Home » Lifestyle » Tech Lifestyle » Stress, anxiety and technology

Stress, anxiety and technology


by Myka Isabel D. Basco

Do you feel everything is becoming too much and that you’re always weighed down? Do you often wonder whether you can cope with the pressures placed upon you? Well, if so, then probably you are stressed out.

Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to one’ well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going; hence, they are good for you. Without any stress, our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to one’s health, mood, productivity, relationships and quality of life.

One of the most stressful aspects of this generation competing for our attention with content made to induce stress and anxiety is the constant intrusion of new technologies. Supposedly, technology should make our lives easier; but as society changes and as new technologies surges, could technology be, in fact, making us more and not less stressed?

Most likely, we are actively connected or online at least 10 hours a day; some 24/7 even. That alone affects our stress level. Having a co-dependent relationship with technology, could actually contribute to anxiety in more ways than you realize. You can make fun about being “addicted” to your gadgets, but unfortunately, the symptoms of technology addiction could really be adding stress to your life.

Aside from that, there are also other factors that we may consider in terms of technology addiction, the modern disease called Techno Stress. According to Craig Brod, a leader in the field of technostress research, technostress is “… a modern disease of adaptation caused by an inability to cope with the new computer technologies in a healthy manner.” It is actually the outcome of distorted habits of work and collaboration that are being brought about due to the use of modern information technologies at office and home situations. Common use of modern technology should change the way we work, learn and communicate. It should not put anybody in to a lot of stress.

Here are some of the most common “tech-stressors”:

Social media – When social media came out, out goes the traditional way of disseminating news and information. This became such simply because it was way better and faster when it comes to creating, sharing, and exchanging information and ideas in this connected world of ours; especially in today’s generation, being constantly connected seems to be a basic need. But somehow this need can often be a burden. The possibility of encountering a great amount of irrelevant and inaccurate information could eventually cause harm. There is overabundance of low quality information or data smog incorporated in social media. Too much exposure can generate privacy issues, intrusion, controversies and jealousies. Inability to properly manage and control such issues can lead to depression and anxiety.

Online Gaming – Online gaming is very popular nowadays most especially to kids and young adults. Usually, it is done during their leisure time. They get easily attracted with its features, high resolution of graphic, story plots, and accessibility of the games. Yes it is entertaining, but there are lots of disadvantages too. Aside from wasting money and time in playing online games, it is also harmful to one’s health.

Playing games online should be enjoyable. It should not end up ruining your day. Some people can reach a point where the games are no longer fulfilling. This is maybe due to playing a little too much competitive games or not being able to accomplish or complete an extremely difficult challenge. A very competitive person can succumb to stress and anxiety when exposed to situations like these because they would always want to win and if they can’t, they will always have the feeling that they would just have to.

Bogged down devices – It is indeed stressful if you have too many things to do and suddenly your device slows down, gets stuck or drops dead. It even gets worse, if you don’t have any idea troubleshooting or fixing that device. Now that is stressful.

Studies showed that “nearly two-thirds of computer users have experienced Computer Stress Syndrome or CSS. Challenges such as setting up new devices, keeping up with upgrades, crashing machines and devices are some of the causes of such syndrome. Inability to catch up with new innovations can lead to confusion and frustration. Digitally dependent users cannot seem to function without technology that is why if their devices don’t work, they go in a state of technical anxiety. According to Murray Feingold, a US physician who was credited for the study that gave CSS its label, “Computers are a two-edged sword. When they are functioning properly, they’re great. But when something goes wrong, we immediately go into panic – that is the Computer Stress Syndrome”.

We may turn a blind eye, but this syndrome seems to be widespread. It is that we are all too overly dependent on our gadgets that we cannot function without them. Imagine, just the thought of not having to use one can be depressing and stressful.

Wi-Fi connection woes – These days, most of us are fond of using wireless networks at home, most of the time at work and in public places. But little did we know that it could also lead us toward stress and depression?

They say that stronger connections are at home, but reality is we cannot always be so sure. Sometimes even at home we encounter limitations of the technology. Limitations in connectivity and signal can be a huge problem especially to those who have to bring work at home or internet-heavy users like home-based employees or students who need it for research purposes. Having slow internet connection can add up to their worries and hence interfere with their busy schedules. A slow Internet connection or worse no connection at all can hamper ones mood and could trigger stress that will in turn lead to anxiety.

Cloud confusion – A study found out that 41% of Senior IT Professionals admit that they “don’t know” what cloud computing is. Surprising as it may seem, though most of us may have heard of cloud computing, we must admit, what we actually know and how much we know about it can be a bit “cloudy”.

As an end-consumer, believe it or not you’ve been using cloud for a long time. Aside from being misunderstood, it can make an individual lose a few controls like configurations and physical security.

When it comes to the security and privacy, cloud computing is exposed to the world wide web; hence, more vulnerable target for malicious users and hackers. Not everything on the internet is absolutely secured and users may suffer from sober attacks and security violations. Due to the in-dependency of the system, it is possible that all or some of one’s personal data stored in the cloud can leak to the world. Such can be devastating and users would definitely feel an overwhelming amount of stress. They are going to have much worries regarding their personal information and security, and has a higher chance to suffer from sleep disorders, mental health issues and increased levels of anxiety.

We are constantly stirred by technology in a way that we are so addicted to it like drugs and it is causing stress, depression and boredom. Society changed the way we access or view those resources by developing technology. It is supposed to be time-saving devices that make life easier and more convenient but the day has come when it is impossible to avoid using technology.