Our lives, today, revolve around technology and the gadgets that make it easier. Nearly everything we do has a gadget to make it easier, even shopping. Though, with all the hassle of doing things on our own, with our two bare hands or legs; we forget how much the gadgets are affecting our lifestyle.
Being part of the 21st century means being aware of the new technologies that are advancing up our society. How have we come so far from the Wright Brothers making an airplane to a world where robots can help you carry your stuff?
As seen around the world technology has had a rapid growth and involvement in our lives. Today, even a young child may be provided an iPad, smartphone, or even access to the TV. The parents do it for the sake of their child’s learning or also so that the child is entertained and involved in their own world.
At an early age, how much can a child learn from these gadgets, without impairing their cognitive learning? The growth of a child should not be dependent on these gadgets, at any percentage. There should be more out-door and in-house activities involved.
Even as a grown-up, we experience a lot because of these gadgets, positively and negatively. Yes, a gadget makes our lives easier and at some level, leaves us with time for ourselves too. Yet, at that time also we are dependent on the technology around in our homes. We access TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Video Games, and more.
This time that we get for ourselves, away from the workload or our stressors, should be utilized for the betterment of our mental and physical health. Meditation, mental and physical exercises, reading books, etc. are few things that can be done during the time we have that can be used away from technology.
The Good Effects of Gadgets
Many positive aspects are known to us in the light of using technology.
Quick responses in our work environment
In our work environment we are meant to be available on our respective contact devices, be it on email or on a cell phone. These required our undivided attention to look out where to, and how to, respond to a particular situation. Our responses are supposed to be quick and immediate with the help of the technology we use. Hence, it is a beneficial point to have our contacts and others’ with a quick push of a button.
Knowledge at our fingertips
Through the internet on our cellular devices, we can access information of any kind. No matter what place we are in, we can learn about that particular area or its history or the culture or even just where to have a cup of coffee. It is not only about places, it’s about each and everything we wish to know. The knowledge is at our fingertips at all times.
Buying and selling
Today, especially with the pandemic, online sales of a lot of brands and shops have increased. Even before the pandemic, there were means to shop and sell things online with companies such as Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc. People developed a new way to shop and pay in an instant.
Applications for various things
On our phones and computers, there are various applications (apps) available for our benefit. Health calculator apps, workout apps, travel apps, shopping apps, etc are always available on our devices. These applications help us be informed and can help us regulate our movements accordingly.
If we buy something online, there will be an estimated time given for when we know we should be home for accepting the delivery, or when women tend to forget the date of their last period, they can always track their cycle through one of the health applications available. There are many more situations like these where these applications are helpful.
Being connected to the world or family at all times
Through email, cellular devices, and now various chat/message applications; we have connected to our families and others around the world. We can give a call or drop an email or just simply send a message on WhatsApp or Telegram and be connected with people we wish to connect with. Applications such as Instagram and Facebook, lets us share our good and bad moments with our friends globally, which ultimately makes us stay connected with each other.
Technology is not only a source of connection or an easy workload. It is also a source of entertainment. Television channels, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Video Games, etc are our source of entertainment. While sitting idle, we tend to watch something interesting or comedy or horror or something that suits our mood. Children play video games together, which can be a great birthday party as well.
The Bad Effects of Gadgets
Though with regard to these positive aspects of using technology we forget how much it affects us negatively. Though at some level we are aware of the negative aspects as well we choose to ignore them for the sake of being more productive with our time.
The usage of gadgets may result in sleep disorders. Our need to get the work done as quickly as possible through just one click, or the addiction to scrolling up and down on a shopping app; watching Netflix to help boredom that we get while not being able to sleep- all can result in sleep disorder. People sleep late and then wake up early to reach their work or schools and then spend the whole day tired.
By the end of the day, they are feeling more active and the cycle repeats. No sleep at all, at times, results in a misbalance of our work and our moods. A healthy sleep cycle helps us to maintain positivity towards our work and people and more.
It is seen in children as well as adults that there is a loss of quick cognitive responses. Though, it is important to look out for the kids that are growing into it. It can be easily withdrawn from less use of gadgets among young children. A parent allowing them to access an iPad or have a set of games downloaded on their phones is not the right way to go.
Children are supposed to be encouraged to have vigorous outdoor activities planned with multiple game options. Yes, they should be aware of the technology as well but when it comes to cognitive learning the most helpful source is to look towards learning physically, such as outdoor games.
We use more technology to help us achieve more in life. With this usage comes a great deal of mental health issues. Anxiety and depression being part of them. The gadgets we use, or the applications we use, to make our work easier all depend on the internet server and when that doesn’t work, all hell breaks loose.
This is just one of the examples that lead to anxiety but what is to understand here is that, while problems may be small or big surrounding technology, there can always be anxiety surrounding it. Anxiety may also progress to depression. To achieve more in life we need more work and with that comes more stressors. We should be able to satisfy our work needs with respect to our health needs.
Reduced physical activities
Reduced physical activities are a very common result of the excess use of gadgets. It is seen from children to adults that reduced physical activities lead to laziness, cognitive impairment, physical discomfort, etc. With fewer activities, many young adults face health problems that most don’t face until they are 40 or 50.
Children can become lazy when it comes to doing even the smallest of things. Everyone wishes to stay on the couch and do nothing other than just staring at the device they are holding. Even senior citizens have now entered the world of social media where they just scroll up, down, left, and right to look through other peoples’ profiles.
Above mentioned activities which are done rather than physical activities results in having spine problems, bad postures, and hip imbalance. Many youngsters today have bad postures and suffer from backaches. These problems may seem small but are very much problematic in the long run. Eye strain, being one of the most common problems faced by people. Today some small children, no younger than 10 years of age are wearing glasses. The eyes already give up on us when there is so much strain put through them.
Being productive with technology is one thing but being dependent on technology is another. Most of the population today is dependent on technology. Gadgets being the only resort for their means. Through gadgets, we are dependent on technology in a way that we feel that without it no work can be done.
Without a video game device in our house, our house loses its appeal, or without a proper set of monitor displays in the child’s bedroom, one can’t be a computer genius. Everything has an alternative, like board games or books. Dependency is shown in every phase of life with technology.
While these gadgets can provide us with help in our day to day lives, everything should be used in moderation. Moderation, so we understand how important it is to even look after ourselves and know well how to self-care. Yes, today in this century and in the coming future, the use of gadgets will most likely increase and apply to all our work, but how much of it we are using it, depends only on us.