Drawbacks of Technology
Q: What are the drawbacks of technology?
With the invention of the internet, with email, texting, and social media, the world has taken huge steps forward. People are able to stay connected regardless of location. People can communicate with others across the globe within seconds, making the world a significantly smaller and more accessible.
While all that is true, the internet and technology, have some serious drawbacks that it is worth addressing and preventing.
Technology helps us avoid people. If we write emails, text, or send messages through social media, we are able to avoid real-time face-to-face interactions with people. This in turn means that we lose essential skills: how to read social cues and how to respond when in conflict. In addition, we lose our confidence in ourselves and therefore step away from future social interactions. Both our inability to read social cues and a loss of confidence leads to anxiety in social situations.
Technology replaces outdoor activities. For children especially, but for all people with access to the internet and technology, “screen time” replaces opportunities for outdoor activity. Exercise, especially outside, is incredibly important as it:
• Increases vitamin D in the body. Studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D can lead to depression and anxiety. If you don’t get enough sunlight, it is hard to get enough vitamin D. Therefore people (and children) who choose screen time over outdoor exercise or play have a greater chance of being anxious.
• Promotes face-to-face social interaction. Children who interact with other children outside learn skills for later in life: conflict resolution, resilience, and self-confidence.
• Maintain a healthy body weight. The percentage of overweight children in the United States has risen drastically with the rise of the internet, but outdoor exercise is both fun and good for the body.
Technology allows us time to react on our own timetable, instead of having to respond immediately. Reacting at our own timetable is great – it allows us to think, write, erase, write again and respond exactly as we would like to. The reality is that that’s not the way real human interactions work. For those who are only used to communicating through texting or email, needing to give an instant unedited response (in person or on the phone) can be anxiety provoking.