MGU 224 | Negative Impacts Of Technology

 

The negative impacts of technology may overpower the benefits you gain from it if you don’t stay mindful. In this episode, Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen dive deep into the harmful effects of using technology you should watch out for. Among a few discussed include the correlation between the overuse of technology and mental health issues. Do you know that technology can interfere with your sleep, decrease your ability for critical analysis, and lessen your attention span? Listen to this episode, and watch out for the pitfalls you may fall into if you’re not aware of the negative impact technology may have on you. It’s not too late to take your life and your health back! 

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I Digitize, Therefore I Am: Negative Impacts Of Technology

Jason and I often describe this show as mental health or mental well-being show. First of all, we’re mindful not to overuse the term mental health because it has become a bit trendy. Also, it’s important for us to continue to acknowledge the fact that we are not technically mental health professionals. We are not doctors. We don’t have degrees in this. This is a passion of ours. It is something that we each have studied. For me, psychology has been a passion since I was in high school. I minored in Psychology in college, but that minor didn’t get me a Psychology degree. This fascination with it leads me to do a lot of research, noticing how people’s mental health is affected by culture, society and things that are going on. We’ve talked about the impacts of COVID on mental health. There was an article that came in early April 2021 that said A Third Of Covid-19 Survivors Suffer Brain Disease.  

As many as 1 in 3 people infected with COVID-19 have longer-term mental health or neurological symptoms. They’ve found that 34% of COVID-19 survivors received a diagnosis for a neurological or psychological condition within six months of their infection. The most common diagnosis was anxiety, which was found in 17% of those treated with COVID-19, followed by mood disorder at 14% of people. That’s on top of the anxiety and mental health challenges people have had simply by being in a pandemic, not necessarily having the virus. The virus has affected most of us collectively. There are elements of this in our emotional wellbeing. Even if you don’t think that your mental health has suffered, it’s been a challenging time for us emotionally based on all the different behaviors that are happening and how it polarized a lot of us. We’ve taken sides as a society. Did you get the vaccine? Did you not get the vaccine? Are you wearing a mask? Are you not wearing a mask? Are you physically distancing? Are you not physically distancing? All of these things have put us in interesting places socially and we’re affected.  

Defining ourselves through our digital presence takes us away from our innate and unique thought processes and our core selves. Click To Tweet

There’s the impact of technology, which has increased a lot over COVID-19. I came across an article on a website called Mobicip. The title of it is Negative Effects of Technology and How to Overcome Them, published in February 2021. I thought, “I’m going to know all of this. This is going to be like whatever else I’ve read before.” It was well articulated and scannable. It summarizes a lot and put things into perspective for me in a way that was a bit of an eye-opener, especially when it comes to how it’s impacting children. The opening paragraph had a great phrase that said, “It’s no longer ‘I think, therefore I am.’ It’s ‘I digitize, therefore I am.’” Are we no longer thinking for ourselves? Are our brains not functioning as well because everything has become digital? Are we defining ourselves through our digital presence? Many of us are.  

There’s that taking us away from our innate and unique thought processes and our core selves. Are we becoming so digitized? Are we turning into machines through technology? It makes me a little bit nervous. This article breaks down the impacts of health on our physical body, mental health, social health, education and safety. It has some tips at the end about how to recognize technology addiction amongst youngsters. It can be a great read for parents and everybody. In the physical effects section, it starts by saying that technology use has impacted our metabolic diseases like sedentary lifestyles. When we’re on digital devices, we reduce the amount of physical movement required to stay healthy. We also might snack more, leading us to eat foods that we don’t want or even need.  

Constant sitting also leads to back and neck problems. We are also starting to see tendonitis in our thumbs, carpal tunnel syndrome, and all these other physical problems from overusing our wrists and our fingers on the smaller devices. I saw a TikTok video about this. Ironically, people’s pinky fingers are starting to become distorted because of the way that we hold our phones. This is how I hold my phone. It rests on my pinky finger. I’ve become aware of that because my pinky finger does look a little bent differently. Do you notice any of that, Jason?  

