Tech Tired? You’re Not Alone: Exploring the Toll of Technology on Mental Wellbeing

In our technologically advanced world, it has become commonplace to feel constantly plugged in. Technology has become a big part of our lives, with smartphones and laptops seemingly always within reach. Whether for leisure, work or the growing trend of working from home, the way we interact with the world has shifted…

February 28, 2024

In our technologically advanced world, it has become commonplace to feel constantly plugged in. Technology has become a big part of our lives, with smartphones and laptops seemingly always within reach. Whether for leisure, work or the growing trend of working from home, the way we interact with the world has shifted significantly. In the past, one could simply shut down a computer after work, but now technology is not only advanced but also always present, unintentionally increasing our screen times.

Undoubtedly, technology has brought immense convenience and innovation to our lives. However, this constant connectivity has a flip side, affecting our mental well-being in ways we may not be conscious of. In this blog, let’s explore how technology is influencing our mental well-being and discuss strategies to mitigate its negative effects.

What is Tech-tiredness?

Tech tiredness refers to the mental and physical exhaustion resulting from prolonged and excessive use of technology. It is not limited to demographics; nowadays, it is a common experience for individuals across various age groups. It is characterised by a sense of weariness and overwhelm brought about by extensive exposure to digital devices and gadgets. It is not solely due to the time we spend on devices but also how we use them to let them affect us. It’s essential to recognise that everything comes with the price, including technological advancement.

Here's how you can tell you’re Tech-tired
  1. Fatigue and exhaustion
  2. Anxiousness
  3. Headaches and migraines
  4. Constant tension
  5. Increased stress level
  6. Low self-esteem
  7. Lack of concentration and focus
  8. Insecurities
  9. Inability to manage work and life
  10. Depression

Effects of technology on mental health

It’s a common occurrence to feel exhausted, frustrated, anxious, or even depressed in this era of technology, especially prevalent in our generation. These emotions often signal a state of being “tech-tired.”

While technology plays a big role in building community and social support, it also has a dark side as well. Technology is a merit and but demerit, if it is enhancing mental health services and simultaneously contributing majorly to mental illness.

  1. Constant notifications and the pressure to stay connected online can lead to overwhelm, posing a high risk for mental health exhaustion and low self-esteem.
  2. The convenience of technology has led to reduced outdoor activities, limiting nature interaction and making lives more restricted.
  3. Lack of physical-human interaction results in increased isolation, initially relaxing but gradually giving rise to mental health concerns.
  4. Excessive social media engagement causes fear of missing out (FOMO), breeds a constant culture of comparison, fosters envy, increasing the risks of depression and anxiety.
  5. Exposure to an idealised society on social media erodes confidence, contributing to feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction.
  6. Social media, particularly, has become a hub for cyberbullying, significantly contributing to emotional distress and long-term mental health issues.
  7. The addictive nature of social media fosters dependency, leading to social isolation and loneliness.
  8. Negative energy on social media adversely impacts the brain, causing distress, decreased productivity, and heightened stress levels.
  9. Blurring lines between personal and professional life results in presenting an artificial facade, leading to prolonged stress and mental fatigue.
  10. Excessive screen time disrupts sleep, causes eye strain, and negatively impacts mood, cognitive functions, and overall mental well-being.

People need to be mindful of their technology use and establish boundaries to mitigate these adverse effects on mental health.

Coping Strategies

The key to protecting mental well-being lies in striking a healthy balance between technology and natural life, in terms of work and leisure. Here are a few strategies to help maintain this balance:

  1. Set boundaries and disconnect
    • Establish clear limits on the amount of time spent on technology, and stick to them.
    • Avoid responding to work-related emails during personal times.
  2. Practise digital detox
    • Take intentional breaks from social media and technology.
    • Unplugging reduces stress, anxiety, burnout and enhances overall well-being.
    • Engage in activities like gardening, reading, writing, cycling, yoga, or exercise.
    • Digit detox can broaden your personality and help you reconnect with the world.
  3. Mindful tech-usage
    • Be selective about the content you engage with online.
    • Unfollow accounts that do not contribute to your mental well-being.
    • Use the device in moderation and only when necessary.
  4. Encourage in-person relationship
    • Prioritise human in-person relationships and spend time with family, friends and loved ones.
    • This contributes positively to mental health, fostering a sense of happiness and lightness.
  5. Seek professional help
    • If excessive technology becomes overwhelming and leads to heightened stress and anxiety, consider seeking professional help.
    • Mental health professionals and therapists can provide tools and strategies to navigate challenges associated with technological impacts on our mental well-being.

According to research, being constantly connected to technology can cause psychological and physical concerns such as eye strain, poor posture, reduced physical activities, sleep problems due to blue light, obesity, and several cardiovascular diseases (CVD). However, these issues can be controlled by implementing pauses and limitations on usage. By changing our perspective and developing healthier habits, we can create a lifestyle that effectively integrates the technological and physical worlds. It’s crucial not to give external sources more power than they need and deserve.

Conclusion

Certainly, technology is a double-edged sword, serving as both a blessing and a curse. The key lies in being mindful of its impacts. We can prevent all of the negative consequences from happening if we recognise and assess technology fatigue symptoms timely and implement strategies to cope with it.

Achieving a harmonious relationship between our physical life and technology allows us to reclaim our power back and lead a happy, healthy life. Remember, it is essential to take a break from the digital world and prioritise self-care not only in times when you feel tech-tired or in general down. Giving yourself time and practising self-care is the pathway to moving forward and thriving in life.