While we are all raving about the beauty of technology, we have forgotten to pay attention to any of its drawbacks, chief among them how it’s impacting our health. A few days ago someone stole my smartphone and i haven’t gotten over that since. Im a selfie person and always feel deep pain when i want to take a self with my current phone only to discover the quality is just poor. I have carried unnecessary pain for 2 weeks over a phone, imagine the strain that pain is putting on my body? But stolen smartphone pain( as we shall call my condition) is nothing as compared to many conditions that are linked to tech these days.
In a nutshell, health according to this medical site, MedicineNet, is
As officially defined by the World Health Organization, a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
What Medical Conditions Are Directly Linked To Our Use or Over Use of Technology?
To some, this may seem far fetched but the truth is, there are a few medical conditions that are directly linked to our use of tech.
1. Hearing Loss
The obvious one. hearing loss. Using earphones or rather ill-fitting earphones and playing loud music for many hours a day according to Dr. Brian Fligor from Harvard Medical School is not good as this causes hearing problems due to wear and tear in the long run. Teenagers nowadays spend the day with earphones or headphone whenever they get a chance. This may bring hearing problems for them later on in life when they really have to listen and need their hearing to be on point.
The remedy to this is to minimize your headphone, earphones time to about 90 minutes a day. if possible also monitor the time your young child or teenager is spending with earphones on as they may also have their hearing affected by this.
2. Strained Vision
I, for one, suffer from this. Surveys from America have shown that 40% of people who visit eye specialists experienced strained eyes syndrome due to their use of computers, this study was done in 2008. Let’s talk about 2019 where, when we leave the office, we sit in front of the Tv and or concentrate on our smartphones sometimes in poor lit areas. Why am I mentioning poor lit areas, because the ambient light around you also contribute to the strain you are putting on your eyes. The brighter the ambient light the better and vice versa.
Whenever possible make sure you are using your laptop, smartphone or TV where there is proper enough light to overpower your screen brightness. If the ambient light is dimmer than that of your gadget, consider adjusting your screen brightness to match the light around you. You will thank me later for this one day.
3. Muscular Pain.
This is caused by a lot of things, the way we text or type and our postures when we are using our gadgets sometimes. Those of us who work from home have the opportunity to change postures whenever we start to feel the blues. Those who work in their office chairs have a few postures they can interchange throughout the day and that’s bad news as many people over time complain of backache and muscular pain. Sometimes the way we type on our keyboards as well causes some muscles on our hands to be sore.
To correct this ensure that you sit in an upright position that doesn’t strain your back at all times according to UPMC a Rehabilitation Services Center. Avoid leaning forward or leaning back as this may strain your back. You may not feel the effects now, but later on in life, it may catch up with you. When texting, try to use all fingers to ensure proper blood circulation in all muscles/ ligaments around the fingers.
4. Heart Problems
Is there anything that’s not linked to heart problems nowadays? I also wonder. Truth is the 21st person is more sedentary than active. According to a 2015 study in the US, people who sit for more than 6 hours a day are likely to die earlier than those who sit for less than 3 hours. Wait for it, it doesn’t matter if they are slim or not, or if they work out every day. So the longer you sit in front of the TV or in front of a computer, the more likely you are to die earlier nomatter how good you take care of yourself physically.
Avoid sitting continuously for too long. Take small breaks every little chance you get walk, stretch, help a co-worker, stand, go up and down the stair anything to keep your heart rate up a little bit.
5. Memory Failure
Tech has highly enabled us to multitask. I for one am the queen of multitasking eg, working in class, reading and playing music, listening to a sermon and texting. Truth is at the end of it all it takes me longer to do a simple task. To be honest I forget a lot of important tiny little tasks in between all those tasks simply because my concentration levels are messed up. In reality, multitaskers have a difficult time sieving tasks that are important from tasks that are irrelevant. This, in general, produces poor quality work or results.
To curb this, ensure or exercise doing one task at a time as this helps with better concentration levels and better work quality.
The ultimate Remedy
There are many other medical conditions that we can talk about, like social media addiction and some mental disorders that we see day and night, we may never exhaust them. Health according to the definition encompasses physical, mental and social aspects. Since socializing is now done online, it may be difficult to find a one size fits all solution.
Nonetheless, we can’t throw away the baby with the bathwater. Taking a small technology detox is the ultimate solution to all this. This is how we suggest that you do it.
- Update your people (all stakeholders) on your impending detox and its duration first.
- Do something completely disconnected from tech for the duration of the detox eg reading.
- Stick to the plan and don’t deviate from it for the time that you have set aside for the detox.
- If necessary switch off your mobile data and or wifi so that you stay completely offline
- If you want to take it further you can switch off all your tech gadgets completely and enjoy some time away from tech ( I don’t know how you will take selfies when you go for those power sessions of visiting beautiful scenery though lol)
Bottom line it’s achievable and in my opinion enjoyable.