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Essay on the Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health

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Technology runs the world and at this point, technological advances in any field are inevitable. Imagining a world without technology would be virtually impossible at this state in time because of how it surrounds us and how we rely so heavily on it in our day-to-day life. Because we rely so much on technology, it makes people, more specifically, younger generations to be more reliant on it, it makes them more prone to mental health related illnesses or disorders and it tends to put them in a kind of trance that was not present in the past. Unfortunately, technology has already begun to hinder youth development in society on a large scale.

Everywhere one turns, technology is heavily advertised and used. Technology use also brings up mental health related concerns. Digital apps bring up new stress factors that weren’t present in the past. Questions like ‘What should I post on Instagram today?” or “What will my friends think if I retweet this?” tend to be an everyday cycle for many people using social media apps. Especially, if you monetize your content, for example: people known as ‘influencers’ have to be careful about what they say, what they post on your own page, as well as on others’ page, what people they collaborate with, the list goes on. This can cause major stress from fear of rejection and that likelihood increases with the more followers one attains. These feelings can only get worse and can cause mental illnesses to rise in people, mostly younger people, who tend to be the majority users of these platforms. According to UNICEF, “Too much passive use of social media – just browsing posts – can be unhealthy and has been linked to feelings of envy, inadequacy and less satisfaction with life. Studies have even suggested that it can lead to ADHD symptoms, depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation”. Using these platforms can give moments of happiness but they are quickly short-lived as they tend to only provide temporary happiness to one. It can cause people to look forward to this false sense of acceptance just by the amount of likes they get and make them feel worse when they don’t receive the response they expect or nothing at all. It can make people miss out on many aspects of life, like face-to-face communication and real-life connections and bonds.

Technology makes information so readily available that it makes people more prone to procrastination. Although it may seem favorable, when that reliability diminishes it becomes a problem. We no longer know how to look for information ourselves. In ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’, Carr says: “The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes”. This proves that as a writer he relies on the web to do research in a short amount of time but, that could be a problem if it were to be removed. “Wolf worries that the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts ‘efficiency’ and ‘immediacy’ above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace” (Carr). This quote explains how people seek productivity but with it causes us to lose that ability to gain a greater understanding of the text.

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Because there is so much information it can prove difficult to retain it all. In the article ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid’ Carr is skeptical about why he can’t focus on text and attain the concept of the text. “And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles” (Carr). He later explains how his friends and acquaintances seem to be having a similar experience. In the article ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid’ Carr insists that he is not the only one that experiences trouble reading a long passage/piece of text. “‘I can’t read ‘War and Peace’ anymore’, – he admitted. ‘I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it’” (Carr). This is a quote from Bruce Friedman that Carr includes to show that although Friedman was an avid reader before, he started to seek convenience after the development of technology.

There are people who believe that technological advances help the development of our society and they may think that because technology can offer many resources online ranging from informationally wise or emotionally wise. In spite of these arguments, technology distracts us from seeking resources for ourselves or others. We lose sight of what people themselves can offer. It is very unsettling to think that we rely heavily in artificial intelligence. This can one day lead to disappointment when technology fails or does not meet our expectation. It is even harder to think that it is so advance that it may even replace us. “‘Certainly, if you had all the world’s information directly attached to your brain, or an artificial brain that was smarter than your brain, you’d be better off’. Last year, Page told a convention of scientists that Google is ‘really trying to build artificial intelligence and to do it on a large scale’” (Carr). This is scary because if it were to happen it would mean a very exciting breakthrough for technology but a very scary idea for humans. With artificial brains I assume you lose a lot of authenticity in human feelings, then again, it wouldn’t even be a human anymore.

With that technology definitely has a lot to offer but with that comes many ‘side effects’. Although these ‘side effects’ are doubted, they usually become a bigger concern than one initially thought. Is efficiency more valuable than a deep connection to text? Much of history has gone down on paper and text, poetry, words, philosophy which demands deep thinking. Of course, technology has a lot of that and you can write on a tablet but, it loses a lot of authenticity and feeling. If technology keeps developing the way it is, we may never be able to experience the ability to think as deep or acquire true sense of knowledge.

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Essay on the Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health. (2022, September 01). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-negative-effects-of-technology-on-mental-health/
“Essay on the Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health.” Edubirdie, 01 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-negative-effects-of-technology-on-mental-health/
Essay on the Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-negative-effects-of-technology-on-mental-health/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
Essay on the Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 01 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-negative-effects-of-technology-on-mental-health/
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