Opinion: Staying Engaged with Technology is Hurting our Bodies

It’s hard to stay off of cellphones, tablets and other devices when our lives feel dependent on them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unsettling to know the thing we depend on is actually damaging the body (Photo Illustration by Aura Ware).

Technology has become a huge part of society. It has allowed humans to reach new heights. It has sped up daily life by giving us quick access to information, communication and much more. Not everything associated with technology is positive, though.

There has been talk on social media about how technology is impacting our bodies. Especially during this time, considering people are very dependent on their technology to finish school, go to work and communicate with others due to COVID-19 protocol, the negative impact of technology is an important topic.

The youth of this era have been regarded as technology addicts, specifically when it comes to various entertainment apps and social media. Research, as shown in the damaging facts section, has shown that technology takes a toll on the mental and physical state of the body.

Today’s society is already so used to interacting with technology on a daily basis. That, then, begs the question if the dependence on technology increasing due to COVID-19 has led to an increase in damage to people’s bodies as well.

Damaging Facts

Text Neck is a result of constantly being engaged with devices, especially handling held technology like smartphones and tablets. It often causes the spine to be eventually pulled out of alignment and set into a forward head posture. It is a condition that arises when someone has spent too much time looking down at something, most often resulting from texting, reading and watching things on  smartphones, tablets and various other devices. 

Hearing damage can be caused by exposure to electromagnetic waves due to the long term cell phone use. Cell phones have been one of the main sources of entertainment and remote productivity during the pandemic. 

Dark circles can be a result of consistently staring at screens, as many people around the world have been doing lately to stay entertained. The strain of staring at screens for an extended period of time can cause blood vessels around the eyes to enlarge,leading the surrounding skin to darken and create the appearance of dark circles. 

Albion College Victims of Technology

An altered sleep schedule is another result of constantly being connected with technology during this COVID-19 pandemic. Many teenagers and young adults simply don’t know how to unplug after a long day of using this technology, causing them to be up all hours of the night mindlessly scrolling through social media apps.

The blue light from cell phone screens is shown to decrease sleep quality. Although on most smartphones have a nighttime mode feature used to mask that blue light, that light still disrupts the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone produced by the brain) just as the blue light would.

“The increased amounts of insomnia leaves me to turn to my little black screen only to find it drenched in the manic and lustful moods of the world,” said Alexander Valdez, a sophomore from Huston, Texas. “I then find myself having to turn back to my laptop and escape back into a sluggish and drained feeling of having to complete and submit all required assignments on time.”

Students are struggling physically and emotionally due to being consistently tethered to their technology as their main source of information, entertainment, communication and productivity.

“Ever since I started online classes, I’ve been sitting in front of a computer more than I ever have before,” said Jessica Neal, a junior from Grand Rapids, Mich. “It has caused me headaches, fatigue, and my eyes constantly burn.”

Sometimes, the idea of simply looking at a screen has become too much, making students feel sick and anxious.

“It feels like my brain is frying every time I look at a computer,” said Layla Wilkins, a junior from Chicago. “I don’t even want to look at my phone or watch Netflix, because doing anything involving a screen makes me feel weaker every time.”

Although it is important to stay in connection with each other during these uncertain times, we must first put our priorities in order.There is a pandemic going on that could affect any of us. We should be paying more attention to our health rather than just how bored we are or how productive we feel we should be. 

There is no clock ticking down, but It’s safe to say the need to unplug is quickly approaching.

About Aura Ware 49 Articles
Aura is a senior from Memphis, Tenn. She is a double major in Psychology and English. She is a passionate Features Editor, who isn't afraid to take on uncomfortable topics if it means cultivating meaningful conversation.

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