I’m freaked out. This is fascinating for multiple reasons because I’ve never paid attention to how I hold my phone. I’ve never been mindful of the way that my hand physically grips the phone. This is typically how I do it. I wrap my fingers around it horizontally so it doesn’t rest on the bottom. Mine grips it on both sides. The effect that I’ve seen physically on my body through spending so much time at my computer is I have some other physical effects. The physical effect I’ve been dealing with on and off has been sciatica, where I sit for too long. I’ve been using a Pomodoro timer. Even using that, I have this ergonomic chair from Humanscale. I have this lumbar support thing under my butt. Even with all those things, I’m sitting too long. I’ve noticed my hands are fine from typing. It’s my back and my legs because I feel like my nerves are getting pinched off like sciatica. I’m having back pain, leg pain and being more mindful to do back stretches every day. That’s been my battle physically. It has been my back and my legs from too much computer time.  

I did a presentation on social media. Some data I found says that on average, people spend two and a half hours a day on social media. That’s a significant portion of your day, especially if you’re sleeping eight hours. We already know this, but to point this out in case the reader doesn’t, technology can interfere with sleep because it causes a melatonin and serotonin imbalance. It causes our brain to be hyperactive. Blue light has been found through some studies to disturb our circadian rhythm, which can lead to insomnia and mental fog. There’s something called Chronic Smartphone Stress. It’s a newly discovered problem of digital usage wherein constant notifications and interactions within digital tools is establishing new stress fear memory pathway in the brain. As a little tangent, I found this to be the case when I was using Clubhouse. Giving a talk on social media and given how active I was on Clubhouse in the beginning and stepping away from it, I keep questioning, “Will I go back there?” 

I don’t want to but I feel pressure to do so. There’s a FOMO feeling, but there’s also like, “Am I missing out on all the potential benefits of it?” This is why we need to be mindful of the negative effects of technology and decide for ourselves how the pros and cons weigh out for us. For me, when I was using Clubhouse heavily for the first few weeks, it greatly disturbed my sleep. I was sleepwalking more often, sleep talking and having paranoia. I wonder, was it creating these new pathways of stress in my brain or are those already there for me? Was this being activated through this particular platform where I felt more fear? It’s an important thing to examine. I hope that more studies will dig into this deeper. Unfortunately, we won’t know for a long time given the fact that social media is relatively new. Our heavy social media usage and computer usage has not been around that long. In our lifetimes, we have seen a big development with smartphones. They weren’t around when we were kids. I don’t think we’ll be well known for a long time. How much are we suffering and paying the price for something inadvertently?  

My response to this is slightly tangential but it’s related. What you’re talking about is this hybridization of technology and humanity that continues to happen. There are some people who are claiming that smartphones and wearable technology are conditioning us to become cyborgs. It’s being turned around. I was looking up at something I wanted to reference to piggyback on what you’re talking about. It’s such a strange dichotomy. The fact is you and I are miles away. We’re recording a show that can be shared with people all over the world. We have an amazing audience in places like Africa and the Middle East. We love our Non-US audience. On the one hand, this increasing intersection of humanity and digital technology has tremendous benefits. We know of them. We don’t necessarily need to recant the connectivity, shareability, distribution of content, music and movies.  

It is incredible what we have at our fingertips. However, what I feel increasingly concerned with is this singularity that has spoken of the merging of the biological with the technological. In the early days of this show, I mentioned a book that I had read years ago by the author named James Lovelock. He wrote a book called The Revenge of Gaia. If you look at ancient religions and spiritual traditions, they all had a form of this. His framework on it was that Gaia or the Earth is a living sentient biosphere. They interviewed him and he talks about where he sees humanity going with all of this. He said that he believes that we’re on the cusp and we’re entering something called the Novacene. He says it’s a new age of intelligent beings. Hollywood has filled our mind with images of these scary robots, terminators and mechanical devices that are followed from humans and take over the planet. What he sees is that this new form of life is going to arise to regulate the climate and turn things around. He talks about it being an extremely crucial period for the cosmos.  

