I was reading an article on Attention Deficit Disorder and tech can have both positive and some severe impacts to our mental health.
The Effects of Tech both generally and specifically could either be an aid or a distraction exacerbating in this case the ADD.
Many people use tech appropriately as simply a tool in their kit bag to get the things they need done. However, for many others this is not the case. They are overusing the tech for the sake of the tech. In extreme cases where it’s hard to get them to stop using their units it is described as an addiction.
Attention Deficit Disorder is basically the inability to focus or pay attention to something. At times it is described as hyperactivity attention deficit disorder as along with the inability to focus or pay attention the person exhibits signs of hyperactivity that they cannot control.
What are the effects of technology on this. In many cases, the tech leads to exacerbating the ability to focus or pay attention let’s say to a teacher as they get caught up in their device and can’t free themselves from playing around with it. It is a serious distraction that interferes with socialization, learning and work.
The focus on the computer for someone with ADD could be serious as the focus might be games, Facebook, Instagram etc all basically useless activities though society is slow to define it that way.
How there Might be A Benefit
If someone with ADD can use something such as a task manager to structure their life and other tools that focus them in on what’s important, there could be a benefit. Following the goals of a task manager might be one way to structure the ADD.
Ultimately though, the tech is becoming a grab bag not for normal socialization but abnormal socialization. Someone with ADD would likely have a difficult time focusing on the constructive aspects of the computer etc and ultimately flounder as a result.
Concerns are being raised throughout societies. The computer and our tech aren’t going away as they are far too woven into the matrix of society. However, is there something that can be done to make the impacts more tolerable.
In the paper “The Effects of Technology on Mental Health” an outline is given of the negative effects that are happening with our technology. At the same time, knowing it’s not going away they suggest some measures to encourage good mental health.
What Can We Do
Awareness is a fantastic first start. It is through awareness you can see if there are unsettling effects to you of this technology. Awareness also allows one to ask appropriate questions. Following from this it is possible to take a break from the technology or just put it in it’s right place; as an aid or tool to assist with endeavors to reach goals hard to achieve.
If you’re someone responsible for the young, maybe you can observe disruptive behavior that will lead to problems down the road. Again, changing the activities and encouraging non-tech related activities is useful. If the person is using the tech, try to ensure it is of constructive function. Generally, the social media apps are the opposite of really being social and have filtered into society in a way we are only now recognizing the problems. Avoid generally all social media unless it has some direct relationship to a productive activity such as research on Twitter, talking to loved one at at distance etc but not creating a useless flame.
If the young want to be social encourage them to go out with their friends. There is nothing wrong with the telephone as it is a real social activity. Facebook is an illusion and something that transfers images of imagination or even things far worse such as distorted or untrue information (we just have to look to the American election of 2016 to understand this) is really a weapon to our mental health.
Awareness is a great first step. Asking relevant questions is too. Watch how you use your tech and is it an assist or a toy in which you loose yourself. Do you have trouble completing tasks as the tech preoccupies you etc. All of these questions are relevant to understand how tech is impacting us.
Tech can be beneficial to a person with a mental disorder. However, it can aggravate the condition so it is important to self monitor. If you feel there is a problem reach out. There is no need or point to letting tech for tech’s sake drag us into the ground. It can be used carefully for beneficial things and all you need do is carefully master its use.