Technology And Stress: Are Your Gadgets Stressing You Out?

multitasking man technology stress

While you might not immediately associate technology and stress, there’s a definite link. Some people can’t bear the thought of being without their smartphone, even for a few minutes.

Could too much exposure to technology and screens jeopardize your health?

Let’s take a look at the relationship between technology and stress.

Technology And Stress: What Is The Link Between The Two?

frustrated young business man with laptop.Technological advances have been astounding in recent years. But they’ve also given rise to a category of people referred to as “constant checkers.” These are people who are almost obsessive when it comes to checking their devices whether it’s to look at texts, emails, social media, or something else.

Studies show that this constant checking can increase stress levels considerably. In one study, nearly 20 percent of participants said that technology was a substantial source of stress and anxiety.

There is evidence that constant checkers experience a considerably higher amount of stress than those who rarely use technology or check social media. More than 40 percent of people who categorize themselves as constant checkers are concerned that social media may harm both their physical and mental health.1

Technology, Isolation And Other Mental Health Issues

concept of technology and social isolationResearch suggests that spending a great deal of time on social media could have an impact on your mental health. According to the results of one study, the more time you spend on social networking platforms, the higher your chances are of feeling socially isolated.2

Even though humans are typically social beings, technology tends to isolate people rather than bring them together. Social media sites would seem to be able to bridge that gap, but it appears they don’t.

Another study showed that people who spend a great deal of time on social media sites are nearly three times more likely to suffer mental health issues, than those who don’t.3

Even using your phone or tablet to binge-watch television shows may cause issues over time. It might increase the risk of not only mental problems but also physical issues like weight gain and fatigue.4

Technology And Your Overall Health: Is It Affecting Your Sleep?

cell phone usage before sleepExcessive technology use has not only been linked to higher levels of stress, but it has also been associated with lower sleep quality or a lack of sleep.5 Sleep deprivation might also negatively affect stress and your ability to think clearly.6

Mental Health And Stress Management: Limiting Time Spent On Electronic Devices

Due to connective devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, many people are continually bringing their work and work-related stress home with them. As a result, this may lead your brain into overdrive, potentially leading to health issues.

So, how do you give your stress hormones a rest? Unplug. Relax, and leave your work laptop on your desk. While you’ll have to take your cell phone with you at the end of a workday, let coworkers know you aren’t available outside of work hours. You can set your notifications to “away mode” if need be.

Once you’re home, try to limit the time you spend on your devices skimming through social media, watching videos, etc. If you find this difficult, try allowing yourself a certain amount of time each day to spend on devices and set a timer.

Finding The Right Balance

multicultural friends having a happy time away from technologyTechnology isn’t evil. It’s made life better in ways that weren’t even considered possible just a few years ago. But as important as technology is, it can cause stress and other problems if it consumes someone’s life. There are times people simply need to step away from their gadgets.

If you feel that technology has contributed to – or caused – the stress you’re experiencing, try to unplug if you can. If you’re suffering from physical or mental issues because of this stress, talk to a medical professional.

Learn More:

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Sources
1. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2017/technology-social-media.pdf
2. https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(17)30016-8/abstract
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4853817/
4. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-01/ica-fol012615.php
5. https://www.sleep.org/articles/ways-technology-affects-sleep/
6. https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-sleep-cognition/middle-age-sleep-problems-tied-to-cognitive-decline-down-the-line-idUKKBN1FC2Z2

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