Generally, technology has made our lives so much simpler in many ways but excessive use of technology is also responsible for the deterioration of our physical and mental health.
Over the years research has exposed the harm that we bring to ourselves by spending too much time using and relying on technology.
It was revealed that our overuse and dependency on technology is, in fact, making us age faster.
Here are 4 shocking ways technology is making you older.
You Sleep Less
Yes, the constant beeping and buzzing of your phone does keep you up but using your laptop or smartphone nearing your bedtime will make it more difficult for you to sleep.
The blue-light that the LED screens emit, stop the production of melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that tells our brain that is time to sleep.
With the reduced melatonin, the brain feels the need to stay awake and alert which keeps us up for a couple of extra hours.
The lack of sleep causes dark circles, fine lines and dulls complexion due to increased levels of cortisol which breaks down collagen.
You Get a Stiff Neck
Looking down and dropping your neck forwards whether it is to look at a screen or a phone alters your neck’s curvature and causes misalignment.
The misalignment not only causes neck pain but it also makes you more susceptible to injuries.
Dr. Bolash from the Cleveland Clinic states that the neck muscles are meant to support the weight of your head which weighs about 10 to 12 pounds.
Research has found that every inch you drop your head forward, the load on your neck muscles doubles.
Constantly looking down at your smartphone, with your chin against your chest, will increase the load on your neck muscles by 60 pounds.
The added weight on your neck affects your posture and adds extra stress on your spine.
When many of us are forced to sit at work for hours, we tend to slouch. Slouching is awful for our posture and negatively affects our circulatory and nervous system.
Sitting upright improves blood flow and eases circulation of nutrients and oxygen around the body, which aid the repairing of damaged cells.
As you age, your spine and muscles weaken and your spine naturally curves inwards, causing you to hunch forwards. The process speeds up if you have adopted a bad posture.
Your Memory Loses its Elasticity
There was a time when we were able to remember people’s phone numbers but now we can barely remember our own. Many studies have found that technology has a profound effect on our memory, specifically our short-term memory.
In some ways, technology has altered our memories and in other ways, it has crippled our memories.
A large portion of our intelligence is dependent on the transfer of information from our short-term memory to long-term memory which could be considered the mind’s storage system.
Once facts and experiences are stored in our long-term memory, we are able to process them to create complex ideas that provide substance for our thoughts.
Human beings have an unlimited capacity for long-term memory but this isn’t the same for short-term memory. Experts claim that a break in our attention is enough to dissipate our short-term memory.
Another research revealed that the act of taking photos excessively also impacts our short-term memory.
According to the research, people are relying on technology to remember for them. People incorrectly feel that the camera is capturing their memories without realizing that they are not fully attending to the moments themselves, therefore, are unable to recall their experiences.
Furthermore, the research found that even the photos that are taken don’t jog your memory due to the sheer volume of digital photos and lack of organization.
A study conducted by McGill University found that people who use spatial awareness to remember directions and landmarks had a greater hippocampus volume than those who relied on the GPS.
A greater hippocampal volume reduces your chances of developing Dementia when you are older.
You probably don’t realize this but when your eyes are placed in front of unnatural light for long hours you don’t blink as much as you normally would.
There is a reason you feel the need to hold your eyes shut after spending long hours on your laptop. Sitting in front of the screen for too long makes your eyes dry, blurs your vision and causes severe headaches.
If you already struggle with bad eyesight than you’ll resort to squinting which causes fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead and around your eyes.
It is true that technology has made life much easier.
Through technology we are better multitaskers, we have access to an abundance of information in a matter of seconds and our computers save us much time when it comes to calculating complex problems but our heavy reliance on technology is promoting cognitive decline.
We should be weary of how our dependency on technology is impacting our physical and mental health and take steps to counter its effects.
Sherley Alaba is an eagle-eyed wordsmith; a writer and translator, always interested in ways which can help individuals (especially youth and women) reach their full creative potential. Her focus has been on writing, producing and editing stories on business, finance, interesting personalities, entrepreneurs, culture, the environment, gastronomy, lifestyle, and social issues, over at: moderndiplomacy.eu