We are surrounded by technology that helps us take a load off and also entertains us. But could this very advancement also be affecting our health?
We all love our tabs and phones, TV and laptops and our universal remote controls. We revel in the X-Box, are enthused about the latest camera and putter about in the kitchen around the microwave. Face it; the human race is completely dependent on electronics. TVs without remotes are a thing of the ancient past, as are solo microwaves. But as good and convenient they are, electronics are affecting our health in sneaky ways… Which is why we keep talking about having a technology free day every once in a while!
- Hearing Problems: Stand at a busy intersection and chances are you’ll find most, if not all, teens and young adults wearing earphones snakes onto their iPods, MP3 players or smartphones. Prolonged earphone usage with blaringly loud music can affect the hearing. Other than mild to severe deafness; earphone usage can also cause tinnitus – aka ringing in the ear!
- Achy Bodies: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Text Claw and Blackberry Thumbs are just a few of the latest lifestyle diseases affecting the wrists and finger joints caused by too much tapping and typing – be it on the computer, phone or tablet. While a lot of these are caused by incorrect postures, the thing is that electronics tend to distract us long enough to cause posture problems in the first place – be it for entertainment or work. A crick in the neck because of bad posture during texting or typing can turn into chronic neck pain while a back strain can soon turn into a persistent back pain.
- Eye Strain: Too much of TV, laptop or gaming can lead to eye strain, and chronic eye strain can lead to weakened eye muscles, leading to a host of eye problems – mainly strained and red eyes, corneal scratches and a progressively weak eyesight.
- Addiction and rehab: As with alcohol, drugs and gambling; technology addiction is now also being recognized and treated by more and more psychologists every day, especially in teens and young adults.
- Disturbed sleep: Too much of technology exposure is an example of how electronics are affecting your health – mostly TV, computers and mobiles can stimulate your visual cortex to a level that actually starts interfering with your sleep, giving to rising causes of insomnia.
- Being generally unhappy: Your social networking could actually be detrimental to your health, especially if you are prone to depression and mood swings – the Internet paradox is very, very real. Something as simple as not getting enough likes on social media can actually make people slip into a depressive state of mind – and there are plenty other cases of cyber bullying or harassment leading to far more serious consequences.
- Cyberchondria: This is the unholy union of hyperchondria and Googling. While earlier any imagined problem would be discussed with a doctor who would probably recommend you a psychiatric session, now the imagined problem can be searched on Google and even self-prescribed – with bad, bad consequences.
Remember to detox from technology for a little while every day, and once every month or so – giving your body and senses a break from the sensory overload that technology gives is a great way to keep yourself stress-free and reduce your carbon footprint a tad.