Technology

Excessive screen time leading to low-level anxiety is a thing which we all need to worry

Screens and screens all over the room

Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, smart TVs and what not; on which of those devices are you reading this right now? When was the last time you looked away from a screen? It is really necessary for us to answer these questions as we move from one screen to another, seamlessly and without even noticing. The other thing we don’t notice is the effect it has on us mentally and also physically to some extent. It is one of those things which only comes to our notice when it reaches a peak and starts causing anxiety.

The Mobile World Congress, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tech enthusiasts each year, had a panel discussion on one such thing. No matter how much we ignore the fact but the world is moving towards screen and loneliness. People are looking at this beautiful world through a screen and that is the saddest part of all. It is very hard to comprehend that screens are what we look at and isolate ourselves from people around us.

This is the time we should ask ourselves that is bringing out an arsenal of smartphones with such power and specs is the right thing to do? There is something going wrong as there were people at MWC who were reporting low-level anxiety. It might be a low level but it is happening. There are people are who are really suffering from mobile addiction. There are rehabilitation centers in India that have started a special facility for people suffering from mobile addiction. This is legit.

There are phones now that are flexible, they change shapes and become a tablet. A phone with smaller screens changing shapes or folds out to become a tablet with larger screens. There were debates over excessive screen time while opinions differed. There were solutions like the use of voice assistant or people saying that one should know when and when not to use a phone. There were solutions but none of them talked about really addressing the problem.

Just as the smartphones and tablets were accused there was a whole new technology which presented Augmented Reality. Another tech or a pair of glasses showcased Mixed Reality. This is taking everything on a whole new level. This like watching a whole world through a screen and this is going to happen as people are going to use this tech on a regular basis. Then it won’t be about how much screen time we are getting but about how much off-screen time we are getting.

It is really a problem to address but the world is moving at such a fast pace that it is hard for us to understand the problems which are also increasing at a similar pace. That said, there is some addressing needed and it should be sooner rather than later.

-Unmesh Phule

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