The advent of technology has no doubt transformed this modern age, playing a major role in revolutionizing communication, healthcare, education, and so much more.
Innovation ranging from the internet to smartphones has made information easily accessible, connecting us irrespective of distance and time.
However, despite its overwhelming benefits, there are some drawbacks to technology, one of which is the addiction most people constantly battle with.
Addiction, in the context of technology, comes in various forms ranging from social media platforms, video games, and streaming services which usually start with seemingly harmless intentions but slowly become obsessions that take a large chunk out of our time and mental capacity.
Mindless scrolling through social media platforms could span hours, impacting one’s productivity and by extension, lifestyle.
It is crucial to understand that addiction to technology is not age-restrictive and it has deeply detrimental consequences on the individuals affected.
DRAWBACKS OF TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION
1. Mental Health Struggle
Spending excessive amounts of time on screen has been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and feelings of loneliness.
Moreover, the constant exposure to the lives of people especially influencers and celebrities on social media often leads to unrealistic expectations and a sense of inadequacy which impacts one’s mental health.
For example; idolizing societal beauty standards upheld by fashion industries, models, and celebrities has negatively affected how most people view themselves leading to a state of low self-esteem and hatred for their bodies and own lives.
2. Decreased Productivity
Online distractions come in myriad ways, from notifications of various apps constantly popping up to entertainment mediums drawing our attention.
These distractions hinder our productivity at work, and school leading to stalled personal growth, missed opportunities, and increased mental fatigue.
3. Physical Health Issues
A sedentary lifestyle has been greatly implicated in addiction to technology, from health-related problems like obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, to reduced mobility, mental health issues, social isolation, etc.
Excessive addiction to technology can negatively impact postural and sleep patterns.
4. Impaired Relationships
Human beings are by nature, social creatures but the rise in Technology addiction can put a strain on our relationships as individuals become so engrossed in their screens, neglecting real-world interactions.
This can lead to communication breakdown and emotional detachment which harms our emotional and social well-being.
5. Privacy Concerns
One major disadvantage of technology is privacy issues and it is no less a drawback in its addiction as individuals are often careless about sharing personal information on social media without much care for its consequences.
HOW DO WE OVERCOME TECHNOLOGY ADDICTION?
To achieve a balanced and fulfilled life, one must consider overcoming technology addiction.
Some ways in which an individual can overcome technology addiction include:
1. Awareness and Self-Assessment
A deep introspection is needed in recognizing and acknowledging that there is an addiction.
The first step to self-awareness is knowing how much time you spend online, what applications or platforms consume your time, and the impact they have on your daily life.
2. Set Clear Boundaries
After assessing oneself, the next step is to establish firm boundaries for technology use.
Create a daily schedule that allocates time for work, leisure, and extracurricular activities like exercise, reading, or socializing.
3. Digital Detox
This can be defined as a time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers. It is aimed at reducing stress and/or focusing on social interaction in the physical world.
One can do this by doing away with all digital devices for a while, for example, a weekend to allow the brain to reset and reduce dependency on technological devices.
4. Seek Support and Accountability
The saying, “a problem shared is half-solved” can be put into play here.
Share with others such as family and friends, your goal of overcoming technology addiction and have them hold you accountable.
If possible, join support groups or seek professional help in extremely addictive cases.
5. Replace Addiction with Healthy Habits
To reduce the desire for excessive technology dependence, try substituting excessive technology use with healthier alternatives such as reading books, engaging in physical activities (outdoor games, exercises), taking up hobbies, and spending quality time with loved ones.
This will go a long way in improving one’s personal growth and well-being.
Though technology has myriad benefits and has made things easier for us, the drawbacks of technology addiction should not be overlooked.
It is important to actively recognize the signs of addiction and take proactive steps to address them to maintain a healthy balance tech-life balance.
Overcoming technology addiction is indeed a gradual process where patience is required.
Breaking the addictive hold technology has on us goes a long way in promoting our mental, physical, and emotional well-being in this age and time.
Researched by Chioma Sandra Iloh