Panning for Nuggets: The Sequel

“3. Addiction. Several studies have actually suggested that the brains of technology abusers develop a certain pattern of change over time. Studies also suggest that the amount of times technology abusers check their gadgets are just enough to trigger the addiction-oriented parts of our brains. ” -Source

This nugget is only number three in a list of mental health ailments that technology and social media users are prone to. We all have that friend who is constantly on their phone no matter what, checking in on Facebook, writing minute-by-minute blog posts and Instagramming their latest meal. If you don’t have that friend, you are that friend. They can’t tear away from their device and the internet world because they are addicted to it. I have been talking about the way technology and social media mess with our brain chemistry and we have studies to prove that certain uses and abusing of this technology can trigger parts of our brain that are not so great.

“Bullying was around before the Internet, but cyberbullying makes it easier,” explained Dr. Brian Primack, an assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Primack also noted that children are hardwired to experiment and push boundaries. Today’s technology may just make that easier. Primack pointed out that “sexting” is a good example of this. Sexting is defined as “sending, receiving or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images via cell phone, computer or other digital devices,” according to the report.” -Source

Not only does technology and social media have an adverse effect on adult brains, but it can be especially detrimental to the minds of our youngsters who still have a lot of brain wiring to go. Social media can facilitate cyberbullying, leading to depression and anxiety in targeted teenagers, and sexting to untrustworthy people can lead to picture leaks and defamation which would also cause depression, anxiety, and possibly suicidal tendencies in the younger generations using the same technology.

“More and more people will be confronted with consequences such as divorce and physical symptoms which will force them to seek both medical and psychological treatment…Furthermore, such behaviors can lead to cybersexual addiction…Some physical symptoms include “cyber shakes,” dry eyes, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.” -Source

Along with mental health issues, the entire body has become involved. Technology effects both the mental and physical and real world relationships. If someone becomes obsessed with adult websites, their marriage may not last long. If someone becomes obsessed with continuous blogging, their wrists may not last long. Obviously, there has to be some sort of stopping point individuals themselves must identify, for all of the effects are preventable.

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