Are You Addicted to Technology?


Are you always reaching for your phone to check social media, email or a myriad of texts and updates, with most of them being increasingly insignificant?

If you’re like so many of us, we’re always connected and studies are supporting the predictions, that it’s leading to brain overload and stress. A growth in social media platforms; use of computers, television, movies and internet continue to rise and have a dramatic influence on our attention spans.

Studies in brain research using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are revealing outcomes that are affecting the brain and therefore behavior. As a result, psychology of Media is now an official sub-specialty in the field of psychology and behavioral studies which is a phenomenal advancement in our human elevation. The results now validate the reality of Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).

Is this harmful? You may be surprised.

IAD can cause nausea, tremors, anxiety and shivers in some, with it being called “substance abuse” included in a list of compulsive., pathological behaviors such as gambling and eating disorders. Try removing a young “gamer” from a video game in a hurry. You will discover how difficult it is to break the attachment between the teen and the screen.

Many are using internet media as an emotional and mental refuge from everyday life, addictively attached to their screens; minds stunted for hours to the exclusion of the real world. Families are neglected, work, studies, family, social relationships and mostly, themselves.

This addictive obsession is human-centered but only as deep as the screen. The media applications found in video games, iPods, YouTube and other evolving communications applications can be mind-altering

The public is increasing the awareness and understanding through media and we’re seeing positive behavioral changes. Media psychology applied to major social issues can be a force for good.  Advancing internet applications are growing in areas of commerce such as banking and online buying which are positively increasing to the global economy at a rate nobody would have predicted just 20 years ago.  The value of positive psychology has been validated. Positive media messages are assisting to improve public understanding of major social and medical consequences of issues affecting the public such as body weight, diet and lack of exercise, high cholesterol, and hypertension to highlight only a few.

Education is also growing due to media-focussed platforms, from schooling, to corporate education and through career advancements. Learning in virtual environments is both an art and science and its proper teaching is a highly specialized field.

Social media has become the driver of positive social change and to help create our future, more understanding is needed.

THE POSITIVE EFFECTS:

  • Communication is increasing across cultures.
  • We are understanding more about the ways we learn and t’s relationship to media and technology.
  • Media has helped foster public understanding of many crucial issues.
  • Intelligence is increasing statistically; with much being credited to interactive games and media assisted learning.
  • Females are making advancements in various fields of science. Some studies attribute this to increased numbers of females engaging in interactive game play.

THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS:

  • Media-assisted crimes like identity theft and child pornography are taking new forms at alarmingly high statistics.
  • Media violence desensitizes people to violent acts and one could argue that it may even facilitate violent acts. Behavior that is considered violet can be contagious by socially agreeing with whats being observed.
  • The average number of sleep hours we need per night decreases in proportion to internet usage.
  • Attention spans are decreasing as a direct link to excessively stimulating and fast-paced media.

THE CONCLUSION:

Research has verified that positive effects can come from playing action video games due to the improvements in visual attention. Study is revealing both benefits and problems from the relationship between media stimulation and attention. In the end, additional study is both important and needed.

Media studies, culture and communications psychology, are central to our early 21st century world. New knowledge is constantly emerging keeping us all in a state of flux as we embrace the changes.

Our knowledge is outpacing our understanding. To be responsible citizens and parents and citizens, we must work to be present, pay attention and remain focused on what’s most important to us as individuals, lest we get sidetracked by the minutia and lose our life purpose.

In the end, we’re in a massive change of global consciousness as the world wakes up to increased possibility, commerce and opportunity keeping us all in place of unchartered waters.

As always, if you or a friend or family member is suffering from the results of life balance in these and other similar issues, reach out to me so that I may offer some helpful suggestions.

To your good mental health,

~Noel McDermott

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