MGU 224 | Negative Impacts Of Technology

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis & the Fate of Humanity

The interviewer says, “Tell me more about these beings that are going to populate the Novacene, the next era of civilization.” He said, “They will be biological entities.” He uses the term cyborg. They will no longer use neurons, the nerve cells that carry signals into the brain because the neurons that we have now are incredibly slow and inefficient compared to technology. Signals along the neurons in our human brains travel 10,000 times slower than those signals across copper wiring. He’s saying we’ll be able to use our cleverness to assist this whole process and how there will be a switch from our brains to this cyborgian super-fast technological response. He’s talking about how this is the next stage of our evolution. He says, “Whether we like it or not, the emergence of us becoming cyborgs is inevitable.  

It’s us coming into this godlike role that’s going to increase communication and our brain efficiency where we will be able to act and think 10,000 times faster than we do now. I know you and I have talked about this in previous episodes with our concerns or excitement about technology. Elon Musk has his Neuralink where he’s implanting these chips. He had this video of this monkey playing a video game with its mind. How do I feel about that? I don’t feel excited about getting a chip in my brain. I don’t feel excited about being a cyborg. People will be like, “What if you could think 10,000 times faster?” Here’s where the capitalist thing comes in. What if you could work 10,000 times more efficiently? I don’t know that I want that. I don’t know that I care about working 10,000 times more efficiently. 

That’s part of the challenge. It reminded me of this idea fountain of youth when I was growing upI could drink from this fountain and be forever young where life is great. As human beings, we think we desire those things. I believe it does come down to your beliefs. Perhaps you believe that youth or productivity is important. Perhaps living naturally is not important to you. That’s part of our core values. We want to do things that don’t feel invasive to our natural bodies. That’s a huge perspective of ours. Others may feel different. I imagine that most of the readers are in alignment with that, but some people would rather get the perks of elements of life while giving up part of their natural living. Being natural doesn’t matter.  

There’s a huge percentage of the population that doesn’t seem to care about that. They don’t care about certain ingredients and man-made things going into their foods, food production and GMO, genetically modifying things. Part of this is confusing. If you have a lack of awareness and education, you’re not even going to notice these things like you didn’t notice that your hands might be changing their shape because of your phone usage. It could be subtle. We’re in this time where things are subtly changing. Are they purposely subtle so that we can be more easily manipulated or taken advantage of? Is that the way technology is and then one day we wake up and we have a chip implanted?  

All of this stuff has pros and cons. We have to ask ourselves why we want these things. At least in our lifetime, we’re fortunate enough. It seems to me that a good percentage of our population still wants to live naturally. Speaking of polarizing people. There will be this big divide. The people that don’t mind embracing technology, AI and all of that stuff are going to go off in one direction. The people that want to live more naturally will go off in another. You have someone like me who loves technology. I’m a big gadget person. I don’t always buy gadgets because sometimes the costs are high, but I get excited about technological advances. I drive a tech-heavy electric car designed by Elon Musk.  

It’s exciting to me and it stimulates me because it can do all these convenient things. I believe that it’s better for the environment and it’s forward-thinking. It’s protecting me. The safety side of the car is a huge perk to me. Camping in my car is fun and having dog mode. They’re all convenient and fun. I’m drawn to that. It’s interesting for me how I’m somewhere in between as usual and then that gray area. I lean a little bit more towards the natural way of living. We have to be mindful of these things. Going through that article I was mentioning before, there are a few other fascinating parts to it. One is that study has found that children who overuse technology are more likely to experience mental health issues, including lack of attention, low creativity, delays in language development, delays in social and emotional development and addiction to technology. 

Studies have found that it’s increasing the chance of developing symptoms of ADHD, which has already been a challenge. I remember growing up, ADHD was semi-common. We called it ADD back then. It was common enough that you knew about it. I imagine the same with you, Jason. I was hoping that people would work on it and figure it out, but if technology is impacting it and it was worse than before we had smartphones in our hands all the time, it’s a little scary to think about this. I’ve been fascinated with this. This is one of the bigger inspirations for this episode, which is something that we’re only going to skim the surface on. Since neither of us is experts on this, this is something that I would like to bring someone else on to discuss. It’s this term neuro-typical, which I didn’t know about. The word is fascinating to me. It means a normal brain. 

