Technologies are killing us slowly. Unless we learn how to cope with their negative impact, they will shorten the lifespan and will impair its quality.
“Technostress” is not the radiation from cell phone towers or damage caused by microwave ovens that “change the atomic composition of water”, but the real threat. From year to year the number of people suffering from technostress is going up.
Lots of people feel the adverse impacts of digital technologies for a long time.
- As of today, 9 out of 10 people suffer from phantom pocket vibration syndrome – when it seems that your smartphone is ringing or vibrating, though it is not. We are always on high alert – we expect that someone will contact us and we will have to do something urgently.
- There is “manager syndrome” as well – this is the fear of not being in time to make something, to forget something, not to finish the project in due time, to miss important call, email or another text message, which turns him to obsessed, makes him check his smartphone or dayplanner every single minute, having lost control and gone deeper into the constant stress. This syndrome has existed long before the smartphones, but now, when any person is kept in constant contact, this syndrome is morphed into a global phenomenon that has an impact on considerable proportion of office employees. You all probably know from your own experience or from the experience of your relatives what these impacts are.
Anyway, now we have common name “technostress” that combines all the problems of this kind caused by the need to be always in touch, to always use digital communication tools, keep up with ever-increasing rate of lifestyle and workstyle. As a matter of fact, technostress is the problem of human adaptation to technical innovations and advanced information technologies. Technostress phenomenon is rather widespread and all users of modern gadgets (computers and smartphones for instance) are subjected to the consequences to some extent.
Some reasons of technostress are as follows:
- Lack of regulatory arrangements for the work with advanced technologies: in sober fact, a person with smartphone is in touch 24 hours a day
- Heavy workload – technologies that help us to do our work, give the impression that a person may do more than he actually can
- Insufficient preparation for the work with innovative technologies – not only practical one, but psychological as well
- Constant changes in technologies that shall constantly be implemented, learnt and kept pace with
- possibility of being out of work due to lack of knowledge of advanced technologies.
Comprehensive set of measures attempting to regulate the use of technology while working, minimization (rejection) from the workload outside of working hours, interruption in the use of information technologies, lifelong learning of technologies that are used for working purposes, and much more. But still the problem is that modern human is getting tired when working at computer or smartphone, and then tries to relax doing the same sort of things as a leisure: going deeper in social networks, for instance, which does not help us to distract, since the same stressors predominate here.
The amount of information obtained and processed by a person per unit of time is only going up, the time of communication with technical equipment is increasing from year to year, which results in psychological overload that leads to a number of symptoms, including of somatic origin. Technostress is transformed into a real problem when one or several of its manifestations become chronic.
Thus, the constant anxiety and tensions of modern human are caused by the need to be always in touch, respond to incoming tasks, make quick decisions, take certain steps, and immediately switch to the next task.
“This ‘always on’ culture of emails is killing people,” – said Professor Sir Cary Cooper. Believe it or not, but employees that have habit of checking work emails off the clock, work unproductive if compared with those, who work during business hours only. It shall be noted that such “always on” people feel the reduced quality of life, suffer from fatigue just thinking about work-related emails.
There may be only one conclusion here: even if external environment makes you increase the pace of work but you feel the signs of technostress, you shall find a way, offered by researchers, to reduce it. Nothing is more important than your health!