Even if you are sick and tired of hearing that your beloved tech devices are truly not all that good for you, please give this a “read” and do some research for yourself!
I’ve watched regularly as my clients jump and twitch in their chair when a phone signals a text message or an email. I try to get clients to SHUT THEM OFF….and some people seem unwilling. That means that even when in therapy, trying to work on anxiety and depression and stress in general, some people stay attached to the very object that fuels the difficulty they are presenting to me!
So if you are skeptical about trusting me, a psychologist, just google Tristan Harris….a former google guy who quit and is now trying to understand the over all impact of technology. He says technology is NOT neutral and that he stepped away to deal with his own sense of overload and explore what actually benefits his own life as well as the lives of others.
He compares the phone to a slot machine — you pull the handle and wait to see if you get a reward. If you do you continue for more rewards; if you fail to be rewarded, you keep trying! So you are programmed by likes, by responses of any kind…and if there are none, you continue to check to see if that has CHANGED. Hundreds and hundreds of experts are on the other end of your phone, watching to see and understand your response so they can continue to improve the ability to “program” you even more. It’s not especially evil in intent, but it’s about making money vs a thorough examination of “what is happening” to our brains!
The average person checks a phone every 15 minutes! When you do, you get a cortisol rush. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Consequently, when you constantly check you keep yourself in a continual state of anxiety. When your stress level stays elevated, and it apparently does with the frequent checking, it interrupts the ability to relax, to focus, and certainly the ability to sleep through the night.
My anti tech rant has to do with the impact on relationships. They are weakened with the absence of face to face conversation, of body language and facial expressions, of voice tone….and that means the actual MEANING is lost. The reliance on the phone weakens your relationships….and causes unnecessary arguments and general confusion.
BUT the brain information is essential to pay attention to. If you have trouble staying focused in a face to face conversation; listening and retaining information; reading and retaining information; if you are more anxious than usual; have trouble sleeping; forget what you were working on and/or intending to do…..PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN.
The test: HOW LONG CAN YOU GO WITHOUT LOOKING AT IT — AND WITHOUT GETTING ANXIOUS?
Please take this seriously. And if you are a parent who does not monitor your kids use of tech devices, please consider some new rules, regulations, good boundaries. We need to be connected, but it’s the old fashioned way of face to face that builds good minds and good relationships!
Argue if you want. But do some research! And if you think you might need some help, always ask. And always feel free to be in touch with me.