Phubbing breaks the present moment, the connection, and the ability to show people that we care. Click To Tweet

There are a number of articles around this and how neurodiversity is often connected to things like ADHD, autism and Tourette’s. I don’t know if they are more common or if we have more awareness of them. I didn’t know anything about Tourette’s. I still feel ignorant of it. I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to know about ADHD and autism. All of those things are developing. I found the term neuro-typical interesting. Pulling this up, there are some definitions in one website. It’s called Daivergent.com. The term neurodivergent is used to describe a variety of conditions related to cognitive abilities. More often, people with these conditions prefer neurodiversity. It applies to conditions such as autism, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neurodiverse individuals often struggle with soft skills, especially ones that apply to social interactions. Unexpected physical behaviors like standing too close to someone or speaking too loudly occur for people on the autism spectrum. Self-soothing movements like rocking or irregular hand movement may also be present. In Tourette’s sufferers, verbal and physical tics are the hallmark of this condition.  

Going back to that first article about the negative effects of technology, that was another thing here where there’s a section about social health. They found that replacement of real-life interaction with online communication results in the loss of ability to read cues, facial expressions, body language and tone. That freaks me out a bit, especially because there have been lots and growing concerns about online bullying. A lot of that is because we don’t have the same cues online. People often say, “You wouldn’t treat someone like this if you were standing in front of them.” Part of that is because facial cues, body language and voice tone convey a lot of information to each other as human beings.  

When we read something online, we can easily misinterpret it. We can say something that can be misinterpreted by someone else. We can simply be cruel because we don’t have that in-person experience. It’s frightening that we’re experiencing a loss in this ability. What if some people are growing up with less emotional sensitivity? That’s what they are saying. Also, the article says that educationally wise, the overuse of technology and the internet has adversely affected powers of analysis and critical thinking. Here we are with Gen Z and younger. They’ve spent money, if not all of their life, having access to these tools. Parents, Millennials or older Millennials and above inadvertently or are using technology for their kids because it’s convenient. Their kids enjoy it. There are these big beliefs like, “It gives me a break. It’s the only thing that calms my child down. It’s the only way I can take a shower.” I’m not a mom but I have compassion for that. I’d imagine I would be tempted to do the same thing.  

I remember starting with one of my first friends that had a child, it felt weird when I had watched her give her daughter the iPad to soothe her. Her daughter was crying. I can’t remember the exact circumstance, but I remember watching her hand the iPad to watch a movie. I was standing there going, “That’s strange.” We weren’t at home in front of the television. We were in the car. I thought, “Something about this doesn’t feel right to me at the core.” As for me and my belief system, it doesn’t feel natural. It feels like a shortcut. It’s got more cons than pros. It’s a temporary superficial solution to a deeper issue that’s only making it worse. If your child learns to self-soothe by using technology, you’re setting them up for a big struggle. Can you imagine if the only time that you feel good is when you’re using technology? The only time that you can stop yourself from crying, feeling depressed or anxious is to use it 

At the same time, using technology is making all of these things worse. You get the temporary relief of it, but then you also get compounding long-term issues. As adults, we also have to be mindful of this. I’ve found my awareness growing because I will often self-soothe or however else you want to describe my desire to relax by watching TikTok. Sometimes, I’ll sit there and go, “This is making me feel good. I’m in the habit of it.” I haven’t trained myself to do anything else. I’m used to this, I crave it and I’m going through the motions, but it’s making my life worse, not better. That’s a sign for me to reevaluate this.  

