Every day we are more dependent on technology. We manage our lives from our mobiles, ipads and computers. Through them, we communicate with friends and family, we watch videos and listen to music. At work, we use the agenda, and are hooked to Slack or Trello… From cyberchondria to FOMO, there is an increase of technology-related illnesses better to stay away from.
The range of symptoms is wide, ranging from bone and muscle disorders to dizziness, insomnia, migraines, back pain, and nervousness.
We wondered if technology is really making us sick. From DFN we have done some research (and some serious self-assessment too, lol). This is a short list of the most common technology-related illnesses.
It is one of the most common disorders. Who has not check Mr Google some symptom or unusual bodily sensation? The problem appears when, after reading it, we believe we suffer from one or more diseases. Not only that, we even begin to feel some new symptoms described on the internet. It is a way of online Hypochondria.
PHANTOM VIBRATION SYNDROME
Statistics show that over 70% of users of mobile devices have ever had the sensation of hearing or noticing the vibration of the mobile phone without actually occurring. This is because our brain has begun to associate the mobile phone with any impulse it receives, especially if we are stressed.
We use Facebook for everything today. From communicating with friends, family, post pictures, write messages, pick events to attend, … But some people get depressed to see that they have few contacts or because they feel they have many and believe that they do not follow or interact with them enough.
There are also users who spend a lot of time on other people’s social media sites comparing their lives. This makes them feel depressed by their daily lives as they might feel they didn’t reach the same level of success or happiness. Some people really seem to be on holidays or shopping or eating cake all year long… but just think that we all try to post our better selves out there. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but that is not necessarily true.
EYE AND HEARING DISEASES
Staring the computer screen or television for many hours can cause eye problems such as dryness, eye strain, …
Also for example listening to music through the headphones at a high volume can cause hearing loss and even deafness.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME AND TENDINITIS
Carpal tunnel syndrome happens when the nerve from the forearm to the hand is pinched inside the carpal tunnel of the wrist, causing numbness, pain, and a tingling sensation.
And tendinitis or tendonitis is inflammation, irritation or swelling of a tendon.
Different studies have shown that the use of mouse, keyboard, or mobile phones, … might aggravate these problems.
FOMO: FEAR OF MISSING OUT
If you find yourself asking for the Wi-Fi code as soon as you enter the restaurant where you and your fiancé are supposed to have a romantic dinner, you might suffer from FOMO.
It has become so common that in Asia they have boot camps to re-educate their youth that internet is not as necessary as air to live.
FOMO produces anxiety at the thought of you missing something happening somewhere else. Constantly you feel the need to be connected with whatever others are doing and sharing.
WHAT TO DO?
Let’s keep it real. Technology is great. Specially being an expat it allows you to keep in touch with your people here and back home. Mostly, it makes our work lives easier, more organized, and more efficient. So, we are not going to send you to one of those boot camps. What we want is you to become aware if you feel identified with any of the above-mentioned sickness or syndromes.
If you become aware of the problem, you will find a way to fix it. Some ideas: wrist rests, control yourself and give a moderate use to the gadgets and apps, set times “off-the-grid” to enjoy face-to-face relationships, don’t sleep with the phone handy…