The ‘Technological Age’ we find ourselves in today originated from the space programme of the 1960s; pioneering technology that changed our world. Instant sound and vision communication in a nanosecond, via Skype for example is bridging the gap of separation to family, siblings and loved ones around the world.
I went from famine to feast with communication and technology, I grew up in a world of meagre communication, snail pace mail and the public telephone box at the bottom of the road in case of emergencies. It now seems inconceivable to live in a world without Facebook, mobile phones and the wonders of the World Wide Web readily available 24/7. The first fully automated mobile was introduced in Sweden 1960 and then in 1971, the USA launched Analog Mobile Phone System (AMPS) - legal authorities took eleven years to approve it. By April 1973, MartinCooper of Motorolareportedthe very first mobile call. Ten years later, in 1983, Motorola’s mobile (at $4000 per phone) went on sale to the selected few, became big business and a cash cow for their inventors.
In almost sixty years the art of communication has advanced beyond recognition especially since the fibre launch of accelerated internet and mobile services. My children and grandchildren, (as yours), have been brought up in ‘Cyber Age’ removing isolation in towns, villages and cities.
Would you believe?:
- More people owning a mobile phone, than own toilets?
- Technology behind smartphones relies on 250,000 separate patents.
- The average person unlocks his or her mobile phone at least 110 times per day.
From my observation, we can be double and treble these figures today.
The arrival of the World Wide Web in 1990, the creation by Tim Berners-Leea UK computer scientist,ignited the speed of light communication 27 years ago.It feels as though we have always known www. and Google. Google, the popular port of call for research and information was founded in 1998replacing encyclopaedias, dictionaries and directories; a staggering accumulation of data.
Certainly, tech is an addiction for some.
As one person commented on the recent Facebook security scandal, ‘How can I go back to cavemen days and talk to people?’Facebook is revolutionary; sharing and connecting people to one another but some people use it without discernment, displaying their very soul on screen to the world unaware their posts reach incredibly wide audiences. This can be a good thing when ‘posts’ are positive, but it is open to those with a predatory intention who can and do take advantage of indiscriminate ‘sharing’. The recent, very public scandal around Facebook has highlighted the need for caution with our online security settings; how imperative it is that we are vigilant about what personal data we share.
Without doubt our lives have been improved with the technological revolution but psychological cracks are becoming evident and relying too heavily on technology can have a detrimental effect on our thinking, our logic even. Sophisticated Apps offer suggestions on how to live, interact and learn and have an enormous effect on our ability to think for ourselves. Instead of learning and experiencing life independently we are at risk of by-passing life!
Some cultures have embraced technology totally. Studies have caused concern for Chinese authorities as teens/adults are losing interest if instant results are not shown. Of course, this applies globally. Additionally, in some cultures we have a generation who do not want to procreate and are happy to conduct relationships literally via their phone!
This ‘virtual living’ (communicating by email or text) is impartial and unemotional, It is prone to misinterpretation and can be very impersonal and insensitive, especially when delivering bad news to someone. ‘I am leaving you’. Imagine receiving a message to say your husband is leaving you, your hospital results were bad or even someone you love has died. It might be easier for the one sending the message but could be devastating to the recipient.
This explosion of technological advancement in the last fifty years or so is still in transition and expansion but we have to be sure we do not become dependent, that we are still able to be self-sufficient, think for ourselves, be capable human beings. What would happen if we had a power cut? If electricity ceased to exist? How would we cope? Would we be left powerless?
Influences of Cyber addiction
The full ramifications and long-term consequences on our health (from the use of Bluetooth and masts that provide signals) to health is little investigated or monitored. We have been lured by sophisticated marketing blurb and the drive for universal signal use.
From a psychological point of view, brain patterns and behaviour are changing due to technology, cyber gadgets influence hormonal stimulus, e.g. frontal cortex performance and dopamine secretion are impacted creating dysfunctional behaviour, making social-psycho-emotional dysfunctions more pronounced. Consumed, one nine-year-old boy told me ‘I would die if I did not have my games!’
