Computers, smartphones, texting, email, internet, social media…all the things which were supposed to make our lives easier and give us more leisure time, have instead resulted in us becoming addicted to constant use of these devices and technologies.

In an article titled “A Smart Thing That Makes You Stupid,” investigative reporter Ron Friedman cites a study of two groups of people who were given a task. One group was allowed to have their cell phones and the second group had no access to their smartphones. When the results were tabulated, the group of people with access to their smartphones did 20 percent worse on the task than the group which did not have their smartphones.

How many emails can push one over the edge? According to a Harris Interactive poll, respondents said that more than 50 emails per day caused stress.

Research from the University of California at Irvine reveals that the constant interruption of emails triggers the stress response, with the subsequent release of stress hormones affecting short-term memory.

Likewise, in a study comparing the process of taking handwritten lecture vis-à-vis taking notes on a computer, results showed that old fashioned notetaking is far superior to memory formation.

Sociologists, including MIT Professor Sherry Turkle, identify two of the biggest concerns with screen devices as isolation and alienation, both of which lead to or perpetuate stress.

In their book Technostress, authors Weil and Rosen suggest that the rapid pace of technology will only continue with greater speed in the coming years, giving a whole new meaning to the expression “24/7.”  The result will be more stress, more illness and disease, more ad dictions, more dysfunction, and a greater imbalance in people’s lives.

Therefore, we need to learn to manage and control our usage of technology in our lives.




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