As is the case with most things in life, too much of anything can definitely have negative effects. To an extent, technology can have a very positive effect on your mental health if you take moderation into account.
Technology can affect everyone differently, depending on several individual factors.
For example, researchers have found a negative correlation between technology, more noticeably social media, and the mental health of children and young adults. But as people get older, they are more likely to use technology in a much more practical manner, so the implications for their mental health will change accordingly.
Negative Effects of Technology
There have been various studies conducted as to how technology—namely smartphones, tablets and the mobile apps therein—can affect teenagers as well as children who are in their pre-teen years.
For instance, it has been found that the symptoms of ADHD can be more difficult to manage properly if the affected child spends too much time with technology. As such, personalized screen time schedules may help the child focus when needed, among other treatment strategies.
Negative Effects of Social Media
According to studies, overexposure to social media can definitely lead to an increase in one’s ability to feel lonely. All that you see once you are on social media is people who appear to be out having a good time. You are only exposed to that piece of their lives that’s going on at that exact moment.
So, most young people get the feeling that everyone is out having a good time while they are sitting at home, browsing social media.
There have even been studies that suggest there may be a direct correlation between social media use and depression.
If nothing else, children are more content to sit at home and surf social media pages than get out and enjoy social activities in-person.
Positive Effects of Social Media
There are also positive ways that social media can affect mental health. Social networks can be used as a tool to make people aware of mental health issues and their susceptibility to them.
By trying to educate everyone, you can hope to help people understand the dangers of “too much” technology.
Social media can also be used to disseminate information to help those that suffer from various mental illnesses. They may be able to find assistance and contact information from different resources that they may find online.
Positive Effects of Technology
People struggle with different mental illnesses every day. There are several mobile apps to help those who struggle with mental illness to be able to connect with different forms of help. With these platforms, medical professionals can share much-needed information with one another almost instantly over the cloud.
Technology doesn’t only have to be thought of in terms of social media and the internet. There have been major breakthroughs with technology in the medical field that can help treat numerous illnesses.
Drugs are able to be tested. X-rays can be conducted. CT scans and other diagnostic procedures can help doctors determine the exact condition of their patients and form a plan on how to treat them.
There are various mobile health programs that affected people can take part in online. In doing this, they are always near help. They do not have to wait to go and see their doctor. They are able to seek assistance as soon as they are beginning to become mentally agitated or stressed out.
Everywhere you look, it seems as though children and teenagers are constantly trying to take that perfect selfie. They will spend hours trying to capture just the right picture that they think will make their social media profile perfect. Often, after taking the picture, they will spend even more time trying to filter the picture correctly using editing apps.
All this does is allows young adults to trend towards feelings of low self-esteem. They feel like they don’t look good enough. Or, quite possibly, they could trend in the opposite direction. If they receive a high volume of likes and comments on their posts, they could get to the point where all they want to do is take the next great selfie—feeding off the validation from their audience.
By spending all of this time to make the perfect picture, young adults often lose sight of what a real picture may be.
The end result is a group of teens and pre-teens who think that their bodies don’t look right, simply because of how they may stack up to a photo of someone who has been photoshopped and filtered until they look completely unnatural.
Young Women Are Especially Affected
Typically, young women seem to be the ones who are more easily affected by social media in terms of how they view themselves.
Ironically enough, studies show that women are also more likely to spend more time engaging with others on social platforms than men would.
There’s no denying the definite link between these two issues.
Studies have found that children and teenagers can actually become addicted to the internet, and various things that they can surf while on the internet. There are even instances where the affected person can show different symptoms of withdrawal.
People may have a difficult time trying to communicate since they spend all of their time hiding behind a computer screen. Students can also have their grades affected if they spend all of their time on different forms of social media, or quite possibly even playing video games that are connected to the internet. This may allow them to spend time playing against people online.
Technology can be a wonderful tool when it is used correctly and within the context that it was intended to be used. There is nothing wrong with all of the different forms of social media that are available today. If they are utilized in such a way that does not cause dysfunction upon the user’s mental health, they can be a great tool and can also become very informative.
However, they can also negatively affect a person’s well-being. They can lead to increased feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness. These feelings won’t go away, because the more time that is spent on social media, the less time is spent connecting with friends, family and the surrounding support system in one’s life.
The younger generation is definitely affected more. These children simply aren’t mature enough to handle a lot of the different stressors and triggers that come along with increased exposure to social media and technology.
That being said, there are different forms of technology that are very useful for managing mental health. People who suffer from mental health issues are able to find help online and through apps. At the same time, the doctors who treat these people are able to pull necessary data from various online databases, often from the cloud.
Photo is pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Sophie is a marketing specialist at Security Gladiators. A writer by day and a reader by night, she is specialized in tech and cybersecurity. When she is not behind the screen, Sophie can be found playing with her dog.