Is Technology Improving or Hurting Our Lives?

We've seen it before. Stories claiming technology is ruining our society and rotting our brains. Is it really true though? Let's look at the impact tech has had on our everyday lives

There’s a number of studies that show how easily things like social media and Candy Crush can ruin your life. On one hand, there are rare and extreme cases were this has actually happened. On the other hand, let’s ask ourselves what good technology can do for us, our mental health, and our society. It’s easier to focus on the bad than the good. 

Mental Health

Having a strong sense of connection with the people within your social network is vital to your mental health and combating depression. Isolation can greatly increase your risk of developing anxiety disorders.  Catching up with our friends and loved ones was once an impossibly tricky task. It resulted in friends falling to the wayside, and important life events being missed. Spending more time coordinating plans with those you cherish than getting to actually seem them was frustrating. However, with social media, texting, and video chats, it’s easier than ever to stay connected.
Vector Group of People
You no longer worry about interrupting someone’s dinner with a phone call anymore. Instead, you send a text or Facebook message knowing it won’t be intrusive or cumbersome for the person on the receiving end. Bringing the people you love together in one place is also easier with options such as Facebook events and calendar invites. Being connected to the important people in your life is vital for maintaining a healthy and sound outlook on life. While some might say smartphones are isolating us, I beg to differ. In a study conducted by Duke University, “researchers found evidence that digital technology use may be helpful to [those] experiencing depression and anxiety. More time spent texting was associated with fewer same-day symptoms of depression and anxiety. “Technology is making it easier to support each other through both good and bad times. These new-aged ways of being able to communicate with no delay brings us closer together than ever before.

Physical Health

The positive impact of technology on our health is astounding. Besides medical advances we never thought would be possible, like fixing the chemical imbalance in drug addicts, and advancements in pre-screening for autism [https://www.healthline.com/health-news/new-app-to-diagnose-autism-is-this-a-good-idea#2]. There’s now a number of ways for us to have better control and oversight of our health. Smartphone apps such as The Diary Health (scans food and quickly provided dietary information). Visiting the doctor is more accessible now as well. In a world where we’re constantly hustling from place to the next without a moment to breathe, finding time to visit the doctor can be next to impossible. Thanks to telemedicine, we can see the doctor where ever we are, whenever. Through websites and apps like Doctors on Demand, people are able to take better care of themselves. 

As helpful as technology can be, it can cause negative side effects if you’re not careful. Most common problems come from eye and neck strain. Here are a few tips on what you can do to avoid them:

Get Physical

Let’s get physical, physical, as they used to say. It’s easy to get lost in your newsfeed for what seems like hours. Being inactive for too long can cause health problems, such as back problems and muscle degeneration. Doctors suggest stretching every 30-40 minutes. Walk to the other room, stretch your arms, roll your shoulders, and get your blood pumping again.

Protect Your Eyes

Long exposure to smartphones, screens, or TVs can cause major eye strain from the blue light the screens emit. How does this light affect your eyes? Blue light is the shortest wavelengths in the color spectrum, but it carries the highest amount of energy. Due to this, long exposure to blue light waves causes eye strain.

A lot of devices now have the ability to dim the amount of blue light emitted. Another way to diminish your exposure to blue light is to use screen filters. Like this blue light blocking screen panel from Amazon that simply slips onto your monitor. Another way you can block blue light is with a pair of fashionable, yet techy, glasses designed to block blue light which you can find here on Amazon as well. 

Education

There’s many concerns that technology is causing negative impacts on children, teenagers, and young adults growing up in today’s tech-rich environments. However, with proper use and parental guidance, technology can have a positive impact on the lives of children. Children now use technology more than ever in the classroom and the results are in. According to this survey from the University of Phoenix, 63% of teachers K-12 use tech in the classroom in 2018. Integrating technology into education has helped teachers and students achieve more in the classroom and develop critical skills for the future. Major companies such as Microsoft and Google offer education-focused software that allows teachers to review a student’s progress with analytics and engage with students on an individual basis. 

63% of teachers K-12 use tech in the classroom in 2018

University of Phoenix 2018 Study

Getting More Done

Cloud-based apps such as Socrative allow students to answer pop quizzes quickly through their laptops or smartphones. Instead of spending up to 20 hours a week grading papers, these cloud based solutions allow teachers to spend more quality time on lessons and one-on-one time with students. Another great app for teachers is Bloomz. It allows teachers to easily network and build relationships with their student’s parents. This new level of connectivity between student, teacher, and parent is only possible due to innovations within the tech field.  Involving a child’s parents is another fail-safe to ensuring their success in school and in life.

Hurting Businesses

With the rise of online shopping and e-Commerce, small businesses are clutching their pearls. The transition to online platforms for buying and selling has helped businesses thrive more than they could with a brick and mortar shop alone. Instead of offering products and services to a local community, business owners are expanding to locations far outside their area code. For businesses that don’t see profit from goods and focus more on the service side, technology is also playing a huge role in getting more people through the door. Companies are able to better advertise their solutions with online marketing services, such as social media and Google Ads.

More Clients, More Profit

With the rise of online shopping and e-Commerce, small businesses are clutching their pearls. The transition to online platforms for buying and selling has helped businesses thrive more than they could with a brick and mortar shop alone. Instead of offering products and services to a local community, business owners are expanding to locations far outside their area code. For businesses that don’t see profit from goods and focus more on the service side, technology is also playing a huge role in getting more people through the door. Companies are able to better advertise their solutions with online marketing services, such as social media and Google Ads. Having a strong presence on the web is essential for any business, big or small. It allows new potential clients to learn more about your business and become more educated about your offerings before making a decision. Being able to connect with customers and clients in real time with e-mail solutions has also allowed businesses to build stronger relationships with their partners. Their profit margins speak for themselves.  For businesses who don’t use a private e-mail service, you should look into making the switch to a stronger and secure e-mail provider, such as Kustura Technologies. We offer e-mail security and privacy that you won’t see with Gmail or Yahoo. Having a custom domain (your_name@your_business.com) can also help boost client confidence in you and your businesses, too. 

Good or Evil?

When we think about technology, it’s neither good or evil. It’s how we use it that determines its impact on our lives. Disconnecting and going off the grid is definitely an option for those who don’t like this new age of smart-everything including notebooks, light bulbs, and soon everything under the sun will have a smart version of it (check out our top list of gadgets to see what we mean). While technology can have its downsides, the positive impact its had on our lives as a society outweigh the bad by far. Let us know in your comments how you feel about technology, is it helping or hurting us? 

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