Host- Amrita Tiwari
Hello, and welcome to “Unwiring Tech.” I’m your host Amrita and today we’re diving deep into a topic that affects us all in the digital age i.e. digital stress. More specifically, we’ll be exploring the hidden burden of digital stress on our youth. I’m excited to share with you some thought-provoking insights and strategies to tackle this issue.
But first, let’s take a moment to understand what digital stress actually entails. In the 21st century, our lives have become intertwined with various digital dimensions, particularly social media. While these platforms have connected us in ways we never thought possible, they have also brought negative consequences that take a toll on the mental health of our children, who are the most vulnerable to this new kind of stress.
According to Dr. Ric G Steele, a child psychologist, digital stress includes the negative feelings or mild adverse effects resulting from the use of digital technology or constant access to online content. It’s essential to recognize that our youth are ill-equipped to handle this stress, as they face intense emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and social changes during adolescence.
To better understand the causes of digital stress, we turn to Dr. S.J Blakemore’s insights, a psychologist who emphasizes the significance of peer relationships and social status during this crucial stage of development. Adolescents often experience a hyper-sensitivity to social evaluation and exclusion, leading to a deep impact on their well-being.
There are several behaviors that contribute to digital stress. For instance, the passive use of online platforms, such as mindless scrolling, can cause a sense of guilt and time wastage among young individuals. The constant pressure to be available and respond promptly can lead to anxiety and even phantom ringing syndrome, in which we always want to stay glued to our phones, what if a notification pops up or there’s something interesting happening.
Social media platforms themselves play a role in perpetuating digital stress through features that encourage comparison. Metrics like likes, views, followers, and friends become a yardstick for validation and can foster an inferiority complex. Additionally, age-inappropriate content and gender insensitivity in online spaces, pose risks, especially for girls who experience online harassment and trolling.
So, how do we address this hidden burden of digital stress on youth? It starts with awareness and understanding. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children during this vulnerable age, ensuring their mental health remains a priority. Adopting healthy mobile use behaviors, setting limits, and promoting offline activities can reduce digital stress.
Our experts suggest that we disconnect to reconnect. By taking breaks from screens, encouraging face-to-face interactions, and fostering a healthy relationship with technology, we can mitigate the negative effects of digital stress.
As we conclude this episode of “Unwiring Tech,” let us remember that mental health is key to overall well-being. By recognizing the stresses that can be avoided, adopting healthier habits, and raising awareness about digital stress, we can pave the way for a more balanced and fulfilling life, both online and offline.
Thank you for joining us today. Stay tuned for more insightful discussions on navigating the challenges of the digital age. Until next time, take care and remember to unwire and connect with the world around you.