Is Your Smartphone Making You Sick?

How to Keep Technology from Draining Your Mental Battery

Mobile devices, social media, and the internet in general have profoundly changed the way we live, and some of the effects are detrimental.

  • The average smartphone user checks his phone over 150 times each day.
  • Most teens spend around 7 hours each day online.
  • 20% of respondents in a recent survey said they’re woken up a few nights each week by calls, texts, or emails.
  • A study this year showed people who logged into Facebook the most suffered more depressive symptoms.
  • Research shows physical changes to the brains of people suffering from internet addiction, and points to the likelihood that “average” users’ brains are also changed by long periods of screen time.
  • Electronic screens impair the body’s natural ability to release sleep-inducing melatonin, leading to insomnia.

These sobering statistics point to some of the negative effects of living in a technology-driven world. But taking back control can help prevent depression, sleep deprivation, and impaired cognitive function. Try implementing some simple technology cleansing practices – and set rules especially for children and teens, who are especially vulnerable through their mid-twenties while their brains actively develop.

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Technology Use

  1. Designate a one or two hour period after work/school everyday where all screens and tones are off and silenced
  2. Keep “social comparisons” in check by remembering that people generally post their highlights on social media, so the lack of usual lows and mundane activities on their profiles doesn’t indicate that such low points don’t exist. They do—for EVERYONE!
  3. Turn off the screens and tones again at least one hour before bedtime

There’s no doubt technology is intertwined in our lives, so we must use it sensibly and in moderation to enjoy the benefits while avoiding the pitfalls.

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