The Bright Side and the Dark Side of Digital Health
- Digital Health, Tech

The Bright Side and the Dark Side of Digital Health

Is technological advancement good for us? This has been a nagging question and a heated topic of debate in the last decade. We use digital technology in our everyday life: our mobile phones, the internet, even the cashier’s register at every store. Digital technology is so ingrained in our society that we cannot imagine life without it any longer. But what impact does this have on our individual daily lives? Here are a few lighter and darker sides of digital technology.

Instant Communication

Technology has made us truly believe that it’s a small world, after all. When text messages take seconds barely to get through, and voice and video calls are just as simple, what significance do even a thousand miles have? One of the biggest pluses of the digital world is how it brings the world together. No place is too far away anymore when it takes only seconds to contact any internet-connected device in the world.

Learning Opportunities

From Coursera to KhanAcademy to online master’s degree courses to the good old Google search, technology makes it possible to have all the resources at our fingertips. Now, age and location truly don’t matter! The world wide web makes it so that anyone with curiosity and motivation (and an internet connection) can learn about absolutely anything and everything that the academic world offers. This has indeed been a boon in the complete lockdown periods of the epidemic.

Globalization

Technology has brought the world together. This is no exaggeration. Now, news from the other side of the world is just as relevant as the local news. Social movements start small but can grow into fully-fledged, powerful worldwide campaigns for a better world. The internet facilitates travel and tourism as well, connecting people and places from all across the world. We can book tickets and hotel rooms, research hiking trails, and famous monuments, and even take a virtual tour of some museums, all from your personal device!

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Easier to ask for help

Digital communication has made it easier than ever before to ask for and to receive help. From Google Maps when you need directions when you’re lost in an unknown city to 24/7 Suicide Helplines, the internet is always ready to help. Anxiety and depression are becoming common mental health conditions, and for those affected, it is tedious and intimidating, if not impossible, to ask for help. The internet creates a safe space for people to ask for help, and there are multiple support groups and communities for all kinds of people on websites such as Reddit, Tumblr, and calmsage.com. Access to the internet ensures that you always have the option of never being completely alone and helpless.

Technology creates a social disconnect.

In today’s society, people socialize more through digital means than meeting up face-to-face. Even though digital interactions also create a certain feeling of happiness, they tend to leave a sense of isolation, disconnection from reality, and loneliness. It can be quite problematic to dismiss physical-social activity since it can be bad for one’s mental health. Mental disorders are seen to be increasing in people who choose to communicate with technology rather than going out to meet up with friends and close ones.

Technology creates dependencies.

Today’s evolution of technology is leading to a significant dependence on the devices and tools around us. These days, people don’t find any need in thinking or memorizing information since everything is accessible through their devices. Why would they, when there’s a giant database accessible right in our pocket? The calculators do the math for us, while Google thinks.

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Higher unemployment occurs in some industries hence this. Even replacement in human interaction altogether has been becoming more and more the everyday life of many.

There are data security concerns to manage.

A vast amount of data is collected every day all over the world. Cookies, information of our everyday searches, credit card information, and our personal information. Lots of our personal data, all stored somewhere whenever we browse. Our private lives, stored somewhere on an HDD, SSD, or some random server out there. Where we live, work, our friends and family. Anyone out there can find out with the proper knowledge to do so. It’s quite scary to think, to know that this information is accessible for strangers.

Technology can be addictive.

Technology can almost be compared to drugs and alcohol today, seeing how so many people, most of us, are so addicted without realizing it. Hours upon hours are spent, even on work-related content, in front of our devices. The Internet, video games, movies, TV is all disconnecting us from reality. A lot of relationships today are crumbling under the preference to stay connected online rather than with reality.

I hope it helps!

Thank you for reading!

The Bright Side and the Dark Side of Digital Health

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