Is Technology Harming Us?

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 We all use technology, whether it’s surfing the web texting a friend or playing video games.

Can these things that help us every day be dangerous to our bodies and are we becoming addicted?

Texting comes second hand to Nika Kingdon.
She’s a student at MSUM and uses technology to connect with her friends every day.
One of her favorite tools is Faceboook.

“Just kind of gives you something to do. I mean, sometimes I’ll text my parents and my friends if we’ve got plans so we can figure out that and the Facebook it’s fun to check up,” said Kingdon.

She has a cell phone on her most of the time. She’s rarely ever caught without it.

“Sometimes when I’m in meetings like we have to put our phone away,” said Kingdon.

It’s part of her night time routine.

“Especially at night I’m on my phone a lot especially when I’m just laying around just chilling I go on Facebook quite often,” said Kingdon.

Many people do say that they use their phone a lot of the time but the real problem starts at night.

Shaun Christenson works at the Sleep Lab in Essentia Health where they perform sleep studies.
He says the light from some devices can keep you up longer.

“With TV’s, computers, tablets, cell phones we look at a screen that has light and when light enters the eye it will suppress secretion of a certain hormone that allows us to initiate sleep,” said Christenson.

The sleep inducing hormone is Melatonin.
Without it you may stay awake longer.

“Absolutely, if we go back a couple hundred years when the sun went down we went to bed,” said Christenson.

The National Sleep Foundation says a study reveals that a lack of sleep may increase calorie consumption.
The longer you’re awake the more time you have to eat.
Sleep Deprivation can also slow reaction time, making those split seconds decisions longer.
And there’s another problem.

“It can make your relationships with the people that you’re actually like there with day to day difficult,” said Therapist John Lyon.

Lyon with The Village Family Service Center says some people do overuse these things.
He says the answer is simple.

“I’ve had clients who were addicted to World of Warcraft, or addicted to this. Yeah or maybe you need to like turn off the game spend time with your fiancée,” said Lyon.

Trent Zbichorski says he uses technology more than most people he knows, but he doesn’t see it as an issue.

“I use technology every day really I mean there’s not one day that I go out without technology,” said Zbichorski.

He’s a student at MSUM and finds himself texting on his way to class and sometimes during.

“I use the phone like pretty often. Probably like more than I should cause you know in class you can sneak texts here and there,” said Zbichorski.

But its situations like these that don’t bother Lyon too much.

“People will blame all kinds of things and say oh I’ve got addiction to x, y and z, when really it’s you’ve got this behavior that you keep engaging in that’s causing problems that you need to address,” said Lyon.

Addiction to technology is a phrase Lyon would use on severe cases where the overuse of these devices negatively affects relationships with loved ones.

But health professionals say the sleep issues related to using technology during bed time are real.

And students like Kingdon and Zbichorski are advised by those professionals not to use these technologies late into the night.

The National Sleep Foundation says stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends, this helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.

Categories: Moorhead