From entertainment to work, the majority of everything we do in our fast and developing digital world relies on technology. People spend so much of their time suffering on the internet and utilizing technology. Technology has taken up an irreplaceable role in our lives. However, the immense influence of technology in our lives has proved unfavorable due to its negative side. According to research, the average screen time of the global population is 6 hours and 58 minutes per day which is enough to cause stress. Screen time includes the time spent on mobile phones computers and other technological devices. Individually, if you count your screen time, you will be surprised to see that most of the hours you may be spending on the internet using technology, and even now, if you are reading this post, you are spending time on the internet. However, it is worth reading since this article will discuss what causes stress from technology and how one may ensure digital well-being in their life. Technostress is a modern-day condition signified by stress and anxiety caused by excessive and unmanaged use of technology and electronic gadgets.
In simple terms, technostress is stress-driven by the excessive use of technology and has a negative psychological impact on individuals. This is deteriorating the digital well-being of people.
Cause of Technostress
There are several root factors that contribute to technostress:
1) 24/7 connectivity:
Mobile phones, computers, and other technological gadgets have blurred the difference between personal and professional life, and this makes it difficult to disconnect. Constant availability and rapid connectivity make it impossible to avoid using technology. This distraction puts pressure on you to be always connected and responsive, which contributes to anxiety and stress in the long run.
2) Information Overloaded:
The digital world presents us with an enormous quantity of information to intake, with a constant flow of emails, social media updates, news alerts, and other types of digital information. This digital information and updates create mental exhaustion and cognitive fatigue, lead to the feeling of anxiety, frustration, and stress. This mental fatigue makes it difficult to make life decisions and focus challenging.
3) Fear of missing out (FOMO):
The sense that everyone constantly engages in technology for amusement and entertainment, resulting in a sense of social isolation and loneliness. To overcome this fear, the person begins to overuse technology which further exacerbates tension and anxiety.
5) Lack of Digital Literacy:
Individuals who lack digital knowledge and technology skills may experience dissatisfaction when utilizing new technical gadgets, applications, or online platforms. The inability to work with technology and to participate digitally can further contribute to feelings of frustration, stress, and anxiety.
6) Technological Changes:
In this minute-changed digital world, it is tough to keep up with every new technological advancement. As no one wanted to fall behind the constant need to learn everything new and the fear of falling behind creates stress and anxiety contributing to technostress and making it difficult to focus.
Deterioration of Digital well-being
Technostress has eroded digital well-being in multiple ways. On the one hand, it constantly puts pressure on people to engage in digital activities which further causes burnout and influences stress and anxiety. On the other hand, it disrupts the sleep pattern, pervasively using technological devices before bedtime disrupts the sleep pattern. Other challenges like digital distraction, learning new digital advancement, fear of missing out and social isolation can influence an overwhelming feeling of stress which further deteriorates the digital well-being.
Also Read: The Old Generation and Use of Technology
Technostress has negatively affected the digital well-being of people in several other ways:
1. Problems with physical health:
Technostress can be manifested in various physical problems. This stress causes physical problems like headaches, eye strains, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. These symptoms can cause fatigue and impaired overall physical health.
2. Problems with mental health:
The constant pressure to engage digitally and to be responsive can cause mental exhaustion. The immense amount of digital information can cause burnout situation which often becomes the cause of stress and anxiety.
3. Problems with emotional health:
The fear of missing out can cause an emotional strain. To feel frustrated due to notifications and updates sometimes can be emotionally draining for some people. Vented out emotionally is an option to deal with this burnout problem for feeling calm for some time.
4. Problems in Interpersonal Relationships:
The excessive use of technology can cause a strain on interpersonal relationship. Due to over-digitalization, there is more online interaction in comparison to face-to-face meetings. Distraction during conversation and disconnection can cause problems in interpersonal relationships.
5. Reduce creativity and innovation:
Over-reliance on technology has reduced the human work to think of new creative and innovative ideas. Technology often works as limiting individuals’ ability to engage in deep thoughts, reflection, and problem-solving. Also limiting them to grow personally and professionally.
Overcoming technostress is important and it requires conscious effort to manage screen time and limit yourself to the technology. And one should overcome technostress to cultivate healthy relationships.
Also Read: The Impact of Technology on Sexual Behavior
Strategies to cope with the technostress include:
- Monitor and control: One should set some boundaries to their technological usage by monitoring screen time and controlling it.
- Technology-free zones: Establish some technology-free zones like dining and bedrooms where it is prohibited to use any digital device.
- Schedule a digital detox period: Schedule some time to detox yourself from the technological world. Including non-digital activities in your schedule like reading, writing, and walking may work as a digital detox.
- Minimise distraction: Turn off unnecessary alerts and notifications, and close unnecessary tabs. It will reduce distraction and unnecessary anxiety.
- Practicing mindfulness: Yoga and meditation is always helpful in reducing any kind of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings and allow you to make conscious decisions about technological use.
- Prioritize real-world interaction: Instead of wasting time online scrolling randomly, make real-world interactions, that will be helpful for your personality development and reduce the feeling of social isolation.