9 Ways Technology Is Slowly Killing Us All - InformationWeek
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6/24/2015
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Kelly Sheridan
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9 Ways Technology Is Slowly Killing Us All

The cost of technology addiction goes beyond pricey gadgets. Connectivity also affects vision, memory loss, weight gain and self-esteem.
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(Image: 742680 via Pixabay)

(Image: 742680 via Pixabay)

When we were young, technology addiction didn't merit as much concern as scraped knees and broken Legos. For today's youth, however, digital starts to take its toll as early as infancy.

If you haven't yet seen the development of tech addiction among today's youth, visit a family restaurant. Kids are fighting over iPads and iPhones, or silently engrossed in their own devices. Parents often stick a smartphone, or "digital babysitter" under the eyes of rowdy children to calm them down.

"They don't realize what it's doing," says Ben Halpert, vice president of risk and corporate security at Ionic security, and founder of nonprofit Savvy Cyber Kids. The seeds of technology addiction are planted earlier than ever.

[Women in Tech: Facing Roadblocks, Finding Solutions]

As they grow up, children are constantly encouraged to go online. Today's TV shows encourage live-tweeting; McDonald's Happy Meals let kids interact with their toys on the Internet.

"They're addicted before they even know what's happening," Halpert emphasizes. The boost in screen time increases the likelihood that children will experience low self-esteem, relationship problems, and difficulty with social interaction.

The problems related to tech addiction follow children as they develop into teens and enter adulthood.

"This is an issue for kids, for preteens, for teens and for adults," says Halpert. Adults addicted to technology also suffer from strained relationships and social problems. Those who have digital overload often aren't familiar with facial expressions and hand/eye movement that people frequently use to communicate.

Unfortunately, the problems associated with excessive digital dependence go far beyond social awkwardness. Adults who get too much screen time are also known to suffer from insomnia, short-term memory loss, eye irritation, and spinal damage.

Technology may have the potential to improve your health, but it can also be dangerous. Are you spending too much time online? Read on to learn more about the ways that excessive tech dependence could be damaging your health.

Kelly Sheridan is Associate Editor at Dark Reading. She started her career in business tech journalism at Insurance & Technology and most recently reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft and business IT. Sheridan earned her BA at Villanova University. View Full Bio

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beforewww
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beforewww,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/20/2015 | 12:44:01 PM
Re: Positives and negative
Everything has pros and cons, technology has brought the world to us in a manner of speaking.

Access to almost everything, radios allowing us to hear voices accross the air waves, Televisions allowing people to see the first man walk on the moon, giving us information and entertainment, modern advances is technology allowing a small watch act as a computer, all of these developments and marketed technical ideas give us the world in many ways, and to many of us.

As anything good, abuse of technology, dependency of it, is also harmful on many levels.

I see entire families at restaurants, eating, watching their tablets, texting, lost in conversation with a friend.

It is a world closer away from each other, not being able to put down or turn off any device, it is hurting society.

People are not smiling at the table, they are stressing over the next text, email or podcast coming up. Imagine the the stress level, imagine the distance, sitting next to each other, but worlds apart. Yes, without the individual control and detachment when needed, we are just slaves to technology, and we don't even need a "Terminator Judgement Day", technoology is already taking over, and we are allowing this to happen.

As an electronics engineer, and pioneer in the computing industry, I see how we are allowign ourselves to get lost in a world drifting us away from the beauty of life.

We need to learn to manage our lives and technology to our advantage, not our demise. 
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
7/19/2015 | 12:47:09 PM
Re: Technology addiction...really?
I agree.  I think taking notes of the material makes learning process and recall better than taking pictures.  I think this is a great article.  Often times, people aren't aware of the health issues impacting overexposure to technology.  It is something very important to keep in mind.  I had a friend who try to self diagnost by going to google rather than going to the doctor. I really huge mistake.
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
7/6/2015 | 11:18:35 AM
Re: Technology addiction...really?
In school, I used to notice students taking pictures of professors' notes to save the trouble of recording their own. Seemed like a good way to quickly record the homework assignments, but I could never take notes that way. Personally, I remember things best by writing them down... may be old fashioned but it has always worked for me!
Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
7/6/2015 | 6:49:12 AM
Re: Technology addiction...really?
At least I found that my memory does not work so well if I rely too much on electronics. People will prefer to take a photo of the system diagram on whiteboard instead of drawing to notebook by themselves.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
7/1/2015 | 1:45:50 PM
Re: Technology addiction...really?
@Kely22,

I think this is why Apple Mac PCs have a good reputation with users since they usually "Just work" and don't provide the headaches related to your conventional PC user (although this is good for tech guys since it brings in more business LOL)
Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Strategist
6/30/2015 | 5:18:42 PM
Re: Technology addiction...really?
@mejiac I've noticed this as well! Mostly on the impatience side. People will go nuts if there's a glitch in their PC or their smartphone freezes up - everyone is so used to technology working smoothly that they always expect it.
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 3:51:12 PM
Re: Wow, more fodder for the paranoid
The best of the educational apps do that ... teach kids skills without them even knowing it. Kind of like Kix cereal (right?) or veggie juice drinks that are loaded with nutrients but taste like fruit juice. The latest kinds of educational apps are using adaptive learning engines that allow kids to play the same game over and over, while it incrementally gets more challenging and presents new skills/problems. Cool stuff.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 3:40:48 PM
Re: Wow, more fodder for the paranoid
@Broadway0474

Agreed,

With my own kids, when using educational apps...they think it's a game and they're learning...what's best is that they love it... they constantly request to play those games
Broadway0474
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Broadway0474,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 3:34:02 PM
Re: Wow, more fodder for the paranoid
Usually you have to consume something before you can understand how to create. Let's say children read books or watch music videos or play an educational app. Those all could be building blocks (if presented in the right way by the way) to a child then writing her own book, learning to play an instrument, or even designing their own app.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
6/30/2015 | 3:12:51 PM
Re: Standing Desk
@Kelly22,

I share your concern, which is why implementing such programs with a clear guidance of IT experts is critical!

Many programs don't invest in having the right folks monitor and assist with the role out. These will go deep dive into the details and have those filters and checks and balances in place.

Like any IT implementation, defining user roles and access rights is something that's worth the investment.
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