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Scientists have found that some health problems may be related to constant use of various electronic devices. Addiction to technology, musculoskeletal injuries, eye problems, and male infertility have recently been linked to overuse of technology.

Smartphones, cell phones, laptops, tablets, portable music players, gaming consoles, and PCs are some of the many electronic gadgets that seem to make life more fun and easier for everybody. Even toddlers and grandmas are using them in different ways. They are useful not only for promoting social interaction or entertainment, but they have become indispensable even at work, in school, and even during emergencies and disaster management. In other words, we are forever hooked on them, and things can only get better, with more and more technologies being developed.

The recent technological revolution has brought so many changes in our ordinary lives like we never imagined. It has affected the job market, the way education is delivered, our communication systems, and so much more. It has brought great impact in many areas of our lives, including our relationships and our health. Some apps have even been designed to monitor health parameters such as weight loss.

However, being hooked on technology has its negative effects. In fact, many health conditions are now related to the overuse or misuse of technology.

Fortunately, most of these conditions are preventable and treatable, and it takes early recognition of how our use of our favorite gadgets can make us sick to help us take better care of our health.

Addiction to Technology

Psychologists and psychiatrists have observed that various types of behavior related to possible addiction to technology have taken over a lot of people. Some are said to have a condition called "nomophobia" (no-mobile-phone phobia), which makes them panic or feel desperate when separated from their smartphone. These people are not able to focus on work or conversations and they feel the need to constantly check their phones for notifications. Many individuals, especially young adults, even take their cell phones to bed with them. Some researchers have also noted a phantom cell phone vibration syndrome, a fairly common condition, where one believes that he often feels his phone vibrating in his pocket, only to find out that there are no calls or messages.

Experts say that these behaviors are similar to addictions that may be explained by an imbalance of a brain chemical(neurotransmitter) called dopamine.

Getting a text message or an email is like being rewarded, which increases dopamine levels in the brain, resulting in increased motivation.

When experienced repeatedly, the feeling becomes addicting, and one gets hooked on the gadget, which is the source of pleasure.

This type of addiction can be dangerous, especially when one is driving and feels compelled to check his phone whenever he receives a notification. It can also hurt relationships when the behavior causes one to be inattentive to another person's presence. However, simple steps in behavior modification can improve one's addiction to technology, and these include not using the cell phone while driving, limiting its use when spending time with friends and family, and not taking it to bed or even the bathroom. Parents may also encourage their children to spend more time in physical activities and set time limits for using their gadgets.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • ComputerWorld. Cellphone vibration syndrome and other signs of tech addiction. http://www.computerworld.com/article/2504472/smartphones/cellphone-vibration-syndrome-and-other-signs-of-tech-addiction.html
  • Business Insider. Smartphone Addiction Now Has A Clinical Name. http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-nomophobia-2014-7
  • CBS. ‘Texting Thumb’ A Growing Health Condition. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2012/08/13/texting-thumb-a-growing-health-condition/
  • CNN. More talking, more problems: 'Cell phone elbow' damages nerves. http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/02/cell.phone.elbow/index.html?iref=24hours
  • Spine Health. Ergonomics of the Office and Workplace: An Overview. http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/ergonomics-office-and-workplace-overview
  • AOA. Computer Vision Syndrome. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/protecting-your-vision/computer-vision-syndrome?sso=y FoxNews. How Does Laptop Wi-Fi Affect Male Fertility? http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/11/29/how-does-laptop-wi-fi-affect-male-fertility/
  • Photo courtesy of JESHOOTS by Pixabay : pixabay.com/en/woman-smartphone-chatting-girl-410320/
  • Photo courtesy of Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung by Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/boellstiftung/5093856394
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  • www.businessinsider.com
  • philadelphia.cbslocal.com
  • cnn.com
  • www.spine-health.com
  • www.aoa.org
  • www.foxnews.com