel disconnected from their family and peers despite all of them being present in the same room.
Digital connectivity has an association with mental health: People unanimously agree that disconnecting from social media or switching off their gadgets directly co-relates to mental peace and happiness. It declutters the chaotic mind.
Social media leads to a dent on one’s happiness: A recent study conducted by researchers from the Indiana University showed that people who are less popular on social media platforms than their friends are more like to feel unhappy. Happiness for social media buffs is associated with popularity on these platforms. This gives rise to a sense of dissatisfaction and hampers other aspects of life.
Isolation: According to an analysis led by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Pitt) in Pennsylvania, spending too much time on social media could also affect the mental health of a person. The analysis suggested that individuals aged 19 to 32 years who spend more time on social media tend to become socially isolated and suffer from depression.
Depression is another side effect
Another related study conducted by the Pittsburgh School Of Medicine said that frequent profile checkers were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who did not check their profiles very often.
However, all is not lost for these individuals. As per a research published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, one does not have to quit social media altogether to retain a healthy state of mind. Simply changing the pattern of using networking sites and taking an occasional break can do wonders and help in lifting the spirits.
Children, familial connections and digital media
Even children are not immune to effects from overt use of these platforms. There is ample evidence to show a close link between handheld screen time and speech delays in young children, mobile device addiction and depression and anxiety in college going students, and exposure to smartphone screens and bad sleep quality.
Although these technological inventions have made lives seamless and comfortable, one has to draw the line so that they do not negatively impact us.
Dealing with mental health conditions
It is difficult to live with mental health conditions, and any delay in treatment can exacerbate the symptoms. However, mental illness can be cured with timely treatment. Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider in the United States with excellent facilities and staff across the country. Our anxiety treatment centers are among the best in the country. Hence, if you have a loved one suffering from any mental condition, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online for an immediate response.