Negative Effects Of Technology On Health

Dr. Parameshwara C M, Founder & Chief ­ Colo Rectal Surgery, Smiles HospitalDr. Parameshwara is a surgeon, entrepreneur, manager, academician, people leader and socially responsible citizen who works with an aim to make an impact on society through healthcare and education.

Technology has transformed the world in ways the caveman could never have imagined. The scientific discoveries, inventions, and developments have influenced the expansion of our knowledge base, widening of outlook and modernization of lifestyles. They have simplified our lives in innumerable ways ­ traveling from one continent to another which once took months is now a matter of hours; the inventions in the field of communication have made the world small; the list is endless. In the field of medicine, the introduction of technology has caused revolutionary progress by making surgeries painless, bloodless, and treatments effortless. However, there are still some subtle ways in which technology itself becomes the root cause of several health problems, and it's too serious to ignore.

The culprit we are talking about is not the kind of technology that helps us send our satellites to Mars or humans to the Moon. The enemy in question is the technology we have made a part & parcel of our day-to-day lives: our daily-use gadgets. They include phones, tablets, computers, and the infinite number of software applications that come along with them. According to many latest pieces of research, these technologies affect human health both physically and psychologically, decreasing the overall quality of a person's life.

A study conducted in the US revealed that people spend more time staring at their cell phone screens than making eye contacts. According to another study, smartphone is the last
thing most people look at before going to bed at night. This behavioral pattern causes individuals to be generally distracted from the reality around them and affects their cognitive skills. The problem is further elevated by social media, which is proven to cause narcissism, leading to the trap of instant gratification.

According to a survey, the average smartphone user touches their phone 2617 times a day and 58 percent of smartphone users don't go one hour without checking their phones. Studies conducted on these people have suggested that gadget addiction is a significant cause of poor social skills. They isolate themselves from the real world, lost in the virtual world of their phone or tablet, which makes them incapable of developing a strong emotional connection with other individuals. Hence, day-by-day, technology is becoming infamous for being a strong cause for depression among youth.

The side effects of technology on the physiology of humans are relatively known to all

The side effects of technology on the physiology of humans are relatively known to all. For example, using smartphones for longer intervals of time changes brain chemistry. The harmful radiations emitted by electronic devices are known to have carcinogenic properties. Too much exposure to computer and phone screens also impairs one's vision and has been known to cause headaches and eye strain. Moreover, the bad posture one has while using a laptop or phone has the risks of causing neck strain and back pain. Besides, most tech-addicts lead a sedentary lifestyle, spending too much time on devices and are hence prone to lifestyle disorders like haemorrhoids. Thus, tech-addiction takes a heavy toll on the mental and physical health of individuals.

Furthermore, as a matter of fact, most of the mobile applications, especially the social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are particularly designed to keep their users hooked to them all the time. Companies spend billions of dollars on studies to identify ways in which they could increase the audience retention time of their applications. Hence, such software and applications are deliberately addictive, and one has to be extremely careful to not fall prey to their psychological tricks.

However, this is not to say that technology is inherently bad for anyone's health; it is based on how reasonable and cautious one is while using it. To sum it up, the marvels of technological innovations should not distract us from identifying the health hazards it poses us today. The key to making the most of anything is by being judicious and mindful.

At Smiles International Institute of Colo-Proctology, we treat about 600 patients every month who are suffering from Haemorrhoids (Piles), Fissures and Fistula. At least 60 percent of these cases can be accredited in one way or the other to addictive technology, sedentary job culture and lifestyle.