Sunday, 13 November 2016 22:59

Technology overload causing health, work problems

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Have you ever wondered how long you stared or tapped away at the screen on your phone? How about the amount of time spent on the Internet? According to calculated data and social scientist research, this could prove to have many negative effects on your health. For the past eight years, we have experienced the rise of the smartphones. No longer do we have to sit down and glance at a screen from our home or desk; now we always carry one with us. Also, the overall style of the Internet has evolved over the past 40 years from lines of code to written words, and finally, to highly stylized Internet with various graphics, emojis, and videos. Technology, as it stands today, serves the people and has a number of benefits but can also disconnect you from reality and damage your human-like qualities such as senses and emotions.

Intrusions Upon the Real World

Technology overload seems to be affecting not just a single demographic but anyone who has multiple devices. While having these devices has caused people to become high-level multi-taskers, it has left many without any time to themselves. At one point, work was something you go to, but now smartphones have made work much more; you carry it around wherever you go. While technology overload isn’t a medically recognized disorder, it can easily be seen thanks to research into the habits of people and organizations that have used or over relied on technology.

In an article titled “Does the Internet Increase Anxiety?” freelance writer Ned Smith, who is also a former senior writer at international consulting firm Sweeney Vesty and vice president of communications for iQuest Analytics, stated, “The promise of the digital age has been that constant connectedness will increase productivity and effectiveness, but the opposite has turned out to be true. The constant onslaught of information from smartphones, computers, and other digital devices has actually decreased productivity, creativity, and the quality of personal relationships. Information overload and the multitasking required by today’s digital demands make people feel like there is too much to do and that life is spinning out of control.”

While the quality of relationships, time and productivity on a personal level is important, companies are losing out financially as well. Within the same article, Smith stated, “Basex, a research firm that specializes in technical issues in the workplace, reckons that information overload is responsible for economic losses of $900 billion a year at work.”

How to Set Boundaries

One of the first steps to limit your technology usage is to set boundaries. You may wonder how to accomplish these steps. Many social scientists, researchers, and advocates of limiting technology have opinions and real data on what methods to take to help alleviate these symptoms.

1. Do things in a sequential order

Dr. Joanne Cantor, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison stated within the same article that you should limit your multi-tasking and focus more on single tasking. “Do one thing at a time,” she said. “You’ll find you actually save time.” Focusing on single-tasking instead and committing to longer goals can help you be more productive.

2. Be the master of your own interruptions

Learning how not to respond is easier said than done especially when it has become instantaneous. Besides single tasking, checking your phone every hour can devolve into every minute. The idea is to not be on available 24/7 for every single thing. While some calls, emails and texts will be more urgent than others, you should set aside blocks of time every so often to check emails and text messages.

3. Take the time to recharge

 Technology also makes work better but at the same time longer than before and can even cause you to work outside of the office. “Research shows that information overload interferes with your ability to think outside the box,” Cantor said. Work is good, but leisure is needed to get the most out of work. Channel energy into other hobbies such as fitness, cooking, drawing or playing musical instruments. These activities focus more on single sequential tasks instead of juggling multiple things at a time.

Since the groundbreaking creation of the Internet, there has been a constant innovation that we have benefited from. Making our lives easier, faster and safer than ever before, something like technology is a double-edged sword. Normal usage of the multiple devices around us can push people further into addiction-like qualities, causing an overload of information around us. Smartphones and computers can work tirelessly while humans cannot; that is why it is important that researchers tell you to recharge yourself by stepping away from the deluge of information once in a while.

Source: nevalleynews.org

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