This is becoming an increasingly interesting topic to me, but not for the reason you may think. It seems like every week people are talking about digital stress, multitasking, and the amount of time we spend on social media and even just the amount of time we spend on our computers overall. It seems like we even write about those things often here on Bit Rebels.
But this is the thing – By now we all know the symptoms of Internet burnout, we all know the importance of taking a break every now and then, letting our eyes rest a little, having important IRL friends and conversations and even taking a digital detox. However, how many people are actually doing those things? Nobody I know is.
You may even start your day sitting on your bed with your laptop (like I do) and end your day the same way (like I do), and even while you are reading this, you may be thinking, “I can handle it. I love being online more than any of the people who would be affected like this. This won’t happen to me.” Yeah, I am sitting here thinking the same thing too.
Consider this though… There was a time in our history when a lot of people smoked. Then they came out with all the studies that warned people against smoking, and most people ignored all that. Then people started dying of lung cancer which in many cases was directly linked to smoking, and then people started to pay attention. There was also a time in our history when everyone ate fast food like it was the best meal on earth. Then all the studies came out that warned people about how bad it is for our health, and most people ignored all that. Now there is a growing health problem involving obesity (even in children) in America, and people are starting to pay attention.
So, my question is, is this the next-gen health hazard? We’ve already seen some people predict what long term excessive computer use will do to our bodies. It’s kinda gross, and you can see it here. Will people have to actually go crazy or start losing limbs as a result of spending the majority of their lives on the computer before we realize that we weren’t biologically designed to be sitting still so much, stressed out, switching from one tab to the next, checking email like a maniac on the computer all day? Sadly, the answer to that question is probably yes, at least for me. I know I won’t be slowing down my computer use anytime soon. Here is yet more info on the topic in the form of an infographic called Digital Stress and Your Brain by Online Universities for your enjoyment.
Click Infographic To Enlarge