Home Cyberpsychology & Technology The Dark Side of Technology: How It Contributes to Poor Mental Health in People

The Dark Side of Technology: How It Contributes to Poor Mental Health in People

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In the modern era, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. From smartphones to  social media platforms, we rely heavily on technology for communication, entertainment, and  information. While technology has undoubtedly brought numerous benefits, it is crucial to  acknowledge its negative impact on mental health.

Social media and the pressure to conform

Social media platforms have revolutionided the way we connect with others, but they have also given  rise to a culture of comparison and unrealistic expectations. Constant exposure to carefully curated  and filtered lives of others can lead to feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and low self-esteem. The  pressure to conform to societal standards and gain approval through likes, comments, and followers  can negatively impact mental well-being. 

Information overload and cognitive overwhelm

In today’s digital age, we are bombarded with a constant influx of information. News updates,  notifications, emails, and messages flood our screens, leading to cognitive overload. This information  overload can make it difficult for individuals to focus, causing increased stress levels and reduced  productivity. Moreover, the fear of missing out (FOMO) often keeps people glued to their devices,  further exacerbating mental strain. 

Sleep disturbances and screen time

The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt our sleep patterns. Excessive screen time, especially close  to bedtime, inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep. This  disruption can lead to difficulties falling asleep and obtaining restful sleep, which in turn can contribute  to mood disorders, decreased concentration, and reduced overall well-being. 

Cyberbullying and online harassment

Technology has unfortunately provided a platform for cyberbullying and online harassment. The  anonymity offered by the digital world empowers individuals to engage in harmful behaviour without  facing immediate consequences. Victims of cyberbullying often experience depression, anxiety, and  feelings of isolation. The 24/7 nature of online interactions can make it challenging for victims to  escape from the negative impacts, leading to long-lasting mental health issues. 

Sedentary lifestyle and physical health

The increased use of technology has contributed to sedentary lifestyles, with people spending more  time sitting and engaging in passive activities. Lack of physical activity can have a detrimental effect on  mental health, as exercise is known to release endorphins and improve overall well-being. Additionally,  excessive screen time can reduce face-to-face social interactions, which are vital for maintaining  emotional connections and fostering a sense of belonging. 

Digital addiction and escapism

The instant gratification provided by technology can lead to addictive behaviours. The constant need for  checking notifications, scrolling through social media feeds, and consuming online content can become  compulsive and take precedence over real-world activities and relationships. Digital addiction can  result in social withdrawal, poor self-esteem, and feelings of isolation, further exacerbating mental  health issues.

Takeaway

While technology undoubtedly offers numerous advantages, it is crucial to recognise its detrimental  effects on mental health. From social media pressures and information overload to cyberbullying and  digital addiction, technology has the potential to worsen existing mental health conditions and even  contribute to the development of new ones. Striking a balance between utilizing technology for its  benefits while prioritizing mental well-being is crucial. Awareness, moderation, and implementing  healthy digital habits are key to minimizing the negative impact of technology on our mental health  and ensuring a healthier relationship with the digital world.


Obehi Eguakhide is an inspiring individual with a deep passion for social development and humanitarian services. Through his work, he seeks to address pressing social issues, empower marginalized communities, and foster sustainable development. 

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