Technology is the most transitional sector and fast-growing. It has an impact on all aspects of our life, from communicating with loved ones to knowing at our fingertips. Unfortunately, technology has also had a variety of harmful effects on mental health.
While technology has made it easier for people to obtain information, guidance, and support, there are significant concerns associated with its increasing use. With technology becoming increasingly pervasive in children’s lives, it’s vital to consider when kids should have a phone because phone use at a young age can have long-term consequences.
Screen time and social media use among children and adolescents, in particular, have been related to an increase in the prevalence of mental health issues. Technology’s influence on children and teenagers can have an impact on their social skills, and development, and can be linked to a variety of other later concerns.
Passive social media use (such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook) has been linked to an increased risk of depression. Multiple studies have identified a relationship between screen use and both physical and mental health outcomes in children and adolescents, including decreased physical activity, an increased risk of depression, and lower well-being.
How common is the effect of technology on mental health?
While not all mental health disorders among young people can be attributed to technology, it is critical to acknowledge the large number of youngsters who are affected by these challenges. According to research, one in every five children aged 13 to 18 has or will have a major mental disease before reaching maturity. Among the children in this group:
- 11% suffer from mood disorders.
- 10% suffer from behavioral or conduct issues.
- 8% suffer from anxiety disorders.
Unfortunately, the effects of technology on children and teens are not only spreading to a greater population but have also been demonstrated to be long-lasting. To put things in perspective, around 50% of lifelong mental illness cases began at the age of 14, with 75% beginning by the age of 24. With this in mind, it is critical to take precautionary measures to reduce potential danger factors for our children, such as their access to technology. These methods may include implementing parental controls to limit the amount of time your children spend on their mobile devices or watching television.
Effects on physical health
Technology use may also increase the chance of physical ailments such as:
Eyestrain Technologies like mobile tablets, cell phones, and computers may keep a person’s attention for extended periods. This may cause eye strain.
Digital eyestrain causes blurred vision and dry eyes. Pain in other parts of the body, such as the head, neck, and shoulders, can result from eye strain.
Eye strain can be induced by several technical factors, such as:
- screen glare
- screen brightness
- screen time
- Too close or too far away seeing
- improper sitting posture
- underlying eyesight difficulties
Taking frequent breaks from the screen may help to lessen the probability of eyestrain.
Anyone who has these symptoms regularly should consult an optometrist for a checkup.
Using devices too close to night can disrupt your sleep. This is due to the fact that blue light, such as that emitted by cell phones, e-readers, and laptop computers, stimulates the brain.
This blue light, according to the authors of a 2014 study, is enough to disturb the body’s natural circadian cycle. This disturbance may make falling asleep harder or cause a person to feel less aware the next day.
People can prevent the harmful effects of blue light on the brain by refraining from using electronic gadgets that emit blue light an hour or two before bedtime.
Soft activities to wind down with instead include reading a book, doing gentle stretches, or taking a bath.
Physical activity has been reduced.
The majority of modern digital devices are sedentary. More extensive use of these technology promotes a more sedentary lifestyle, which has been linked to a variety of unfavorable health outcomes, including leading:
- coronary artery disease
- Diabetes type 2 causes premature death
- Finding strategies to disconnect from sedentary devices may aid in the promotion of a more active lifestyle.
How Can You help?
It may be practically difficult to avoid all types of technology, but it is critical to watch your children and restrict the amount of time they spend on social media or gazing at a screen. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours of entertainment screen time per day for children and discourages children under the age of two from using any screen media. Furthermore, while using screens to communicate with friends and loved ones may be good for certain children and teenagers, parents must oversee this use to ensure that it is positive.
It is suggested that parents and caregivers utilize technology alongside their children and engage them in discussions about safe and healthy media use. This can assist your child in developing healthy habits for utilizing technology and social media that will benefit them in the future.
Intake sessions from a mental health counsellor for getting over tech addiction.
The connection between technology and mental health is a serious issue.
Anyone unsure about the effects of technology on them may choose to reduce their use of devices and screen time and re-evaluate how they feel with and without these devices.
Take support from an online therapist and detach yourself from screens. Talk to a mental health expert today.