Before you start reading this post, there’s a little reminder. Please don’t be like the ones who get more depressed after reading serious topics, and don’t be like the ones either who get offended easily. Here’s just a perspective on how technology is leading to depression, and how you can better manage your technology usage to avoid getting trapped. We can see that there are not just mental effects of using technology, there are physical effects too. Use the technology for a prolonged period, and increased screen time will impact the quality of your sleep.
Technology Leading to Depression
Let’s agree that it all comes down to our choices. When we choose to use technology more than it is needed, we end up getting trapped. Also, the time that we should be spending on sleeping, exercising, or giving rest to our body is when replaced by screen time, it leads to a depressed mood and a decrease in our concentration level. In recent years, several studies have been conducted and these studies have found a link between computer-based technology that is social media and depression.
The participants of these studies were people who spent most of their time on technology and the people who spent the least time using technology. As you all might have guessed, the people who spent most of their time using technology were the ones who reported depression more, thus suggesting a higher depression rate.
Did you know that the more you can connect to people in an empathetic way, the more you get value out of social interactions? But currently, with the rise in technology usage, we are experiencing an opposite trend. By using technology, we are connecting to many people as much as possible but in the process, we are losing sight of meaningful social connections. We are so easily distracted because of these technologies that by the time we realize our mistake, we are either too late or just not motivated enough, or maybe too bored to rectify it. We seek new connections hoping not to repeat our mistakes but still end up acting as before. This lack of empathetic connection with people around us makes us more isolated, and if this continues, it eventually leads to depression.
Understanding the Impact of Technology on our Mental State
Now we will be looking closely at the impact that technology usage is having on our mental state. Have you wondered what makes you happy? Your external factors or the way you perceive those external factors? It’s always your perception, and here’s why. Suppose you see posts on social networking sites related to events that you were looking forward to being a part of, but unfortunately you weren’t invited. If you perceive these incidents as disheartening and worry about why you weren’t invited, it will disturb your mental state.
Your fear of missing out, or the way you like to call it, FOMO will make a difference in your real life, thus leading to less rewarding social interactions. Another cause of depression is low self-esteem, and we experience this when we compare ourselves with others on social media. We are aware that what we see in technology is not always the reality, but a part of us still aims to become like them.
Once you start following things on social media without really understanding it, unknowingly your thoughts start to change, and this has a direct impact on your behavior and social interactions. You see people around you who seem more successful and this makes you less happy. These feelings are related to depression and cannot be neglected. Technology exposes you to all types of emotions including negative ones.
Sometimes it’s okay to feel negative emotions but feeling such emotions regularly will lead to depression and deteriorate your quality of life. Some people can better manage their emotions while others have a hard time dealing with them. We will see this with an example: there are people who are obsessed with their idols. They use technology to get as much information about them as possible, during this process they come across negative things. Since they are already so invested in them, they get affected more by this negativity than they should be.
Proactive Approach to Using Technology
By now we have learned to see both sides of the argument, so let’s discuss the bright side of using technology to avoid getting depressed. The data and information is a driving force behind advancements, and accessing those same data and information was a struggle and a costly affair back then. But now with technology, you don’t have to feel helpless anymore for not having the right resources. You can use technology and find solutions to your problems, including the problems that you are not sure about letting the people around you know.
There are applications available that help you get out of depression. These applications are designed by mental health experts who use their knowledge to help you in the best possible manner. But again, depending solely on technology for treating serious concerns is not a good move. Instead use a proactive approach, every time you end up getting depressed using technology, reflect on it and see if in any way you can change your perception, thus changing its impact on your mental state.
You can simply change the way you use technology, and it will help you better manage its impact on your mental health. Technology has the potential to reach out to people all around the world, including the ones who are not well-connected. This creates a medium to spread awareness about mental health and its importance to living a quality life. The same technology that is becoming a source of depression, if used correctly, can be converted to a place for healthy discussions about many issues. We can start this on an individual level, instead of letting technology depress you, use technology to create a safe space for people struggling with depression or other mental health issues.