For me as a Digital Marketer for more than a decade now, this can be a very controversial statement that the " Digital World Can be hazardous for Mental Health". But, I guess I would like to pen down my point of view and let you guys decide on the optimum usage level for you before it breaks your mental health.
Times like the Pandemic have caused more distress to people than ever before. A lot of people were away from loved ones and worse, a lot of them lost their families and friends. Those were the testing times when many psychiatrists recommended smart-phone based applications as an additional therapy tool for their patients.
To contradict this, technology is also the reason many people are distressed or worse, suffering from various Mental Health Ailments. ‘With an increase in anxiety and depression rates since the technological boom, we assume the digital world is destroying well-being. However, technology has enabled easy, immediate access to vast health information. As society becomes more informed, it becomes more accepting.’ (Woodley, 2017).
If you are thinking through the lines of cyberbullying and suicides, you have headed the right way but you can’t dismiss the other side of this story, addictive behaviors, and addictions to games or pornography. Cyberbullying is one of the major causes of these outbursts that adolescents and women have. ‘Consequences of attachment to technology include lowered social skills, self-motivation, emotional intelligence, and empathy and increased conflict with others, ADHD, and depression in younger populations. Mental health concerns increase with society’s reduced social interactions resulting from increased technological use and dependence on social media for communication.’ (Scott, Simecka. Valley, 2016)
There are some other issues related to the extensive or overuse of social media and other applications. It’s addictive and directly impacts one's eyes and mind. It can isolate a person from the outside world and increase the sense of alienation that one is trying to fight so hard. Can also cause depression and constant anxiety to people who have had negative interactions online. Not just mentally, overuse of technology can also affect one physically and cause long-term issues.
‘Technology has always been a double-edged sword: there are associated risks and benefits. For example, a practicing psychiatrist would increasingly rely on technology at work, using next-generation electronic medical records and at times recommending appropriate smartphone-based applications as an additional therapy for my patients.’ (Zhang, 2017).
Digital does have its pros and cons too. Give yourself some time. Breathe the fresh Air. Enjoy time with humans and have more physical interaction than just judging people by their social media handles.
Live beyond Digital as well. Enjoy the perks of Digital but be aware of its disruptions as well.
Thanks for Reading!