Tag Archives: body dysmorphia

Death by Device?

Since the start of the millennium, technology has progressed into an unstoppable cycle of releases and re-releases. Growing up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I was able to experience the rebirth of modern day tech and its negative effects on society. Although video game consoles were popular in the 90’s, they still haven’t measured up to the physical and mental health effects of current day mobile tech. Mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, and handheld gaming devices are a threat to our society.

According to Lindsey Beavers article published by The Washington Post, tech neck is “a risk for some 58 percent of American adults who own smartphones.” The article , ‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine, dives into the physical damage these devices are doing to our bodies. More and more people are suffering from physical ailments that stem from tech related practices. In the article, Beavers spoke with Dr.Michelle Collie, a head performance physical therapy specialist, who “started seeing patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain some six or seven years ago.”

“Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research.”
-Lindsey Beaver, The Washington Post

These physical ailments aren’t the only harms technology is causing, they’re also effecting our mental health. More and more social media apps are creating filters that change your face into looking smaller, thinner, and lighter. These filters are creating unrealistic beauty standards that are creating users to experience body dysmorphia, reducing their self-esteem, confidence, and in some cases, they’re seeking plastic surgery. It has gotten to be so bad that Instagram recently banned all filters that resembled extreme plastic surgery from their platform. Recently, BBC spoke with the apps spokesperson and covered Instagrams decision drop the filters; the company, owned by FACEBOOK, states “We’re re-evaluating our policies – we want our filters to be a positive experience for people,” and that they are stopping “further approval of new effects like this and remove current effects if they’re reported to us.”

Technology is harming our society bit by bit; we used to have fear about sitting too close to the TV and loosing our eyesight, now it’s the threat of spine stress and life-long body image issues. The number of people suffering and falling victim to these mobile technology devices is growing rapidly daily.

These devices are threatening our society and need to be dealt with. The longer we wait, the worse it’ll be for our recovery and chances of damage reversal. This threat needs to be dealt with before more symptoms and permanent health related issues arise in our society.