Mobile phones have become arm extensions. Over time we are losing our natural abilities to interact with each other, our brain, hormonal and neurotransmitter stimulus are becoming underdeveloped. Dopamine is involved in memory performance, thinking, learning, storing information, common sense and logic, even tiny changes of Dopamine will bring about big impacts.
Common sense and logic do not fit well with games and apps. Games promote escapism and virtual, a world of fantasy, played out with variations on outcomes. Sadly, this is becoming the preferred world for too many of our young, they are bonding with technology more than their parents, siblings and society in general.
Technology wants nothing from us. People do.
In real living, we have a world of choice that takes us to other outcomes, ramifications and consequences. In Cyber World, it is just reload and start again – we don’t need to take responsibility for our self. In life, we don’t have that option. In games those injured and dead just reappear again, there is no price to pay, no-one to answer to, no criticism.
The days of the doll’s house have been replaced by games consoles – there is no definition of what is real and what is fantasy. Children (and adults) are brainwashed and saturated in aggression and violence. Our teenagers are confused with life; they have no real grasp on social skills or their place in society. Instead of enjoying the interaction of human relationships they are becoming unhealthy, competitive, frustrated, detached and dissatisfied with life. They are disappointed with life, they have unrealistic goals and they are unable to account for their behaviour. It is fast becoming a major psychological issue, and no-one seems to recognise the time bomb it is.
Internal biological actions and reactions occur automatically triggered by emotions/feelings whilst hormonal can lead to feelings of frustration and anger; a flood of excitement and fear, highs and then the low. Over time this can cause serious burnout. Small changes in dopamine levels can cause lethargy, anxiety and depression. Whatever is fed (positive or negative) will be churned out. Body systems and mental health are affected.
Can the growth in mental health figures, aggression, childhood depression and staggering adult mental health statistics be explained by increased use of technology and communication demands over the past twenty years?
It is interesting to note, Dopamine is linked to our reward centre, if we don’t feel interest in specific activities or learning certain subjects, then dopamine levels will decrease in our prefrontal cortex. If this happens, our brain will notfeel motivation to remember the facts presented. Dopamine deficiency is implicated in depression, addictions, Parkinson’s, ADHD and other health conditions
Social-psycho-emotional impacts start from foetal origins, causing adverse transference and biological formation. Adverse Childhood Experiences(ACE) 1997 scientific trials link biological health to emotional experiences. Internal conversion of stress hormone /stress gene production, setting emotional bars higher causing inflammation/autoimmune disorders, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.
Additionally, Dissolve and Resolve Emotionscase studies provides greater understanding. Adverse experiences carry on in adulthood. Virtual experiences (reading, watching movies, TV, etc.) creates an internal change, in our hormonal/biological levels, causing altered internal behaviour. This can be identified via emotional mapping, adrenal bombardment, biological, hormonal and chemical response is instant.
Prevention is key to stop retreat into virtual living.
Cyber use is replacing our friend and mentor. Our human psychological needs are ignored and neglected, all important mother/child eye contact is becoming less evident. Parental interaction is reducing, via distractions of Facebook etc. Huge swaths of time are being lost, spatial awareness is becoming reduced, we are retreating to inner states, isolated by cyber. From a social and inheritance point of view, what will we pass on from cyber? Are we becoming more robotic? Less feeling?
Forming biological legacies causing impacts to humanity’s future. We need to consider our children and grandchildren.
‘Technology is good, but not all new is good and does not always mean progress!’Dr. Aiken
Extracts from New Book – ‘Mirror Image’ Facts and solutions to Inherited Generational Trauma and absorptionby Joy Wisdom
Awarded Inspirational Woman 2015: Awarded Therapist of the Year 2018
Author, Tutor, Inspirational speaker Founder of Allonus, D.A.R.E Intuitive Body/Mind/Spirit Practitioners Therapy and LiGHt Healing programme.
Clinical Body/Mind practitioner -specialising in psychological issues, Women’s and Children’s Health
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