We are living in the age of the Internet. There is no doubt that the Internet has greatly enhanced our lives in many ways. Although the rise of the Internet led to many benefits, unfortunately, it also came with its own set of problems. These problems can negatively affect your emotional and physical health.
This article discusses the facts that how constant access to the Internet and its technologies changed our brains.
- Increases FOMO
Hope you have heard about the term ‘FOMO’. FOMO is nothing else but fear of missing out. According to many research reports, ‘social media can increase feelings of depression and loneliness by creating a feeling of FOMO’. You might have noticed that when most people share things on social media they share things that make it seem like they are living an amazing and exciting life. They share pictures of themselves with friends going to restaurants or traveling. But we rarely see their day-to-day mundane activities such as going to work, doing household work, having stressful days, and so on.
Do you know the fact that 56% of social network users experience anxiety when unable to access their profiles? Not only that, 4 out of 10% of 13- to 67-year olds say that social media has increased their FOMO.
- Affects Attention Span
Can you believe that people who are online an average of 5 hours a day have trouble remembering people’s names? Yes. It is true. Technology makes our attention span shorter. Since we adopt the digital lifestyle, it is difficult for us to stay focused on one particular thing. Not only that our attention span has fallen from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just 8 seconds today. Now we have less of attention span than a goldfish (9 seconds average). Our attention is divided because of the rise of gadgets in this digital era.
“You now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish”, Time magazine declared in 2015, citing a study by Microsoft Canada.
- Affected by Impulse Control Disorder
A recent study published in the Journal of Management Information Systems reports that, “the impulsive act of checking Facebook while driving, in a work meeting, or at other times that could lead to negative consequences has been linked to a deficiency in the balance between two systems in the brain.”
In a study of 10,000 people 18 years of age or older, 7.3% showed symptoms of a chronic Impulse Control Disorder (ICD) problem. The symptoms of ICD include an uncontrollable urge to buy, steal or lie, aggression, irritability, lack of patience, difficulty concentrating, obsessive thoughts, social isolation, and depression.
If you feel bored without using the Internet, it means you are physically addicted to it. Even after unplugging, if you feel a craving for the stimulation received from gadgets, then it indicates that you have been enslaved and you have to take serious action to come out from the bondage. What is the need for you to select the Internet to spend time when there are several ways to do so? For instance, instead of spending time online, you can spend time with family, go to the park, gym, read an offline book, take a long walk, talk with your friends in person, and so on. Now the ball is in your court. You have to decide.