When you first start to think about it, the idea that modern technology is causing people to be more stressed than ever before sounds strange. After all, these inventions and innovations are surely designed to reduce stress and make our lives easier, aren’t they? So, they can’t be causing stress.
The truth is, they can, but it will depend on how they are used as to how much stress (if any) they cause each person. Personalities will also come into play, so what might stress one person out won’t affect another. Let’s look a little deeper into the modern technology that some people find stressful and determine why this is.
Something that people find concerning over modern technology is the anonymity it affords. Although this can be great if you’re trying to hide something from the world, in the end, the problems it causes far outweigh the benefits. People who create usernames and then hide behind them to ‘troll’ others by making nasty remarks and hurtful comments are huge problems in the online world, and they can cause a lot of stress to others.
Posting something seemingly innocuous on a social media site or writing a blog, or putting yourself out there in any other way, can lead to these comments being aimed towards you, and not only are they unpleasant, but because they are anonymous the perpetrator can’t be found. You will never know who it is – it might even be someone you know (although often these trolls will pick people at random to post derogatory comments about and move on).
Being concerned that people are targeting you, or reading unpleasant comments aimed at you can be very distressing and cause those involved a lot of stress.
Technology is a lot of fun, and we can use it in all kinds of ways to help us make our lives better. However, there is a danger that some people will become addicted to. Always having a smartphone with you and being able to check your email or social media feeds or even play a game through an app at any time you want to might seem like a great idea because it means you’re never bored and always have access to any information you might need. Still, it can quickly become a habit, and that habit can cause stress. If you have ever left your phone somewhere out of reach and then felt anxious because you couldn’t check your texts or look at Facebook, you’ll know exactly how this feels. The more addicted you are, the more stressed you will become.
If you are someone who realizes they have become addicted to their own form of technology and are suffering; click here to read more about stress induced by video games, by social media, by constantly being able to read the news and becoming scared by it, by reading those nasty comments mentioned above, and much more, then you must find a way to break the cycle. Removing apps from your phone is a good way to start and giving yourself time limits when playing games will help too. Eventually, you will be able to wean yourself off this tech.
No Down Time
Technology isn’t just something we use in our downtime for fun; many businesses use technology to run successfully, and customers and users expect to be able to find social media feeds a website and immediate answers to their questions. While this is great for the customer, it’s not so great for the employee or business owner. It can cause a lot of stress.
Having the technology to be available 24/7 is not a good thing when it comes to mental health. Everyone needs to be able to enjoy some downtime after work, and ideally, they will work set hours that allow for this time to unwind and relax. If everyone is constantly available, an email sent by the boss, a colleague, or a customer after work hours will be a source of stress; you might even scramble to reply to it or carry out work that relates to it, or you will choose to ignore it until the morning. Either way, you will be thinking about that email or text, and you will be feeling stressed by it.
If you can, switch off your devices once work hours are over. If you also use those devices to stay in touch with family members, think about investing in a second device that means you can separate your home life and work, and you’ll feel much less stressed about it.
For some, this won’t be an issue at all; at least, they won’t think it is. For others, it can be a huge cause of stress. The fact is that modern technology makes it easier than ever to ignore and avoid people. We can use the internet to shop so we don’t have to go to the store where there are other people. We can order a cab through an app, so we don’t have to use public transport. We can have virtual meetings in a virtual office space, so we can shut people off and go back to being on our own after a short space of time.
Although this is convenient, it’s not good for most people, and it can cause stress, even if we don’t realize it. Humans are social creatures, and we need to interact with others, face to face, to thrive. The more alone we are, the more we can feel isolated and lonely, and the more we can focus on the negative thoughts that come to us all.
There Is Help
Although it’s clear that modern technology, no matter how useful and well-meaning it might be, is a big cause of stress for many people, there are ways that you can be helped. Ironically, those ways will include modern technology.
There are many apps, for example, that you can download (often for free) that will offer you guided meditations, or even simply ‘white noise’ that will help you relax when you’re feeling tense. There are also therapy apps that mean you can chat with a licensed therapist whenever you feel the need. Or you might simply choose to download a kind of blocker on your phone or tablet that shuts down your social media after a specific amount of time, meaning you have to look away and do other things. By adding these technological advancements to your use of technology, you might be able to find the right balance to be less stressed.