It’s a similar relationship cognitively to receiving a toy as a child to pacify one’s mood, to receive candy or sweets. You’re spot on, Whitney. What this starts to do is neurological. The approval and the validation of being on social media cognitively train us to associate the distraction of online media as we get older and become tweens, teens and twenties. It’s an emotional pacification, no doubt the same way a toy was or candy was. In many ways, if I look back on my childhood, pre-video games, pre-social media, what did my mom do to pacify me? I love my mother, Susan. She was doing her best as all parents do. I do mean that. When I would freak out, it was TV. I’d throw a tantrum and I’d get a new toy or the food that I want.  

What does this mean? In that context particularly, it trains kids to think, “If I go ballistic enough and learn to manipulate and control through chaotic emotions, then I’ll get what I want.” You see a lot of adult behavior where people are not emotionally mature. We see this in many examples of people doing the same childlike behavior because they think it’s going to give them what they want as adults. The other thing too is that the contribution of pacification through material objects continues to reinforce a consumerist mindsetIf I’m anxious, sad, worried and depressed, I need to go buy something and I’ll feel better. That’s what we did as children. We freaked out. We’re having an emotional moment. We didn’t receive the actual support we needed, but we got pacification and comfort in terms of things.  

As adults, whether it’s social media, digital technology, physical commodities, or food that’s not great for us, then there was an association of, “That’ll make me feel better.” It’s also great for businesses because it means you’re going to be a good and obedient consumer, and you’re going to keep buying shit. In the prototypical framework of shopping therapy, we see that being passed around as being a cutesy thing of like, “I need some shopping therapy.” I don’t find it cute. It’s a continued reinforcement of, “I need to go buy things.” It’s retail therapy, “I need to buy something to feel better.” It makes you feel better for ten minutes. You wear a new dress. You got the new shiny car. That stuff doesn’t last.  

It doesn’t get to the heart of why we’re feeling so bad about ourselves. It’s temporary pacification, but it’s great for business and it’s awesome for a toxic capitalist structure. We have to do better as adults when we realize that our mechanisms of comfort and emotional support are tied to digital distraction, extreme consumption of social media, toxic retail, therapeutic habits, and eating unhealthy food to make ourselves feel better. I’ve done all those things. If I felt bad, I go and buy something. If I feel like shit, I eat a whole tub of ice cream. I’ve done this more times than I can count but it’s also realizing at a certain point in your life that it doesn’t work.  

That’s why this hits us so hard and triggers us. It hits close to home because we’ve experienced this too. I don’t need to have children to care about the impacts that this is having on children and parenting. We’ve talked about this in at least a few episodes, how after I watched the documentary, Childhood 2.0, which we explored in another episode. We’ve had a number of amazing parents on the show too. Even though we’re not parents, we bring on people that can give us their perspective and share the struggles. I felt like it was my responsibility to be aware because while I might not be a parent, I am a digital content creator. I’m playing into the system. I can be part of the problem or the solution. If it’s affecting me, I can only imagine how much it’s affecting somebody that’s not fully cognitively developed. The one thing that I found super fascinating at the end of this article is a term called phubbing. Have you heard about this, Jason? 

MGU 224 | Negative Impacts Of Technology

Negative Impacts Of Technology: Technology can interfere with sleep because it causes melatonin and serotonin imbalance.

 

No. What is phubbing?  

It’s something that we’ve all experienced. It is the act of snubbing someone you’re talking with inperson favoring your phone. Quite simply, it stands for phone snubbing. This is fascinating. I pulled up an article on Healthline.com. It talks about how phubbing interrupts your ability to be present and engage with people around you. It has a threat to four fundamental needs, according to a study. The core needs being belongingness, self-esteem, meaningful existence and control. Research shows that people who are phubbed are more likely to reach for their phones and try to engage with their social media network to fill the void that they received or that opened when they were phubbed. This starts a vicious cycle. Most of us with phones or digital devices, if not all of us, have played a role in this and have experienced it. We’ve been on the receiving end and the giving end.  

