The evolution of the technology has made several advancements in becoming a big part of our everyday lives. So much that we have taken to some sort of technological platform to receive and put out information.
Whether we use a smartphone, tablet, laptop, watch tv, or play video games, most of us have an attachment to an electronic device. This form of attachment has also shifted the way that we communicate.
So how much is too much when it comes to using technology and are there physical side effects with prolonged use?
There are several advantages that technology has made it easier for us. Time and convenience are two major factors in getting work completed faster to free up time to do other things. On the flip side, this technology that has made us so dependent has also resulted in making us unhealthy.
Let’s take a look and dive deeper into the age of digital culture and how it’s affecting our society’s health.
The Couch Potato
Coming home from work after a long day of sitting at a desk, working at a computer, can make one tired. Are you one of those people who sit, sleep, and eat your dinner on the couch? Watching the occasional television show or movie once in a while is fine but when it becomes a habit night after night, it can cause problems for not just yourself, but the entire family. It’s easy to get caught up in a reality tv show or drama, but night after night, it can take havoc on your posture. This is where bad posture can start when sitting for prolonged hours on the couch, slouched over. This can affect your nerves and muscles which can lead to other problems.
Another issue with sitting for prolonged periods of time on the couch watching tv, is the unhealthy food consumed. The comfort foods generally make an appearance when we sit indulging in our favourite show or movie. This can add up to a large intake of calories which in turn can lead to obesity and chronic illness.
These people cannot detach themselves from their better half. The better half being the laptop. It’s no different from sitting in front of a tv on a couch. What’s worse is that your laptop is portable and you can take it just about anywhere in your home and outside of your home. Some people even fall asleep with their laptops on top of them. This is not only a fire hazard but watching a screen so close, for so long, can be damaging to your eyesight. The postural problems are even worse as when lying down, you can strain your neck, back, and cause some long-term muscle and nerve damage.
What’s most damaging about people addicted to their laptops is that they are constantly sitting. Our bodies are meant to move and research has shown that even individuals who work out every day at the gym for 1 hour and then sit for the rest of day, it can be just as unhealthy if not more than someone who doesn’t exercise at all.
Are Our Smartphones Really Making Us Smarter?
Are you one of those people whose phone is attached to their hip or ear? When you hear the beep or buzz on your phone, you instantly have to check it? Do you feel anxious when you can’t find your phone? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone.
It’s nice to have a device that keeps us up-to-date on current events and allows us to talk to someone instantly, but where do you draw the line? Does it really matter what your friend is eating for breakfast or what the latest fashion trend is going to be if you are disengaging from reality on a constant basis.
I find it so amusing to see people texting each other when they are sitting across the table from one another. Where did the art of conversation go?
What ever happened to going out for a walk with a friend to get caught up on life?
The problem with smartphone addiction is that we are not being mindful and living in the present. People are so engaged in ‘phone’ conversation that they are completely disengaged with what’s going on around them. Walking into other people while checking social media, walking across a busy street while talking on the phone, or even worse, driving while texting.
Our brains are becoming so fogged up with texting, social media, video chats, etc., that we are totally oblivious to what’s going on in the moment. Being in front of a device for long periods of time can affect our eyesight, and lose that ‘out of touch’ moment with others.
Video Game Victims
I’m all for people being active as much as possible but spending countless hours in front of a WI to play a video game is not a great way for a child or adult to be active. What ever happened to going outside and just having fun? What about playing tennis or soccer outside instead of competing with a video game? Playing video games are very addictive for all ages. It’s a great way to escape, but using it as a way to be active is not really benefiting the body.
Our bodies are not moving enough and your heart rate is at best, slightly above resting HR. Children, teens, and adults need to move around using all of their muscle groups to benefit from exercise. There is no substitute for what a sports activity, playground, outdoor game, or workout can provide when it comes to expending calories and developing physical and mental skills.
What’s the Answer?
There’s no doubt, that technology is here to make or lives easier but there has to be some sort of balance when it comes to using our technological devices. Technology is not only effecting our waistlines, but also our relationships with communicating with one another. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay connected, stay healthy, while still enjoying your devices.
- Limit the amount of time you spend on devices in the evening.
- Keep all devices off and away and from the kitchen table when eating as a family or even on your own. Learn to connect with one another again by talking.
- Keep your devices out of the bedroom. Learn to fall asleep reading a book, stretching, or meditating. Not only will you fall asleep faster but stay asleep longer.
- Limit the number of devices you have. Do you really need a smartphone, tablet, reader, latop, and computer to do one job? Learn to downsize the amount of devices you have. It may be hard at first to let go, but you find out how much you really don’t miss your devices after a while.
- Limit your time on social media. Do you really need to know what your favourite star is eating for dinner? You will be amazed when you start cutting back on the amount of time you spend on social media that you will have more time to workout, cook, or spend time with family and friends.
- Limit your social media platforms. Do you have to be on every single social media platform? Limit it to your favourite 2 or 3. Close out any old accounts that you rarely use.
- Schedule time in your day to unplug. I know this sounds very challenging for many but I now do this every weekend with social media. I thought it would be hard to give up social media for any amount of time as it’s a big part of my business, but now I unplug from it every weekend and I feel so re-freshed at the beginning of the week when I return to it.
Eat Well – Move Well – Live Well!