The Ease of Technology is Taking a Toll on Our Mental Health

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The Ease of Technology is Taking a Toll on Our Mental Health

There’s no doubt that technology has made our lives more convenient, from the way we communicate to how we can access information. But does this convenience take a toll on our mental health?

According to a recent survey on convenient technologies in Australia, 23.4% of respondents feel that they are less happy from having access to modern conveniences. And around one fifth (18.2%) believe these bring more stress into their lives. 30.3% of survey respondents also considered social media their favourite and most valued modern convenience.

However, as convenient as modern technologies are, most Australians feel that an easier life doesn’t necessarily equate to a better one. The truth is – the faster technology evolves, the more hectic our lives become. This can lead us to spend more time glued to our devices, which can impact negatively on our health.

Modern tech has such a dominating presence in our lives, which means it’s all too easy to become addicted to social media and smartphones. In fact, research has shown clear links between technology use before bed and the negative effect this has on our health and well-being. Compromised sleep can sap your energy and mess with your mood, as well as increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and other health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

So yes, technology makes our lives much easier, but that doesn’t mean we should overindulge. It’s important to strike the right balance, to understand how and why we’re using it, as well as ways to overcome feelings of stress.

How are people using mobile devices in Australia?

In 2016, a survey found that 84% of Australians owned a smartphone. With this percentage rising every year, more people are connected to their mobile devices than ever before. But the question is – how are we using them?

For starters, more than just for calling one another. We use them to text, video chat, take photos, connect on social media, send emails, browse the Internet, play games, record our fitness, and more. In fact, over a quarter of Australian mobile users, every week are not using their smartphones to make traditional voice calls.

The survey also found that half of Australians use their mobile phones 15 minutes after waking up, within 15 minutes of going to sleep, as well as throughout the day in meetings, driving around, with friends, and even at family meals. It’s also reported that 30% of us use our phones during the night to check and respond to emails and social media notifications.

How to overcome technology-induced stress

Being overwhelmed with technology can lead to stress, sleeping problems and depression. On the other hand, being deprived of technology can cause similar problems. But the good news is, there are ways you can reduce the stress.

To begin with, avoid using technology a few hours before bedtime. Instead, pick up a book and keep the gadgets out of reach. You can also put limits on your email-checking and phone use, telling co-workers, friends and family when you’ll be unavailable. Other methods include placing your phone in another room, shutting devices down at designated times, using social media positively, planning your technology sessions, and going on digital detox retreats.

The bottom line is, technology should make your life easier, not drive you up the wall. So if you’re feeling stressed, try out a few of these tips. While it’s unrealistic to think we can escape technology forever, there are definitely ways to strike a balance and stay healthy.

Ben has a passion for health, fitness and wellness. A healthy life is a happy life.

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