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Why Technostress Is Harmful to Psychological Well-Being and Ways to Reduce It

Constant access to the Internet and the need to always be connected create optimum conditions for technostress. People, on the one hand, get tired of continuous messages, e-mails, and notifications monitoring. On the other hand, they are afraid to lose sight of something interesting or important, which is called the FOMO effect (Hampton et al., 2016). Technostress impacts mental health negatively, as it causes anxiety and a lack of self-esteem, provokes depression, and can even cause physiological symptoms like insomnia and irritability (Reinecke et al., 2017). Almost everyone today has a smartphone and is engaged in social networks – these are the main technostress factors.

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How to reduce digital stress

Fighting technostress implies reducing the stressors’ effect on the human body and mind and dealing with adverse outcomes. Therefore, the minimalistic approach to digital use is the first means of controlling stress. Information overload is proved to increase stress hormone production (Reinecke et al., 2017). Moreover, digital information consumption is inevitably connected with multitasking, which overstimulates the brain, and, along with an increasing number of information processed by the brain, contributes to experiencing mental fog. Thus, minimizing negative news will be of great help. It is also helpful to filter content one wants to see in the feed. People could ask themselves how this or that app usage or following a specific account makes them feel. Only things that evoke the feeling of comfort and joy are allowed to be present in the feed. Thus, more positive content and interactions can reduce the liability to depression.

One more way is to decrease the amount of information a person gets daily by reducing screen time or even organizing days or hours of detox. Besides, less time spent scrolling the device may help to ease the eye strain. This way, unproductive social media use and wasting time scrolling the endless feed will not cause frustration.

Smartphone notifications are rather annoying in situation that needs concentration. Additionally, obsession over new messages encourages constantly checking push notifications. Researchers nowadays discuss the phenomenon of phantom vibrations. Phantom vibration syndrome is an anxiety-related condition in which a person thinks that their cell phone is ringing or vibrating when it is not. Its dangerous effect is not proved, but the facts exist, showing that the syndrome is closely connected to the state of depression (Frissen, 2020).

To avoid stress caused by addictive message checking, one can filter notifications leaving only urgent and useful ones.

Finally, digital stress can be reduced by engaging in real-life activities. Practicing hobbies as physical exercises, yoga, art, and music help to reduce levels of stress. According to Jam (2019), any action, which is enjoyable and meaningful for a specific person, increases the level of endorphins, and calm down the mind. Moreover, enjoyable activities are the reason for increased self-confidence: people who have hobbies are 43% more confident in making decisions in everyday life than those who are not interested in anything (Freire & Teixeira, 2018). Besides, hobbies give a sense of meaningful fulfillment in life. 91% agree that having a hobby brings them the satisfaction of achievement (Freire & Teixeira, 2018). Thus, hobbies can make us happier and healthy, for a person gets a lot of positive emotions from doing what he loves, which prolong youth, improve health and mood. To conclude, technology by itself does not mean stress, but people decide to control their digital practices and improve their well-being.

References

Freire, T., & Teixeira, A. (2018). The Influence of leisure attitudes and leisure satisfaction on adolescents’ positive functioning: the role of emotion regulation. Frontiers in Psychology. Web.

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Frissen, T. (2020). Phantom cell phone signals/ringxiety. The International Encyclopedia of Media Psychology. Wiley Online Library, p. 1-8. Web.

Hampton, K. N., Lu, W., & Shin, I. (2016). Digital media and stress: The cost of caring 2.0. Information, Communication & Society, 19(9), 1267-1286. Web.

Jam, B. (2019). The best opioids don’t come in a bottle but are found in small enjoyable activities. APTEI. Web.

Reinecke, L., Aufenanger, S., Beutel, M. E., Dreier, M., Quiring, O., Stark, B. & Müller, K. W. (2017). Digital stress over the life span: The effects of communication load and internet multitasking on perceived stress and psychological health impairments in a German probability sample. Media Psychology, 20(1), 90-115. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Why Technostress Is Harmful to Psychological Well-Being and Ways to Reduce It." February 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/why-technostress-is-harmful-to-psychological-well-being-and-ways-to-reduce-it/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Why Technostress Is Harmful to Psychological Well-Being and Ways to Reduce It." February 2, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/why-technostress-is-harmful-to-psychological-well-being-and-ways-to-reduce-it/.

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