The Harm that Socializing Comes With

The effects technology has had on people since the Coronavirus epidemic.

Image+courtesy+of+amazon.com.

Image courtesy of amazon.com.

Annie Shafran, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Annie Shafran is a sophomore at Mendham who writes for Arts and Entertainment. All opinions expressed in the following editorial are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot.

 

In a study conducted by Medical News Today, psychologist Susan Pinker found that “direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to stress and anxiety. During this pandemic, it is crucial to keep up with social interaction. One of the eiaserst, and safest ways to do so is by use of technology. Through phone calls, video calls, text messages, and other forms of communication people are able to stay in touch with friends and family, and maintain relationships. However, how much screen time is too much? With people relying on technology for most of their socialization, it is easy to spend too much time looking at a screen. People depending on technology so much during this period can have detrimental effects on their health and wellbeing, so it is important to monitor and watch the amount of time being spent at a screen.

Research conducted by the University of California has proved that interacting with others aids with improving memory and recall, as well as protects the brain from neurodegenerative diseases. So it is still crucial to maintain social interactions during this time.

People have to understand, while it is important to socialize while in isolation, it is also important to look after personal health.”

However, physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston found out that kids spend an average of six and a half to eight hours a day looking at screens. Self-awareness is key to avoiding excessive screen time. Society, especially during this time, is immensely reliant on digital devices. Excessive amount of screen time with children can cause obesity, insomnia, mood swings, and even problems at school; due to the fact that their brains undergo so much development during their formative years. The excess screen time can be very damaging (rallyhealth.com).

Looking at a screen for too long doesn’t only affect children and young adults. Anybody can get health issues from using an excessive amount of technology. This can result in headaches, strained eyes, neck and back issues, as well as many other health concerns. Looking at a screen is not the only problem with the situation that everybody is in right now. When someone is on a screen, they are typically sitting. The growth of time people are spending on electronics means that they are getting less and less physical activities. This can result in a decline of health and problems with weight, endurance, and the capacity of one’s heart and lungs (everynurse.org). 

According to Mayo Clinic people should, “take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.[ry to] stand while talking on the phone or watching television…try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter, [and even to] position your work surface above a treadmill.” This way they are giving both their body and their mind a break from over focusing on a screen. The impact of any movement can have great benefits. Physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being. Lin Yang, a public-health expert at Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Canada, explains that “We all need to move more and sit less,” and how it is “important to not just switch from sitting to standing but to actually move around.” Also, Yang notes that spending more time outside helps as well because it is beneficial for fitness and for exposure to the sun, to obtain a source of the body’s much needed vitamin D.

People have to understand, while it is important to socialize while in isolation, it is also important to look after personal health. Typically people overlook this and send hours upon hours everyday staring at a screen. Companies like Zoom

Image of Zoom’s logo courtesy of Columbia University.

and Skype are making this too easy for people to do. After staring at a computer while attending school, or “going” to work, people view speaking with others as a break from all that screen time. While it can be if the conversation is face-to-face, or a phone call, that typically is not the case. People can not keep thinking video calls are a break from staring at a screen. It is for your mind from work, but not for the rest of your body from a screen. The human body is not meant to spend as much time as people are spending sitting staring at a screen. The average American spend approximately six hours a day on only their phone. The AHA recommends that people should only be using technologies for two to five hours a day. Society on a whole has breached that numbertime and time again, and with the Coronavirus crisis, it is only getting worse and worse. 

Throughout this crisis, people have to be more aware of their health. Using too much technology can have horrid effects on one’s health. People should be getting more physical activity as well as a break from screens. While it may seem like an easy way to entertain yourself now, the effects it will have can be long term and everlasting.