The Dangers of Technology and Social Media

Technology can be a great thing.

After all, without the countless scientific innovations which have been invented and implemented over the years, modern amenities such as vehicles, connecting to the internet, pharmaceuticals and medicines, as well as international travel wouldn’t be possible. Technology has also brought us closer together. The internet singlehandedly made the world a smaller place, united people of all nations and languages, and gave everyone a platform on which they could have a voice anonymously.

Indeed, technology has done some amazing things, but it has a dark side which is only just being explored. And with younger generations being introduced to technology at an early stage, it’s important that we’re aware of the dangerous sides of technology in general.

Information overload

There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that information overload is having a profound effect on the way in which we digest information and our buying choices. Is this such a bad thing? Well, yes. Information overload can put enormous tension on the human brain. Since the brain is working all the time to process and compartmentalize information, receiving too much over a period of time can have a negative effect on concentration and cognizant ability. Common symptoms of information overload include fatigue, forgetfulness, and, in more and more common occurrences, burnout.

This information comes from a number of different sources on the internet including social media and news outlets. Since content is king, and many websites make money from keeping readers hooked, producing new and exciting content and information is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It’s getting to the point where psychologists are warning users against the effects of information overload and suggesting that some take a digital detox from the internet. The reason has to do with information overload potentially contributing to everyday stress and mental health issues.

Social media can make you feel lonely

It’s paradoxical. Social media should be bringing us together, but instead it’s pushing us further apart. What gives? Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have given us the remarkable ability to follow our friends’ lives no matter where they are on Earth. But bizarrely this ability is causing depression and social anxiety in a growing number of people. The reason has to do with the fact that most people only upload the highlights of their lives to social media; they showcase the best and brightest snapshots while neglecting to add the dreary, day-to-day dullness that everyone experiences in equal measure. This can make it seem as though your friends and family are living the most extraordinary lives.

Consequently, people end up comparing their lives with the unrealistic photos and posts they’re seeing uploaded to social media. The resulting comparison often leads to feelings of inadequacy, that our lives are not quite as good as our counterparts, and an alienation caused by constantly being reminded of how successful others are compared to ourselves.

This is, of course, an entirely untrue view of how people actually live their lives. Even so, the consequences of it are hard to deny. Anxiety, inadequacy and self-loathing are only a few of the words used to describe those who are feeling growing pressure from social media. Coupled with the daily pressures of everyday life – looking good, performing well and generally being likable – it’s understandable how these feelings develop.

Taking care of yourself

Given all we know about the dangers of technology and social media, it seems that a quick and easy solution would be to detach ourselves from it for a little while, or try and curb our usage somewhat. This is easier said than done, as technology creeps further and further into our lives. This, however, is all the more reason why people should be looking towards taking a digital detox to help them relieve the mental stress that comes with using technology constantly.

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