Photo: Blues Images
Photo: Blues Images

The signs of tech-stress are everywhere and if you’re unfamiliar with the term, a few scenarios that’d give you a clearer idea includes the iPhone junkies freaking out over the new iOS 7 software and also the angry IT guy who is hyperventilating over a computer virus that’s taking over his PC.

This is further proven as a recent study conducted by the University of Cambridge has found that over one third of people feel overwhelmed by technology and they would more likely feel dissatisfied with their lives. Conversely, those who felt in control of their use of technology were possibly more satisfied with lives.

The electronic device that is most attached to us would be our mobile phones and our growing addiction to technology has increased thanks to their abundance. While mobile phones offer many benefits and convenience for our daily lives, these devices can also spawn an obsessive behaviour amongst us.

Francine Toder, a psychologist of Palo Alto, a California-based Bay Area Computer Solutions labels it as the “always on” syndrome. She has seen patients who are already overwhelmed by life, but have far more complicated problems now that there are data coming at them non-stop from these devices.

Anyone who owns an electronic device would understand how it feels like when your heart skips a beat every time your phone beeps with an alert. No doubt, our need to ceaselessly check for texts and e-mails, even while having a nice dinner or when we’re at the movies affects us psychologically. Also, we shouldn’t forget the “phantom vibration syndrome” that gives us the false impression that our phone is buzzing when it actually isn’t.

Psychology professor, Thomas Plante, from Santa Clara University also pointed out about tech-induced anxiety, saying that we’re all constantly using our phones to handle boredom and to get an instant answer for trivial matters. He also said, “We’ve reached a point where it’s increasingly hard for people to have the mind at quiet.”

Of course, not everyone is as overwhelmed. Gesine Schaffer, a retired psychologist from San Jose said, “With my own grand kids, for example, this technology is just part of their culture. Kids see heavy use of these devices as normal, and I think they know how to manage that stress better than, say, a 60-year-old.”

He also said that mobile devices have become such an “essential part of our culture, especially among young people, that if they weren’t feeling some of that stress, they’d feel like they were missing out on something and wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. These devices provide a sort of drama in their lives that they embrace.”

For those who are less tech-savvy or for people who are already grappling with stressed-out lives and other emotional issues, the “always-on” phenomenon can make a situation go from bad to worse.

Another psychologist from California, Janet Redman said that the latest social stressor is Apple’s software upgrade to iOS7, which is a transition that has gotten many Apple users worked up over some technical glitches. It’s troubling, she said, that even software has the ability to drive so many people crazy.

Come to think about it, tech-stress actually makes us human beings look extremely foolish and it shows how easily manipulated we are. Although it’s a very tough thing to do, we should always keep in mind not to be too dependent on our gadgets. Yes, we realize that we’ve developed the need to be updated constantly, but if we just take a step back to appreciate the time we spend with our loved ones, we might actually feel more in control of our lives and our minds.

Don’t forget to visit www.stopphubbing.com to vote against looking at phones when you’re in a social setting!

[Source 1 and 2]