TAKE A BREAK
Too much tech is unhealthy
WITH all the email, SMS, tweets, pings, dings and notifications we receive, it’s a wonder any of us sleep at night.
If you feel as if you’re becoming a bit of an insomniac, you’re not alone in the cold dark hours of the morning, clicking and scrolling your way towards another dawn.
Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have found a link between heavy phone and computer use and sleep disturbances.
‘‘ Regularly using a computer late at night is associated not only with sleep disorders but also stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women,’’ study researcher Sara Thomee writes.
At the Missouri University of Science and Technology, a new study has found a link between depressive symptoms and excessive online chatting and frequent checking of email.
Dr Larry Rosen, Professor of Psychology at California State University and author of
the book iDisorder: Understanding our obsession with technology and overcoming
its hold on us, warns that our excessive technology use and abuse is causing us to develop symptoms of disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
‘‘ Every single psychiatric disorder can be predicted by use of technology and it turns out that one of the main culprits is social media,’’ Dr Rosen told Radio National’s All in the
Mind program. ‘‘ Partially that’s because we’re doing it more, but partially it’s because social media is really a palate to express our personality and so if we have a tendency say to be a bit narcissistic, then what we do on Facebook is a lot of postings about me.’’
These are common traits of what he terms ‘‘ i- disorders’’ and they’re a growing concern.
Of course technology is affecting our psychological stability.
But really, how are we to avoid staring at a computer for eight hours a day, when it is essential to our work?
How can we avoid checking in with friends when social media is so prevalent? It does not mean that Facebook is bad. Dr Rosen insists social media sites can be marvellous tools for connecting with people. The problem is that, particularly for younger people, they become conditioned with this way of presenting themselves to the world and they only want to do it in a way in which they look good, clever and connected.
And that’s where the narcissism stumbling blocks occur.
The best way to keep some sanity and objectivity in our hyper- connected era is to simply take some time out and take it often.