As the connections between humans and computers strengthen, the term cyberpsychology looks set to take on a more important area of study. Currently taken to mean the study of online technology’s impact on group psychology, cyberpsychology is a product of our environment.
With the internet becoming more integral to our lives every day, it’s becoming harder to disconnect our minds from cyberspace. While it’s been suggested that too much synergy could be a bad thing, there are benefits to the mind-computer connection. In fact, if used correctly, technology can actually enrich our lives.
The internet has made healthcare more accessible
On a very basic level, the internet has made it easier for us to do things that make us happy. Outlined in our guide to improving mood, we noted the benefits of daily exercise and meditation. Two decades ago, learning meditation or finding the motivation to exercise was far tougher than it is today. For instance, if you want to calm the mind through meditation, you can find thousands of videos on YouTube. From registered teachers to ASMR artists, the internet is awash with people willing to help you explore your consciousness.
The same is true for exercise. In addition to videos, many of the leading apps now connect you to the internet and track activity levels, link you to a community and even provide real-time updates. The upshot of this is increased motivation, which in turn promotes better physical and mental health. As the internet evolves and innovations become more complex, so too will the ways in which tech can improve our overall well-being. The latest players to enter the game are cryptocurrencies and blockchains.
While the general public is still getting to grips with the idea of digital currencies, developers are finding other ways to use the technology. Although Bitcoin was designed to redefine money, the underlying technology is now being used in a variety of mediums. The latest area to benefit from blockchains is healthcare. Using Ethereum (ETH), developers can create decentralised apps. Devoid of a central authority, decentralised apps (dApps) on the Ethereum network use the blockchain as a base for processing data. However, because they’re developed by third parties, they can be adapted to suit any purpose.
Blockchains will give individuals more control over their well-being
A great example of a company using Ethereum to improve the healthcare system is Gem. By creating a decentralised network, Gem has made it possible for patients and organisations to have more control over medical records. Using smart contracts, healthcare records are stored securely and are easily shareable. For those looking to improve their health, this is a major breakthrough. Indeed, the first step to healing is acknowledging and understanding the problem. By having better access to their records, patients are more informed. What’s more, they have the ability to share their information in seconds.
This not only speeds up the review process and leads to quicker treatment but opens the door to alternatives. In other words, patients can share their data with anyone and, therefore, access a variety of treatments. Although there is a way to go until blockchains completely revolutionise the healthcare industry, the foundations have been laid. Just as the internet allowed YouTube to become a viable way to improve your health and well-being, the same will be true for blockchains. When that happens, the term cyberpsychology will once again evolve to encompass a whole new area of study.