POWER DOWN TO POWER UP. What does that mean? In essence, there are positives and negatives to technology, the promises and the perils have been espoused throughout history. Even Thoreau warned, “Men have become the tool of their tools,” and today:
“Never before has there been a time when reflection on human nature is so important, particularly because of the power of technology. Misused, technology can isolate us, numbing our social and human tendencies while keeping us continuously occupied. Used affirmatively, it can be a powerful vehicle for allowing each of us to participate in the global community of people who wish to shift the destiny of our planet,” The Shambala Principle
Or, can we POWER DOWN the more detrimental and mindless aspects of technology and POWER UP the more productive and mindful ones. If this is the case, one question is what role does technology play in anxiety and depression? How does one know if technology is having a negative mental health impact? These are some of the questions I’ve asked over the last two years.
- Do you experience angst and panic when you can’t find your phone? (This could be Nomophobia)
- Do you feel physical anxiety when you haven’t checked your phone in awhile? (This could be due to dopamine decrease or the biological internal urge )
- Do you use it right before you go to sleep ?(Compromised sleep/Sleep deprivation)
- How often do you check your phone during the day? (Some check it up to 150 times)
- How many different windows and Apps do you open in an hour while doing homework? (Myth of Multi-Tasking)
- How often do you leave one task for another? How long does it take you to come back to original task? (Rapid Task Switching inhibits focus, increases anxiety)
- Do you Feel an intimacy with your device — for example do you sleep with it, or check it in the middle of the night or when you first get out of bed. (Sleep Deprivation)
All of these will contribute to a decreased physical and emotional sense of well being.
In future blog posts, I plan to share key strategies for increasing mental health and well being from an excellent resource, The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High Tech World by Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen:
1. Strategies for Safe Driving
2. Strategies for Completing Critical Assignments
3. Strategies for Uninterrupted Socializing
4. Strategies for Geeing a good Night’s Sleep
In essence they outline the ways to increase metacognition about these instances while reducing accessibility to distracting devices, boredom and anxiety. I encourage you to use the “Look Inside” feature to get a head start! Pages 221 to 238.