BHHS Today

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Stepping Back From Our Technology Is a Necessity

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With each passing moment we remain fixated on the glaring brightness of our phone screens, the anxiety grows.

  Day by day, notification by notification, our obsession with mass information (and expanded access to it) have alarmingly exacerbated the natural stress of high school.

  That impulse to continually check our phones stems from a dangerous, unspoken obligation: since we have an enhanced ability to communicate with others, disseminate our observations, and receive an infinity of answers to our most burning curiosities, we must indulge fully in these opportunities or risk a sense of isolation from the world.

  The omniscient power of our phones has its perks, but with so much sheer knowledge at our fingertips, we bear the nagging burden of not being able to process the oversaturation of information available.

  According to Business Insider, internet addiction often comes hand in hand with other issues such as mental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and depression.”

  The moment we feel the onset of a cold, we immediately turn to WebMD, a silly and impractical reflex which points to some rare fatal blood disease as the definite condition. Even our grades are accessible 24/7, allowing us to refresh the MiStar page endlessly until a certain test score appears. And who hasn’t felt the “phantom notification,” the message you know just buzzed on your phone, but isn’t there when you check?

  In fact, a poll by SecurEnvoy, 71% of women and 60% of men have phone separation anxiety. For all its obvious benefits, the smartphone has begun to wear us down as composed and communicative individuals.

  The truth is, living life without our phones is feasible. It was the norm nearly 15 years ago. Sure, prying our gaze from our devices feels inconvenient and unnecessary, but the more involved and habitual this practice becomes, the more tangible its benefits.

  As the primary generation to have access to the immense power of technology at our fingertips, it is our responsibility to avoid abusing this power to our own detriment and set an example for future users.

  There are several ways to limit and improve smartphone use. The most effective is simply to take technology or social media hiatuses. Formally disconnecting ourselves from our screens familiarizes our minds with the sensation. The plentier and lengthier these breaks, the easier detachment will become.

  With this strategy comes hopefully similar behavior from others. The less you are on your phone, the more you will prefer face-to-face contact. The spread of this solution cannot be underestimated.

  Moreover, we should encourage those around us, especially children, to avoid excessive device use. While a biochemical link between screen time and ADHD is yet to be found, a study from the University of Virginia determined that the correlation between the two is alarmingly high- too high to ignore, especially when considering the increasing availability of smart devices to the next generation.

  In implementing these solutions, we must establish that healthy technology use will not begin overnight and will require the efforts of millions around the world. Recognizing the anxiety and cognitive issues involved is the first step towards securing a brighter future for users.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Stepping Back From Our Technology Is a Necessity”

  1. Evan Stern on February 15th, 2018 7:40 am

    I agree with the viewpoint expressed in this article. I feel that we must to a degree abandon aspects of technology in order to naturally live life and enjoy elements of life not connected to technology.

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  2. Hanna Halstead on February 15th, 2018 8:07 am

    I feel like this article speaks the truth to what our society has become today, too dependent on our devices to even communicate face-to-face with others. If this is what our future holds, I’m extremely worried for society

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  3. Erin Schwartz on February 16th, 2018 7:45 am

    As an individual who has phone separation anxiety along with the internet addiction contributing factors (ADHD and depression), I do agree with most of this article. It is alarming how dependent we all are on our phones. Personally, informational overload is not the issue. I think it’s social media. As someone who has always been exceptionally good at being awkward, I’m much better at talking online. I do need to take a break, but taking a break would mean taking a break from socializing all together. Great article!

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