With the advancing technology and everybody having a miniature computer in their pockets, we are developing an insatiable appetite for information. In this age of instant gratification where everything is just a few touches away; the answer to the question of gadget addiction, which was lurking in the dim since the beginning of the gadget-revolution and technological-era is slowly coming into the light.
As the technological advancement is fostering the human race; Is our pattern of information consumption pushing us into an un-retractable dependency along with adversely affecting our health, cognitive sense leading to the lack of concentration and making us mere collectors of data instead of the bearers of knowledge? Is our innate desire to keeping up with the latest models of gadgets in the market luring us to spend more? Are we truly addicted to our gadgets?
Amongst all the varieties of gadget, our mobile stays with us all day long. For an instance, assume you have misplaced your mobile, what would be your reaction? Would you anxiously start retracing your mobile or would you search for your cell phone calmly? One such experiment was conducted in 2018, the result should that about 73% of the people panicked finding that their mobile is misplaced while only 6% of them were relieved.
In 2020, mobile commerce sales grew to about $2.92 trillion. By the end of 2021, the number of smartphone users is expected to grow to 3.8 billion, approximately doubling the number of users from 2015 i.e. 1.86 billion. The betterment in technology is helping people all over the globe in millions of ways; from giving voice to the voiceless through social media to various free educational platforms facilitating students to learn from any corner of the world.
Adverse effects of gadget addiction
Aggravating Mental Health
Despite being such a boon, the flip side of technology is no more hidden. Grasping the user away from reality into a make-believe perfect world of social media is causing severe mental health problem like loneliness, self-harm, anxiety, etc; especially in the youngsters. According to Forbes, along with providing creative outlets and opportunities for love and friendship; the addictiveness of social media is causing a severe mental health crisis by lowering one’s self-esteem.
According to a survey of 2000 people in Britain by the Independent; any normal person spends more than an average of 4,866 hours per year, in front of screens. This means that a person spends about 34 years of their entire lives staring at the screen.
64% of the survey people accepted that they do not know how to kill their time without being in front of the screen; especially due to the COVID triggered lockdowns. Whereas 17% of the people confessed that they feel anxious after being away from their mobile for some time.
Irreversible Health Damage
Innovation and technology come with a huge set of problems that can just not be ignored. We are intentionally letting it take control of our lives, and now it is hijacking us in the most unpredictable ways. The growing gadget addiction is welcoming various irreversible bodily deformities:
Harming our spin
Reports of various medical researches disclose that scrolling on mobiles puts direct stress on our nape. To support our neck from this stress our body forms a lump on our spine.
It is no more hidden that being in front of a screen exposes us to hazardous blue light that leads to numerous eyesight issues. This is also the reason behind increasing cases of migraine in recent times.
Travelling without music seems impossible today, but the constant music buzzing in our ears is gradually damaging them beyond repair.
Cell Phone Elbow
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome is a common problem faced by people spend a lot of time on their phones. It causes pain or numbness in the forearm and elbow area and is majorly causes by talking excessively on mobiles.
What is the reason behind Gadget Addiction?
According to the Hooked Model by Nir Eyal, there are four stages in which we get addicted to anything, for this case gadgets and technology:
- Boredom is a key element that triggers the internal want of trying something new, and the external technology-obsessed environment drives us to these addictions
- Using gadgets have become dead easy, it requires very small or almost no effort from the user’s prospect.
- Attractive user interface and instant rewards i.e. likes, comments and gossips make these things furthermore attractive.
- We invest more and more time into these platforms and this creates a vicious circle that forces us to keep coming back on the sites, buying new gadgets as they step into the market etc
The market is filled with dozens of options, and now and then, the tech companies keep coming up with something new; which lures us to spend our money on them even without even actually needing it.
Knowing the importance of technology, keeping a distance from our gadgets is no more an option, but altering our addiction can save us from the pitfall that we all are heading towards.