We’ve all heard warnings of the potential downsides stemming from our society’s dependence on technology. In a previous article, we explored the dangers of being overloaded with information. We’re becoming so connected and, honestly, addicted to our devices that it’s beginning to affect our sleep, focus and attentiveness, and overall serenity and happiness.
While technology can be a wonderful way to stay connected to friends and relatives far and wide, as well as helping you stay organized and remain productive, it can also decrease your productivity, lower your learning retention, and cause you to become a little disconnected from the world around you.
In this article, we’ll explore the many ways in which technology is damaging your serenity and overall happiness.
How is technology affecting your sleep?
Most people nowadays use their smartphones, tablets, or computers, to pass the time between getting into bed and finally falling asleep, replacing the age-old tradition of reading to wind down before bed. However, they don’t stop to think about how that will affect their sleep.
You’ve likely heard your mother or grandmother fuss that watching television can encourage bad sleeping habits? Well, it’s the same way with smartphones and tablets, and it’s the LED screens and bright lights, particularly blue light, that are causing a lot of the basic problems. It’s the same reason why it’s bad to sit too close to the television or stare at a computer screen for too long during the day.
A recent study has concluded that 90% of Americans use a technological device (TV / smartphone / tablet) within an hour before bed. This causes them to get less sleep at night, often making them cranky and distracted the next day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 20% of adults send or receive work-related emails before bed. What’s worse is that 10% of the huge American population leave the sound on on their smartphones at night, causing them to be woken up at odd points in their sleep cycle. The resulting impact is a more restless sleep which causes a lack of focus and attentiveness throughout the following day. This then leads to a decrease in learning retention, along with elevated and agitated sensitivity and mood.
How is technology affecting your focus and attentiveness?
We have already mentioned how technology addiction is affecting our sleep habits, and how this can lead to a decrease in focus, attentiveness, and learning retention. But there are other ways that technology is affecting our focus and attentiveness.
For starters, the more dependent we are on our technology, the more connected we are to it, and the more distracted and disconnected we become from the world around us. We lose focus on what we’re doing, attentiveness to the task at hand, and the ability to maintain productivity because we’re too concerned with potential notifications and updates.
Technology has also caused us to grow accustomed to a fast-paced source for endless entertainment. A culture of “instant gratification” is rapidly developing in our global societies. This instant gratification is making us get bored with our tasks much quicker and shortening our attention span. This causes us to be less productive during our average workday and easily distracted.
What does any of this have to do with serenity and happiness?
There are a lot of components and factors that contribute to a person’s overall happiness, and what makes them calm and serene. If you’re struggling to maintain productivity at work or to maintain learning retention, it can certainly affect your overall happiness and stress levels.
In addition to that, being constantly weighed down by concerns of the latest updates, your phone’s notifications, or the latest news can affect your overall serenity. It can make it hard for you to focus, meditate, relax, or sleep. While gradually minimizing your use of technology over the long-term is the ideal course of action, simply avoiding its use within an hour before going to bed is probably going to deliver immediate results. This is because you will soon get back into a better and healthier sleep pattern, and this is what your body is craving.
It’s painfully obvious how dependent on technology our society has become in recent years. It is also clear that technology and sleep are closely connected, We’ve all been warned of the potential repercussions of this fact, and yet we still use our technology at an alarmingly increasing rate. This affects our productivity, sleep, focus, and learning retention. It then seeps into affecting our overall happiness and ability to achieve serenity.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with our readers for getting into bed WITHOUT a smartphone or tablet? Feel free to drop us a comment or two, we’d love to hear from you!