It reminds me of being in an event when we were doing a lot of in-person events, especially for me. It was my coping mechanism. As somebody that sometimes feels socially awkward, often feel introverted. When I would get to an event, I would use my phone to avoid social interactions or fill the void when I didn’t have anything else to do. That would create a signal to anybody else there. Most of us have been in an experience where we might not be on our phone, but when we see somebody else on their phone, it’s a cue to us, “I forgot I had my phone. I should pick up my phone. This person isn’t talking to me nor giving me attention. Why should I give them attention?” I started being more mindful and conscious of that.  

I don’t know if I mentioned this in the show. I saw one of my friends for the first time in a year. I decided that when I got there, I was going to put my phone on airplane mode and I was going to be present. The result of that was I was so aware of when my friend got on her phone. I can’t tell you how bizarre it was to notice it because she probably didn’t perceive herself as being on her phone that much. It was a ton compared to me. It’s all relative. If I had been on my phone off and on, it might not have seemed that much. It might’ve felt like, “I’ve only been on here a few minutes.” Sometimes, we add up the numbers. This is why it’s important for us to monitor our screen time and use tools. You can track all of this. I use a program called RescueTime on my computer. There’s Screen Time and Freedom on iOS devices. 

They can limit the amount of screen time. They can track it and show you a real look at what you’re doing. When you see these numbers, it’s a wake-up call because these few minutes that feels like no big deal when we’re socializing can be a big deal and harmful. It creates this constant disconnect. This is part of it, Jason. It interrupts the flow. It’s like when you’re in a conversation and somebody looks past you, which has happened a lot at conferences or parties. You’re talking to someone and you notice that they’re not fully paying attention. Their eyes look off and it completely interrupted it. Many of us are guilty of it. If we’re not super mindful, a lot of us will do that.  

The overuse of technology and the internet adversely affects the powers of analysis and critical thinking. Click To Tweet

One of the big themes here is, how are we changing socially? How are our brains changing? How is that impacting our ability to communicate and be social creatures? All of those little things add up. It breaks the present moment, the connection and the ability to show people that we care. Going back to these four fundamental needs. It impacts our sense of belonging. It can impact our self-esteem. It has some correlation with our meaningful existence and control. I haven’t dug deeper into what those last two mean. To summarize with the phubbing, there are three ways that Healthline.com recommends to stop phubbing. One is to make meals a nophone zone which is something I’m working on. Two is to leave your phone behind. Three is to challenge yourself. These seem pretty obvious.  

There are also three ways to help someone else stop phubbing. Number one is to model better behavior, which goes to my point here. It’s you’re giving somebody a cue. If your phone is in your pocket, it’s also a cue. Number two is to call them out. There’s something called the Stop Phubbing campaign that can email a loved one a note about their behavior if a face-to-face conversation is too difficult or uncomfortable. It’s StopPhubbing.com. Number three is to be sympathetic because phubbing isn’t a real addiction. It’s an impulse problem, according to this article. Impulses and learned behaviors take some time to break so be patient and understanding, but be firm too. It links to some habit change books. We’ve talked about some of these books on the show before. Atomic Habits is on there. This is so funny, Jason. I went to StopPhubbing.com. This must be an old article because StopPhubbing.com is now some random site that must’ve bought the domain and it’s got all of these random articles on it. Clearly, the StopPhubbing.com campaign was not that effective. It doesn’t work anymore. Don’t go to that domain.  

I’m laughing for so many reasons. Number one, apparently people were not that passionate about it, but also phubbing to me sounds like a lewd sexual act. Every time you say it, I get this imagery in my head. One thing I’ve always wanted to do and I’ve never done. On this topic of phubbing, based on my reaction, I had no idea what phubbing meant. I don’t remember who proposed this. It was years ago before this terminology existed. Their policy was anytime they would go out to dinner with a group of friends or a lot of people, their suggestion to others was to put the phones in the middle of the table. If you go to a place like one of our most beloved restaurants in LA, Shojin, it’s a vegan sushi and Japanese restaurant, they have little baskets that you put under your chair.  

