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