Opinion: The Effects of Technology on Mental Health

Mental Health - cfamedia

Mental health and Technology, as a subject is, really a broad one that goes way deep.

As much as technology has contributed positively to helping us with many solutions to our issues in the world.

It is becoming obvious to us that it is, also, having a negative impact on the mental health of some users.

It is important to know the impact of technology on mental health, both in the positive and negative perspectives.

Many people are, usually, immersed in their gadgets from the toddler stage of life to adulthood, drifting from reality.

Research findings on the connection between technology and mental health is, actually, a mixed bag.

According to a study done by Duke University, adolescents are more at risk on the days they use technology more.

On the flip side, the study, also, showed that, those same adolescents experienced less depression and anxiety on days they used technology more.

A Swansea University research showed that, heavy internet users experience psychological symptoms of withdrawal, when they stop using the internet.

A University of Michigan study found that Facebook use led to a decrease in happiness and overall life satisfaction.

A University of Gothenburg research in Sweden, showed a link, between heavy cell phone use in young adults and depressive symptoms.

The outcome of these researches gave points in favour and simultaneously, raised some questions on the use of cell phones, which is a tech device.

It has shown that, excessive use of gadgets and the internet, leads to poorer mental health on one hand and also, helps in taking care of mental health, on the other.

This looks like a win-lose and lose-win situation, in a way. It seems that technology has evolved so fast that, we have not yet had a grip on how to be its master.

Here are some ways we can adapt, to protect our mental health from technology:

Schedule your time of use

One way to safeguard yourself from excessive use of your smartphone is to schedule specific times and periods to bring it out for use.

Have your gadgets tucked in and only take it out, at a particular time, or when something important crops up, rather than having it accessible, all the time.

Try leaving your phone at home sometimes

Learn to grow apart from your smartphone, while leaving home sometimes, especially, on days you are not expecting important calls.

Connect physically more, with your environment and people close to you.

As much as our physical health is important, likewise is our mental health too.

It seems we live our lives on the internet these days and we simply believe everything it pours out to us.

It is obvious that, because of the free community that the internet offers, it has contributed to the breakdown of mental health, as shown in the studies.

Although it has helpful tools, overuse of these can take a negative toll on your health.

Whether it is reading too much negative news, or researching your symptoms online can increase anxiety.

Depression and over-dependency on some people, can be caused by excessive use of social media.

You also, get sleep deprived, when insomnia knocks in.

Constant check for updates on social media accounts and email and having no boundaries for social media use can be fatal.

All these can contribute to your negative mental health and can only be curbed by measurable management, as indicated above.

Featured Image: openaccessgovernment.org

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About the author

Oyinkansola Adesewa

A final year Mass Communication Student at Les Cours Sonou, University, Benin Republic. She is an art and media entrepreneur.

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