Personal digital devices have the potential to impact our mental and physical health. It is the ICT industry that drives digital technology. Digital is neither green nor respectful of nature. It has a carbon footprint equivalent to that of the aviation industry. It also creates a huge waste management problem.
It is extraordinary that the EU’s Green Deal has been coupled with digital technology. This betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. Global warming occurs due to the overexploitation of nature by multinational industries. The amoral ICT industry is no exception.
Science points to other more personal concerns.
Michael Rich, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, says: “The growing human brain is constantly building neural connections while eliminating those that are less used. Much of what is happening on the screen is providing “depleted” stimulation to the developing brain compared to reality. This means that the brains of young people are literally rewired by online content and not in a good way. Adults of all ages are also not immune to the effects of obsessive use of TVs, smartphones, and other digital devices, and may suffer from lower concentration, memory, and hearing loss. weaker pulse control as well as slower information processing.
Excessive screen time tires our eyes, causes dryness, and in some cases can cause damage to retinal cells and blurred vision. Constantly hunched over a smartphone affects posture which can cause stiffness and pain in both neck and shoulders.
Sleep deprivation is another risk. The blue light emitted by digital screens interferes with the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This is why using digital devices at night or just before sleeping makes it much more difficult to fall asleep and hampers memory retention.
Using digital devices is a lonely activity and results in impaired social skills at all ages. Children, in particular, lose important social skills normally learned when interacting in person with their friends. Too much screen time also affects the ability to record and process emotions.
Desensitization to violent content is a particularly disturbing side effect of weakened emotional judgment.
The political class presents the digital as the standard bearer of the green recovery. A Trojan horse if there is one-David Marinelli
Scientific research shows that exposure to violent media content can also increase levels of aggression, especially in young children and adolescents, sometimes leading to a loss of empathy. Educational programs on digital media are not ideal for learning. Children learn best by exploring and engaging in the real world.
Spending too much time in the virtual world of digital media has a double negative impact on self-esteem. There is wasted time that could have been spent building relationships with other people. The other is the time wasted discovering and refining your passions and creating new experiences.
These latter impairments weaken the sense of identity and self-confidence. This problem is exacerbated when the virtual self-image begins to replace the real one.
The use of digital equipment is also addictive. Instant digital media results activate our brain’s reward center and insidiously make us crave more. This is why many people find themselves trapped in a cycle of digital addiction. The problem with envy is that the body becomes unresponsive to the same exposure and seeks experiences of a higher intensity. This is essentially how digital addiction develops in individuals.
People have become inseparable from their smartphones, constantly in our hands, bags or pockets while we exercise, eat, work or play, even with family and friends. Young children and babies are not immune to exposure, as unhappy and stressed parents place them in front of screens to keep them mesmerized. The problem is that addiction has consequences. Young people are being treated for media and internet related disorders caused by excessive gambling, social media and other online activities that affect their health and daily life at home and at school.
The industry has made its way into all aspects of our lives. All forms of digital consumer-centric technology are programmed to generate a reward. People press or touch buttons and the brain perceives the result as a reward and is rewarded. This is similar to the way people treat their pets or laboratories study animal behavior.
The ICT industry has created a culture of instant gratification. Not sufficiently concerned with the well-being of their customers, the industry has focused its marketing strategy on the idea that faster is better and proceeded to fulfill this promise with smartphones, tablets, WiFi and radiation. more efficient wireless electromagnets, without worrying or thinking about consequences. Like animals in a lab, people keep pushing these buttons.
Gratification releases dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is one of those “feel-good” chemicals that we can’t live without. The fascination with this technology is such that people allow themselves to be enslaved in the global network of machines known as the “Internet of Things”.
Addicts are always craving their next solution, in this case their digital solution. We are made to live more of our life in a digital illusion rather than the real human and natural world. We are rapidly moving towards a future where being connected to this global network of machines will not be a choice.
Never forget that we are a biological species entirely dependent on the biological web of life on earth. Machines are not where we will find solutions, meaning and hope.
The tragedy is that the political class presents the digital as the standard bearer of the green recovery. A Trojan horse if there is one.
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