Design by Sahithi Lingampalli

Does Technology Impact Mental Health?

Written by Anvitha Mattapalli and edited by Dominique Samantha, Harvi Karatha, & Jason Liu. Layout by Vrinda Gandhi, Art by Evelyn Chen. Blogged by Asic.

I have a confession to make; my phone’s screen time may or may not be 7 hours. My parents soon confiscated it, telling me that it leads to eyestrain and back problems, but these are all physical health issues. What about mental health? Does technology impact mental health? The answer is yes. It does affect mental health for the better and for the worse.

For people experiencing problems in real life, finding advice can be a challenge. Online support groups can help them find answers to their questions and gain advice on how to move forward. We can’t always be face-to-face with our friends and family, so we can use technology to stay in touch and increase social interaction. This increase in social interaction allows for a more positive mood and outlook, ultimately improving mental health.

Pros

For people struggling with mental illnesses, technology provides a variety of resources to help. If you’re questioning whether you have a mental illness or not, you can take a certified mental illness quiz online in the comfort of your home before reaching out to a healthcare professional for future steps. There are also many mental health apps online that are being researched by professionals. They can help you track your progress, remind you to take medication, go to therapy/doctor appointments, manage stress and even predict real-life mental health crises. Doctor appointments for mental health can also be arranged online, which could help in increasing access to mental health care.

Cons

As with most things, there are some cons. When you overuse technology, you isolate yourself from others. You spend more time having one-word conversations and sending memes rather than sharing meaningful relationships and face-to-face interactions. According to a Stanford study, girls who spend more time on technology had trouble with self-esteem and interacting with others as compared to girls who don’t spend as much time on technology.

This can cause you to be addicted to technology. Recent studies have shown that an addiction to technology plays with brain cells in the same way that heroin does. Using more technology also allows for cyberbullying: bullying through technology. This can include sending insulting emails, posting private images/videos and messaging threats.

Technology comes with its positives and negatives regarding mental health. We hope that you choose technology for all the right reasons and protect your mental health.

References

JourneyPure 12 Keys. (n.d.). Increased Digital Use and Mental Health: Pros and Cons. Retrieved from https://www.12keysrehab.com/increased-digital-use-and-mental-health-pros-and-cons/

UIC Online Health Informatics. (2020, July 10). 4 Important Mental Health Care Technology Innovations. Retrieved from https://healthinformatics.uic.edu/blog/4-important-mental-healthcare-technology-innovations/

Originally published at https://issuu.com.

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