Whether it’s in the middle of the table or a basket next to the table, the suggestion was if you want to stop phubbing, get everyone to put their phones in the middle of the table or a basket under the table. Before the conclusion of the meal, whoever reaches and grabs their phone first for a non-emergency reason pays for the entire bill. That’s a pretty cool way to get people to stop phubbing. Whatever the next major dinner is and whenever that’s going to happen, I want to do that because my concern for myself and for people I know is that in a post-COVID world, we are going to be so deeply enmeshed in this digital tack even more than we were before.  

My concern is people’s attention spans are going to be even shittier than they were before COVID. I’m not going to be a dick about it, but I want to be more mindful and encourage people to do the same. I’ve wanted to do this for years but I’ve never done it. Whether that’s my birthday dinner, if that’s a thing, whatever the hell the next 10, 12 or 15 of us are getting together, I’m going to say, “It’s my request. Everyone put their phones in a basket in the middle of the table. Whoever grabs it, you’re paying for the whole damn thing. This isn’t a joke. That weird-looking finger from holding your phone too much, I’m going to bend it even more. I want to make sure you have a useless pinky. If you grab the phone and you don’t pay, you’re going to have a useless pinky. I’m getting all mafioso on you now.  

I want to do it because I want to hold myself accountable in a serious way, but I also want to hold people around me accountable because I know how it’s to be on the receiving end of a phub. I can remember a whole litany of times that I’ve done it to other people including you, Whitney. We’d be out of the public event I’d be emotionally uncomfortable. We’d be in mid-conversation and I would check out because there was something deeply uncomfortable at the moment. Why did I do it? Pacification and comfort. The situation with phubbing that I’ve done the most is when I’ve gone to a party or a gathering. I don’t know anyone or maybe I know the host and the host is busy entertaining everyone, I’m the wallflower in the corner who’s like, “I don’t know anyone. I do not feel the courage to go up and make small talk with anybody. What do I do?” I sit in the corner and I look at my phone because I’m uncomfortable and I don’t feel safe.  

MGU 224 | Negative Impacts Of Technology

Negative Impacts Of Technology: Children who overuse technology are more likely to experience mental health issues, including lack of attention, low creativity, delays in language development, delays in the social and emotional development, and addiction to technology.

 

As we go back to the root of this cognitively, I associate safety, comfort and “No one will notice me if I’m the guy in the corner with the phone.” That’s not what we’re about. This Might Get Uncomfortable is more of a tenet or a mantra of how we try and live our lives. As we’re wrapping this one, if I’m at a gathering where I’m nervous and I’m uncomfortable, and I’m like, “I don’t know anyone here,” I’m also going to check myself and be like, “Don’t reach to your phone. Don’t pacify with the phone.” This episode has been tremendously useful for me because I want to be much more mindful and corrective of my action in those situations because it’s too easy to check out.  

That leads me to a few final recommendations from this wonderful website, Mobicip. What they make are parental control software and internet filter. They do some great work. At the end of their article, they have a couple more tips. One is the American Optometric Association recommends taking a twenty-second break after every twenty minutes of screen time to look at something twenty feet away to ease eyestrain. They also recommend media-free times, such as dinner time and media-free zones. You’re also encouraged to practice digital hygiene. This is turning off your computers or your devices at least an hour before you go to bed to allow the brain to shut off. I generally do not do this. I think about it every single night and I resist it because I like the soothing comfort of being on a device before bed. That’s a hard habit for me to break.  

I love this quote. It is from someone named Arthur C. Clarke who said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” It brings us back to the natural thing. As Mobicip says, “It’s up to us to stay on the fantastic side of magic without crossing over to the horror.” Maybe that’s part of the quote. I don’t know. They also weren’t clear about that. Technology is quite magical. It got a lot of benefits, but there’s a fine line between the pros and cons of it. With that said, I would like to give a shout-out to a brand. I’m not sure if you come prepared or have one on your mind, but this is something we are speaking to about habits on the show, which is acknowledging amazing businesses that we support. If you don’t have one, Jason, I have a suggestion that you could bring up. I wanted to bring up a brand that ties into this conversation. They are an alternative to cocktails.  

