When Technology meets Psychology
How I and everyone in the world, whether they are conscious of it or not, feel trapped in the system of technology
I am one out of the many who watched “/the social dilemma__” on Netflix. It left me numb, trapped, and guilty. Numb because I didn’t know what to think or say after watching it, trapped because I use social media apps, and guilty because had I known it earlier, I would have tried to lessen my usage as much as possible.
Studies and research show evidence
- According to the American Journal of Epidemiology 2017, a five thousand person study found that higher social media use correlated with self-report declines in mental and physical health and life satisfaction.
- In another study, statistics by the Global System for Mobile Communications Associations (GSMA) tells that there are 5.13 billion people in the world who own mobile phones. That being 66.5% of the world’s population.
Wait. You can always search for this on the internet. But here’s a genuine question — do you track your screen time, the number of gadgets you use, how often you attend to things being told when you’re using a gadget, and so on?
What do experts say?
Tech masterminds who have been working in big companies have shared their wisdom and advice in this film. They say, “it is checkmate for humanity.” Now you must be wondering, why would someone who is so close to technology say that? Well, they’ve realized this for a few years now and are working on it. They say you can stay off your device by -
- Switching off notifications
- Deleting unnecessary apps, news apps, social media apps
The first one is the major reason why we end up using our phones so often. Admit it. We all know it’s true!
A piece of advice from my end would be, using apps like Freedom, YourHour, and Moment to track your screen time.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity “— Albert Einstein
You’re probably thinking about how or why psychology is relevant here. I’m here to explain that. Psychology is pertinent because technology affects —
- Mental health — feelings of low self-esteem when you see others doing better, stress, anxiety, cyberbullying (which can lead to suicidal tendencies)
- Cognition — what do you think? Half an hour/ an hour of reading a book/magazine/newspaper articles before going to bed improves your memory or scrolling through someone's Twitter page?
- Reinforcement — few children and teenagers feel that they need to watch tv, an episode of a show, or use their phone if they study for an hour/two. Breaks are necessary. But these aren’t breaks. Moreover, reinforcement is meant to better one's behavior, not make it worse.
- Opinions — many times, our opinions are influenced by the posts we see. A few months back, I watched the movie ‘Murder Mystery’ on Netflix. A comedian had posted a picture saying how he didn’t like the movie. While looking at the post I pondered about it and thought, I don’t like it as much as I did before. I’m sure this has happened to many of you in different ways.
- Social relationships — I have observed many people using their phones during social gatherings as people are interacting. They just scroll through their Instagram page, or Whatsapp, Reddit, etc. Is it really necessary at that time? Addiction to gadgets can also be seen in homes among family members. These behaviors disrupt social relationships.
I have mentioned a few. In reality, there are many more psychological effects of technology on us.
One can seek psychological help for addiction at de-addiction centers, rehabilitation centers, or opt for therapy.
I am not trying to convey that technology is bad. That is in no way true. But what is true is that we must revize our use of technology. I agree with the tech experts who say technology needs reform for us to be able to use it in a limited manner and not get attached to it for a lifetime.