Two Ways Too Much Technology Can Be Bad For Your Health
Technology has proved to be an invaluable asset in the field of mental health. We have the net which allows effortless access to statistics on symptoms and disorders such as depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. We have EEG machines which allow us to physically distinction brain waves lowering symptomology and we have cell phone apps that allow us to track our moods and symptoms to more beneficial understand their etiology. With all these wonderful uses for technology, its hard to imagine that they could have a negative side too.
Today everyone is constantly plugged in. We have laptops, smart-phones, ipads, ipods, work computers, television, TiVo for on call for watching, and redbox on every corner. This constant need to be preoccupied with electronic toys is leading to the break down of our communities, and it's miles perhaps going a strong variable in the ADHD epidemic that seems to be overtaking our society. It seems that excessive use of technology can be damaging to our extended social support systems, and our cognitive progress.
Even though many folk will argue that technology helps them keep in touch with family easier, there still seems to be a break down in communities. Yes, you can email your circle of relatives often and text your daughter to see if she is home from school all when you are sitting in a meeting at work. But this is your immediate social support system. Your community is comprised of individuals that are living in your town and is a vital extension. Your relations within your community are extended social support. However, it kind of feels like there has been a gentle breakdown of interest in growing relationships with neighbors, or those you see on the streets day to day. How many folk take the time to get to grasp their neighbors when they circulate into a new place? I admit to being guilty of this at times, and often wonder what it was like for my grandparents who lived in their area for close to 40 years, raising their children with those on the road and knowing that whatever what they could rely on those living nearby if something were to happen. If their child broke his arm falling from a tree a neighbor would help, or if an adolescent was falling in with the wrong crowd a neighbor would tell his parents.
Last month in San Francisco, a killer walked onto a crowded practice. The passengers were so involved in their smart-phones and ipods that no one saw him take out his gun and wave it around. In fact he did this about 4 or 5 times, randomly aiming at individuals as he randomly chose his target. No one noticed until he fired a spherical into the back of a college scholar, killing him. They were so consumed with technology and entirely detached from their environment they didnt notice. The police had to review the practice security footage for a exact account of what happened.
Does this sound like a horrific but isolated incident? Anyone remember watching the viral video of a woman in the mall who was so engrossed in her texting that she walked right into the fountain and fell in? Has your state started a campaign to stop texting and driving because of the high charge of accidents which resulted from people being distracted? It seems like the constant use of technology has some serious down sides.
Besides effecting our relationships and social support systems, the constant use of technology has led to changes in our cognitive progress. Everyone can think of a time they were staring at the microwave wondering when the food was going to be done already! It seems we have grown accustom to constantly being entertained, preoccupied, or on the go while multitasking. I have often thought that this constant need to be stimulated may additionally play a role in the soaring variety of individuals being seen for issues with attention.
Years ago, kids played with simple toys which were often selfmade. Lincoln logs were thought of great offers, and if the elements was nice you were outside reinventing some fantasy role you and your brothers have played hundreds of thousands of times. Kids needed to entertain themselves and they used their imaginations, they pondered, and they were conversant in being bored. These types of sporting activities helped them develop their attention. They could sit for hours playing quietly, they could center around the task at hand, and they hung out wonderful themselves by using their minds and imaginations.
Today, children are placed in front of the television at an early age and grow up with the luxury of constant entertainment. The thought of being bored is unthinkable, and often tantrums ensue to protest moms request that they put their iphone away for dinner. Children who are accustom to constant entertainment never had a need to develop their attention, and as a result dont. This can lead to children and adults seeking medications that they otherwise would never have needed.
The good news is that technology has also been developed to help individuals develop their attention with the aid of neurofeedback therapy. This variation of therapy is a holistic approach to treating ADHD (and lots other disorders) by using a feedback loop to distinction brainwaves and help the person focus more beneficial, ultimately making improvements to their attention. The technology for this variation of therapy has been around for years, but is only recently becoming more of a mainstream therapeutic approach.
Overall, I want to say I am not anti-technology. Technology has some wonderful uses and can be beneficial in countless ways. However, when I read the news article about how technology distracted those individuals on the practice, oblivious of their surrounding and security, I was shocked. Even if no one had been willing to be a hero and save the life of the innocent university scholar, I was surprised at how unaware they were for their very own security. No one seemed to note the gun wielding killer on the practice. I began to consider the future effects this hassle can have on the mental health of individuals, and how technology has played a role in the greater variety of ADHD patients that are seen.
Technology is an important tool to make life easier and improve our quality of living , but everything ought to be in moderation. Find a balance in your life, take time to unplug every once in some time, and remember to step out of the virtual world and enjoy the genuine one that surrounds you day to day.
Dr. Brennan attended Rutgers University, and graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology. She also completed a Master of Arts in Psychology at Pace University. Upon completion, she began a doctorate program at Argosy University completing a Master's of Arts and Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology. She is in this day and age completing her residency in Clinical Neuropsychology and works at www.GuidedPathWay.com as a life coach specializing in holistic coaching, ADHD, and Recovery Coaching.Trained in the Practitioner-Scholar variation, Dr. Brennan works with valued clientele using empirically supported techniques such as CBT, ACT, and BFST.