I’m not opposed to alcohol but some people struggle with it for a physiological reason. They have religious and personal reasons. There are a lot of reasons why people choose or can’t drink. I became passionate in 2021 about alcohol alternatives. I’ve enjoyed trying them. One brand that I love is called NOPE. I love their designs. They also have wonderful flavors like Raspberry Lime Ginger Beer, Rosemary Vanilla LemonadeMango Margarita with Jalapeno, and Strawberry Basil Smash. Even if you’re not trying to replace cocktails, if you like drinks, there’s still a lot of fun. I don’t recall which one I liked the best but the combination that appeals to me the most is the Rosemary Vanilla Lemonade. That’s such a cool combo. Their motto is, “Change the way you chill.  

That’s cool because technology is a coping mechanism and so is alcohol. A lot of us reach for alcoholic drinks without thinking much about it. We’re in the habit of it. They can also have big effects on us physically and mentally, emotionally and socially. One thing I like about alternative cocktails is that socially, sometimes people drink because of peer pressure. They want to feel like they’re fitting in. You can bring a cocktail with you if it’s appropriate. A lot of bars are starting to offer them now. You feel like you’re fitting in. You get to enjoy a drink and be around other people without making it obvious that you’re not drinking. Having something like this at your parties once you start socializing again will give a good conversation point.  

Jason, this could be a tip for you. I know you love alcohol alternatives. You can bring something unique like this with you instead of looking at your phone. You can share a drink with someone or drink. Someone naturally is going to come up and ask you about what you’re drinking. You’ve got a conversation point that doesn’t involve your phone whatsoever. Shoutout to NOPE. Their website is DrinkNope.com. That’s also their social media. Kind and passionate people. Check them out. Jason, do you have a product that you would like to shout out before we wrap? 

Don't reach to your phone. Don’t pacify yourself with it. Click To Tweet

I do have a product and it’s also a preview of a future sponsor of ours. I didn’t intend on shouting them out now but I have been dealing with severe anxiety all day. It’s been acute and particularly awful. It’s been challenging. One of the products that we have been using is this wonderful CBD oil from a brand called Head & Heal. They’re based out of New York. The hemp is grown in New York. They’re a family-run business, fully USDA Organic. We have been privy to a lot of CBD products, terpenes, THC, CBN, and all the fancy derivatives of the hemp and cannabis plant. This one works. There are a lot of hemp and CBD products I’ve tried that I don’t feel anything. The effects are dubious at best. I don’t know if you remember. Years ago, there was a CBD product we took and we were at a trade show. We were like, “Let’s see if it works.” We’re at a public event with tens of thousands of people. 

MGU 224 | Negative Impacts Of Technology

Negative Impacts Of Technology: We have to do better as adults when we realize that our mechanisms of comfort and emotional support are tied to digital distraction, extreme consumption of social media, toxic retail, therapeutic habits, and eating unhealthy food.

 

When it hit, it was like, “This works.” I started using this. I’ve been using it all day. A few drops here and there for my anxiety. It works amazingly well. Head & Heal is going to be a sponsor. Karli is going to come on as a future guest. She’s full of wisdom on the processing, the benefits of the hemp plant, and why her company is so unique. We always make sure and part of our integrity of being the host and founders of Wellevatr and This Might Get Uncomfortable is we don’t like to endorse anything that we don’t use and we haven’t felt the actual palpable effects. I’m stoked about Head & Heal. Kudos to Karli, her family and their team. We can’t wait to have her on and talk more about these products. It’s been a godsend because my anxiety has been through the roof and it’s been a savior for me. Shoutout to Head & Heal. We appreciate you supporting the show. 

With that, dear reader, we conclude another episode of the show. We are on all the social media networks. We’re most active on Instagram and our Facebook group. You can check out also all of the free resources on our website. If you want some PDFs, check out our flagship courses, Wellness Warrior Training and The Consistency Code. Thank you for your support. If you have any suggestions, feedback, requests for future topics, you can always email us directly. It’s [email protected]. Thanks so much. We’ll catch you soon! 

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