Technology creates stress. Here’s how.
Technology nowadays is everywhere, whether we see it or not. That is a fact. Regardless of your job description, chances are you need to deal with some sort of technology every day. daily. Even the clerk at your groceries shop is constantly being monitored as she scans your groceries, trying to meet her daily quota.
Although technology has come to stay and is bound to have continual advancements every day, some of which are and will continue to be extremely helpful to us, it’s also undeniable that there is a ‘dark side’ to all of the progress.
Have you heard of ‘Technostress‘? It’s the new term created to refer the struggle that many of us are increasingly facing to adapt to the increased technological intrusion in our daily lives.
From the compulsory social media activities to the daily usage of two Smartphones, one tablet, and a laptop daily at the office, to the inability to ‘switch off’ after a 10-hour work day, you might experience technology-related stress in a different number of ways. The WHO rates the cost of employee burnout at over $300 billion annually.
This is a true phenomenon that is being studied by several researchers all over the world, and that has severe consequences for those affected by it.
The ‘dark side’ of technology: higher stress levels
Although technology has brought us impressive benefits, in all aspects of our lives as individuals and as members of an active working society, creating entirely new ways to help us think, grow and prosper, it has also brought a few strings attached, and a few downsides that cannot be ignored.
The heavy usage of computers, tablets, and Smartphones can be linked to increased stress levels, anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders and alike symptoms.
Some researchers even point out that the increased intrusion of technology in our daily lives is reducing our attention span capacity.
Not rarely we feel overwhelmed, overloaded and invaded by electronic stimulus in both our work and personal life. The pressure that comes associated with managing everything is heavy and the balance that used to separate business and personal life is now a blurry line, mostly because of social media. Our digital interactions play to our deepest human needs, making us subject to overuse and even to get addicted to technology stimulus.
On the other hand, workers stress over the fear of being replaced by an App or a new technological breakthrough that will make it possible to automate their tasks. Also, a big majority of them tend to feel progressively isolated throughout the day, as emails, pings, direct messages, conference calls, and such, are significantly reducing true human interaction and changing the workplace.
Should we disregard the benefits of technology?
It might sound strange, but the reality is that technology also allows for some peace of mind and happy feelings. Using the internet or social media does not necessarily mean that you’ll be prone to be stressed out.
For some of us, going online can be a nice break from work, or it can be a useful and powerful work tool, bringing us great advantages that were not possible a few decades ago.
Companies that have employees scattered all over the world can’t imagine a work day without electronic tools, instant messaging and cloud sharing apps. For them, technology has allowed for quicker communications, less stress and higher productivity.
It has also helped people connect with family and friends who live away from each other, which was unthinkable 30 years ago.
Is there a middle ground?
As with everything in life, moderation can be a powerful tool, and, ultimately, it is up to us to draw the line.
Granted that if we need to use technology as a work tool, there is not much to do about it. But, we can always choose to ‘switch off’ now and then, to be more mindful, and to relax.
For the majority of us, the best way to de-stress is to listen to relaxing music, get some fresh air, look at the ocean, feel the breeze on our face, exercise, or practice our daily meditation.
Ancient methods like acupuncture too are found to be beneficial in getting rid of technology-related stress. But make sure you hire the right individual who specializes in providing acupuncture services.
All of us have the power to take control of our lives; the key is realizing when there is a problem and taking action to address it.
Bottom line: we’d probably do well to give technology a break and enjoy the moment with our friends, family, and loved ones, right? So, are you ready to disconnect?