The first smartphone entered the market in 1995. A mere 25 years later, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world. We use our smartphones for everything from work to cat videos to gambling. And while we are no strangers to technology over the last century, having all the world’s information available to us, in our pockets, every day is a really recent phenomenon.
To ensure that we have healthy interactions with our technological devices and applications, it is important first to understand what is meant by “healthy interactions”.
Let’s look at some examples of both healthy and unhealthy interactions or “behaviours”, and what the outcome of these could be.
Compulsive checking of smartphones / social media / email.
Scrolling mindlessly through social media and feeling inadequate
Getting distracted by email in work
Spending too much time on smartphone
Not feeling present with my family/colleagues
Getting constantly distracted at work & feeling unproductive at the end of the day
Checking phone first thing in the morning
Now, let’s look at some positive interactions with technology and their outcomes:
Learning a new skill using technology, having a sense of achievement
Using social media to disarm stigmas and feeling connected to you community
Raising awareness of fundraising initiatives and feeling altruistic
Connecting with a peer who is located on the other side of the world, and making a meaningful connection with them