Given the world population is approximately seven billion people, that means more than half the world is now connected.
But the concern around technology has nothing to do with access: it’s about self-control. And as humans, anything that feeds our endorphins will almost certainly become addictive by nature.
Individuals can become more reliant on a specific process and use it as a way to cope or escape from life. Mobile phone use and internet addiction is becoming a very real problem and a recognised process addiction.
According to a poll run by Common Sense Media, more than half of teens said they feel addicted to their mobile phones. But it’s not just teenagers that technology is affecting.
The poll reported that more than 69
To add fuel to that fire, a Motherboard study concluded that six percent of the world’s population (420 million people) is addicted to the internet.
Like anything addictive, however, it comes down to the individual’s willingness to make change in their lives – it requires a level of conscious thought to choose not to use a device.
Here’s why you should use less technology in 2019.
How technology affects our biology
Many scientific studies have proven that technology rewires our brains.
In fact, TIME magazine reported that humans now have an attention span shorter than that of a Goldfish.
And all because of how we consume technology (and the mass of information that comes with it).
From attention spans to failing to remember things, as a society, we’re wholeheartedly dependent upon the phone in our pockets.
It’s how we store memories; it’s how we monitor our health
But technology shouldn’t be seen as an addictive thing to ‘avoid’. It helps our brains, too. For example, because we have access to unlimited learning resources, it’s predicted that our IQs will increase over time, and as a society, we’ll become smarter and more aware of our surroundings.
We’re also able to connect and learn about different cultures first hand, making us more accepting towards others and bridging the gaps between cultural differences.
How your brain reacts to technology
Our brain metabolises technology, and releases a variety of different brain chemicals into our bodies, including:
- Serotonin – Released when we are creative, connected, and contributing.
- Endorphins – The “painkiller” of the body. Released when we experience mindfulness, meditation, gratitude, and cardiovascular exercise.
- Oxytocin – Released when we have exchanges in a meaningful connection. It is generally healthy but online predators can tap into its effects to abuse their victim’s trust.
- Dopamine – A pleasure neurochemical linked with instant reward but also
addiction. Technology is increasingly being designed to specifically trigger the release of dopamine.
- Adrenaline – Best known for regulating our responses in fight-or-flight situations, but also released by likes and pokes on social media.
- Cortisol – The hallmark of stressed-out, sleep-deprived, too-busy and distracted individuals.
In short, technology can have positive effects on our brains, but it depends on the experience you have with it.
Take a digital detox in 2019
The truth is: Technology used in the right ways can be extremely beneficial for us.
We can feel more valued, more connected with people and study anything we want to, without paying fees or worrying about a lack of resources.
But, as of right now, most of us are over-consuming technology to a point where it’s detrimental to our health. We’re missing important moments and failing to connect with the people around us we care about most.
We’re struggling to feel self-worth and self-confidence because we live our lives through unrealistic filters.
But there are steps you can take to detox yourself off of technology. According to GlobalWebIndex, seven in every 10 internet users in the UK and the US say they have adopted some form of tech “dieting” or even gone for a “full digital detox”.
This varies from coming off of social media to deleting apps and reducing time spent online.
According to Canadian psychiatrist Shimi Kang:
“Even if you’re doing the best tech, if you’re doing it at the expense of other human activities, then it’s too much.”