Have you ever thought about technology and your mental health? When the internet and smartphones became the norm, something that everybody you knew had access to it. Finally, we were stepping into the utopian dream that had been promised us for so long. For some time, it worked, too. We were able to speak to friends in other time zones with ease and order products to get to our door faster than ever. However, it didn’t take long for the negative ramifications of technology to rear its ugly head. And so that’s where we stand right now.
There is a disconnect between the good and the not-so-good of technology. Depending on who you speak to, it’s either the greatest gift of humanity or the sign of a world becoming dumber, lazier, and more involved with themselves than ever before. We aren’t entirely sure that either is all that accurate, but what we do know is that it can have a severe impact on your mental health, and that’s the relationship we will look at today.
How Technology Can Help You
So Easily Accessible
The primary positive of technology is that it makes everything and everyone easily accessible. When considering mental health, this is a fantastic way for you to feel less alone in the world, especially now, and it helps you stay in touch with others and keep up to date on their lives.
Furthermore, if you need something, whether that’s a ukulele to pass the time or medication to keep you, well, alive, technology allows you to get it instantly, without even leaving your house. For those who struggle with public spaces or find themselves needing something to do at every spare moment, such convenience is invaluable.
Giving You Time Where You Don’t Have Any
Many people often complain that they don’t have the time to treat themselves right. They don’t have the energy at the end of the day or the freedom to attend seminars or group meetings to help them work through mental health issues, but with technology, such problems are easily overcome.
There has been a rise in online depression treatment options for those struggling with mental health to explore. As it’s all done online, you get a safe environment that you can do in your own time, giving you the chance to drop in and out whenever you need without taking up too much of your day.
Motivation To Get Up and Do Something
With the worldwide connectivity that technology brings, yo8’re capable of seeing everything everywhere across the planet. Through this, your eyes are opened to people doing amazing things, whether it’s creating, performing, or even rescuing others from danger.
For many people, this is the catalyst they need to get up off the sofa and do something. By witnessing all of these ordinary strangers doing incredible things, you feel like you are ready to do incredible things yourself. The positive impact this has on your mental health is something you cannot ignore. The spark of motivation pushes you to do more and always try to improve yourself, which is a fantastic motivator.
How Technology Can Hinder You
By having access to the world’s wealth of knowledge, it’s impressive that anybody manages to tear themself away from technology for too long. It doesn’t matter if it’s endless memes on the latest political gaffe to mindless games to kill time, technology, especially our smartphones, is endlessly distracting.
This can be a problem. You feel lost without the safety net of distraction, and this puts you on edge. You don’t listen to others like you should, which hinders the potential for genuine human connection. When you try to do something other than play on your phone or browse social media, like reading or creating, you can’t keep your mind on task for more than a few seconds. Experiencing this too much becomes disheartening, and you start to wonder whether you are, actually, broken.
Comparing Yourself to Strangers
One of the critical problems that technology brings to others is that social media and by large other forms of online media, force you to compare yourself to others. While seeing people do amazing things can be a fantastic motivator, it also makes you feel like you are not good enough.
Photo manipulation, no one really being themselves online, and bought likes and plaudits, creates a smokescreen of success. When you see people that are your age and even younger with such ‘success’, you feel like a failure that will severely impact your mental health. As much as technology can encourage you to do whatever you want, it can be a heavy demotivator. For self-conscious and naive kids first exploring the technology, this can have terrible ramifications for the rest of their life, as they chase the Like trend and engage in increasingly ludicrous and potentially dangerous activities to get famous online.
Anonymity and Bullying
People feel secure and superior behind a screen. The lack of face-to-face interaction makes technology a hive of scum and villainy for bullying, and even minor mistakes can be met with scorn.
You have online communities that flame and attack anyone who asks what is considered a simple question. You have classmates targeting each other under the guise of being someone else. Sometimes, people just have a terrible day and decide to take it out on others online.
An isolated incident, while not ideal, is easily overcome. However, when the dogpile happens, the potential dangers for the victim are catastrophic. Because of the possible anonymity of social media, however, the perpetrators are not always held accountable, allowing the cycle to continue.
Finding a Balance
For every positive thing about technology, there will also be negative. When it comes to balancing technology and your mental health, you need to understand what aspects of using technology, whether social media or useful fitness apps, are beneficial for you and which are bad for your mental state. By following this, you can improve your relationship with technology and find the perfect balance that ensures productivity, happiness, but also the chance to laugh at stupid videos now and again.
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