Technology has become a mainstay in all our lives. It can increase productivity at school, work and home, but it can also have a downside.
Andree Miceli, Director of Behavioral Health with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says while technology can be a helpful tool, “Anything positive can become a negative if used too much.”
Part of the issue is that the digital world can cause significant misperceptions.
“The digital world can be somewhat unrealistic,” says Miceli. “Just like magazines and the photos in magazines are not always real - they are touched up. But we look at them as real and we interpret them as real.”
And that, Miceli says, can cause heavy digital users to feel isolation, withdrawal, and feelings of anxiety and depression.
“Little by little it chips away at our thinking and can then turn into well then I’m not good enough. Or I shouldn’t be involved with this people because I’m not doing the same thing. It’s very sneaky in that way and can take a negative turn without us realizing it,” says Miceli.
Taking a good look at how much time you’re spending online or on social media throughout the day can help you really see how much of your time is spent online and put it into perspective.
Miceli suggests setting time limits for kids, many of whom have turned more to digital devices during the pandemic. She says it’s also smart to set rules like putting away your phone at the dinner table, not turning to it immediately when you wake up, and unplugging to go outside, read or write in a journal.
“I think we have to be the ones to ask the questions to realize if it’s having a negative impact,” says Miceli.