Understanding the Healthy Use of Technology in Everyday Life

Understanding the Healthy Use of Technology in Everyday Life

Due to advances in technology, we have access to a wealth of information as well as a 24-hour news cycle.

The early 2000s was a real turning point in technology. With the arrival of Google, Facebook, and YouTube, the internet erupted, and there has been exponential development since then.

However, just because we have access to a lot of information does not mean we have access to knowledge, and hence humanity’s greatest challenge is transforming information into useful knowledge.

There are upsides and downsides to technology, the most evident negative aspect of technology in today’s modern society is that it controls us a little bit more than we control it.

Dr Ron Ehrlich on the use of technology

Dr Ron Ehrlich compares how people today utilise technology to a wide-eyed kid in a candy store, in his interview with radio host Brent Bultitude. 

 With Technology we are a bit like kids in a sweet shop, we just love it and we take everything. We are just filling our pockets and we have not quite worked out how to control it as well as we should.

Many of us, on the other hand, would not have survived the Covid 19 pandemic lockdowns that some people are still experiencing without technology.

The Upside of Technology in the Pandemic

  • Because of technology, we have been able to stay connected in the face of disasters and isolation.

The Downsides of Technology During the Covid 19 Pandemic

  • We have not been able to hug each other
  • We have not been able to support each other collectively
  • We miss talking to people face to face and watching how they react to each other 
  • We have not been able to shake hands
  • We cannot connect with individuals seated next to us 
  • We cannot physically help our neighbors or community
  • So much of what we see on social media is regarded as the truth

What are the Health Consequences of Information Overload?

Technology causes social dislocation and polarises people in a way that affects their health and well-being.

Relationships were proven to be the best predictor of health and wellbeing in a 75-year study conducted by Harvard Medical School. This includes your connections:

  • With friends
  • With family 
  • Within social clubs
  • Within sporting clubs
  • Within churches
  • Within community groups

The Three Ms of Engaging with Technology

 

When it comes to technology use, you must be proactive and collaborative, especially within the family.

Consider that today’s children have never known a world without cell phones and computers, which is why elders must model good behavior when it comes to the use of technology.

Jocelin Brewer, a psychologist who specialises in digital nutrition, discusses the three M’s approach to using technology, which applies to people of all ages.

  • We should be mindful 
  • It should be meaningful
  • We should moderate our time and moderate our content

This approach is particularly effective in today’s highly technological environment because rather than expecting people to simply detox and disconnect from technology. It is more realistic to learn how we must consume media and information deliberately, mindfully and in moderation.

What Effect Does Technology Have on Our Sleep?

  1. Our melatonin production, which is a critical driver of our sleep, is influenced by blue light from media devices
  2. Bedrooms are for sleeping and intimacy, thus people must unplug from any technology for these two things to happen
  3.  When you start using technology in bed your brain becomes busy, making it more difficult to sleep
  4. It is critical to keep electromagnetic radiation away from our beds at night, so that we can regenerate, rebuild, and reboot both physically and mentally

Your holistic health team at SHDC believe excellent sleep hygiene and prioritising sleep are essential for overall health and performance.

How to Break Bad Habits of Using Technology?

Around 70 to 80 percent of individuals worldwide have developed the habit of checking emails and social media first thing in the morning, and many have wondered how they might stop this behavior.

Dr Ron recommends seeking answers to this and other related questions by reading these excellent books by bestselling author Nir Aya:

• Hooked – How to Build Habit-forming Products and
How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life 

These books inform people about what goes into media products to keep us hooked and how they push us to establish certain values to be impervious to technology by:

  • Defining what is important to you as an individual, such as how regularly you want to exercise, what you want to eat, or how much sleep you get.
  • Focussing on your relationships
  • Breaking your day into smaller chunks in a more organised manner to approach work

We need to learn to use technology in a balanced and healthy way in our modern world because it’s not going away any time soon. 

Thanks to Brent Bultitude for Hosting Dr Ron on 2HD Radio

Follow Brent at Radio Station 2HD for all his latest shows, including several with Dr Ron.