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Media and Your Mental

Media and Your Mental

The rate at which technology is advancing exponential—in a matter of decades we have accomplished more technologically than we have over centuries. The two are little difficult to compare because of the advent of the computer. Technology is not only limited to things that use electricity but for this post we will refer to the development of technology as it pertains to “screen time.”

Screen time refers to the amount of time spent with your eyes scanning artificial light for information. Phone screens, television screens, tablets, smartwatches.. these are all relatively new compared to the computers that would take up entire rooms. I can’t help but wonder how much these man made items are affecting our human physiology and psychology.  How many miles has my thumb scrolled on twitter? Is my phone bad for my posture? Melatonin, a hormone important for sleep is better produced in the dark when we are supposed to be asleep via circadian rhythm. So what does that mean for people who fall asleep watching television daily? The effects of our technology are not being measured as fast as the new advancements are taking place. Psychological experiments can take months or even years at a time. And it seems there’s a new phone or computer device every season with better and brighter displays, attuned to our specific voices, faces and finger prints. It’s no wonder experts are suggesting we keep our technology at bay during times of mental rest (see previous blog post about sleep hygiene). The physical repercussion are only one side of the coin as people use social media to report updates on their personal live at their own discretion.

There’s a theory in psychology of human evolution that essentially states humans who learned to gossip were better suited for natural selection and were thus able to reproduce over generations (Don’t’ believe me? Just type “gossip human evolution” into your favorite search engine and you’ll see accredited sources explain this theory in depth). The idea is that people who talked about other people knew what was going on in their dwelling and thus those “in the know” became the fittest to survive. I’m not saying we return to the days before electronics, I love the navigation system in my smart phone as much as the next person. There’s not doubt that technology is here to help us and make things easier, the question is at what cost?

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Nice Carl