Technologies increasing stress levels in students

Phot by Gideon Tsang (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0))

By Isabella Susino

Ever feel like you’re always on your phone when you’re trying to do homework? How about when you’re talking to friends? This may be a sign that you’re too caught up in what other people are doing – instead of your own doings.

Better Homes and Gardens’ Amy Brightfield shared with her readers how to detox ourselves from our technology. “Instead of abruptly giving up all electronics, you peel back the layers of what’s going on psychologically to break the habit of turning to tech.”

If you think that you’re giving yourself a break by checking someone’s status or reading a text, it’s doing the opposite. Screen time causes your brain to produce dopamine, stimulating your brain instead. “On Day 1 when you feel the need to check your phone (e-mail, social media, the weather), think, “am I doing this out of habit? Do I need to check now?” If the answer is no, put down your phone and do something productive.

Brightfield knows, along with readers, that it’s almost impossible for anyone to not have communication through technology. Students who especially need their tech to be able to contact their professors. Here are some ways you can help yourself through a tech detox.

“Make the hour before you go to bed tech-free. Turning off your phones meant you could listen to music, talk to friends or read a book.” Going tech free before bed makes you feel calmer and more relaxed, so you can fall asleep much easier and maybe wake up for that 8 a.m. class.

“Keep the hour after you wake up tech free, checking your email first thing [in the morning] puts you into a reactive state of mind, which can make you feel distracted and anxious.” Students want to check their emails to see if their professor has cancelled that morning class they didn’t do the homework for.

Last but not least she says “Don’t take endless photos and videos at an event. Immerse yourself in the experience and appreciate the moment. “We’re so busy recording our lives that we’re not living them” Nancy Colier says. The viewers of your snap chat get that you’re at the concert, you don’t need to take a video of every song they’re going to play. Taking the video is distracting you from the experience. Take a photo or two with your friends and whatever it is you’re capturing, then put your phone down – you don’t need it in that second, live in that moment. 

In the Niagara Gazette, Dalton Delan wrote an article showing the harmful side effects of technology, “Anti-Social Media; Can Facebook fixations literally make you sick?” Former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya says ‘The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works: no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.” Meaning that people are becoming more willing to do unbelievable things because they think they’re getting positive feedback from doing unthinkable things. Hence the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ that’s been happening around the inter-webs or the Logan Paul incident.

Furthermore in Delan’s article, he writes that “The US Department of Health and Human Services says depression among teens has risen inexplicably by 60 percent since 2010, and suicidal thoughts have been reported in nearly half of kids who use electronic devices at least five hours a day.” Could this dopamine driven society be leading adolescents into madness?

Delan writes, “Psychiatrists have raised the possibility that social networking is a clinical ‘addiction disorder.’ To witness this disorder, observe any group of teens at the mall or the school hall, and see how many are focused on their phones rather than on each other, their fingers doing the talking.”

So instead of being so fixated on your phone when you’re with people, turn it on silent and actually talk face to face. Chill out an hour before bed and read or study and do the same in the morning. This might just be the wake up call you need to start that morning routine before checking your phones. There are more important things going on than what’s on social media. 

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