Technology Can Be Helpful, Too

By: Jenna Savage

We recently reported on a CBS News article that addressed how people – especially students – are a little too hooked on technology. Included in this article was a reference to a study where 70% of students could not handle being disconnected from their phones for a 24-hour period. Studies like that give the impression that technology has become an unhealthy addiction. And for some, that may not be far from the truth. However, technology is not necessarily all bad. In fact, a CNN Health article suggests that it has the potential to be the opposite. It presents the idea that technology can be used as the solution to stress, instead of always being hailed as the problem.

In the CNN Health article, Amanda Enayati describes her experience with brain mapping. After being hooked up to a cap, quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) presented her brain activity in the form of graphs and charts. From the information derived from the experience, she was able to learn that her brain has difficulty resting. This technology is often used with athletes, who must learn how to optimize their performance when in situations of high stress. Using the information provided by the qEEG, doctors can tailor training exercises to improve functioning under pressure

And that’s not the only way that technology can help promote wellness, rather than stress. There are many apps and devices that are used to help people become healthier. Some encourage relaxation, while others are used to hone the mind. There are even devices out there like Zeo, which provides biofeedback on a person’s sleep cycle and uses that to promote optimal sleeping habits.

Technology, therefore, may actually be the key toward promoting a healthier society. The catch, however, as Enayati points out, is that people actually need to use the technology that is available to them. Buying a fancy device or downloading a cool app but neglecting to use it can actually cause stress, if you’re constantly reminded that you procrastinating the use of such technology.

There is a lot of promise in the up-and-coming technology that is out there. For instance, the CNN Health article describes the development of a calming e-mail reader that is meant to present email messages in a more soothing, less jumbled way. And that’s not the only kind of technology being developed with the goal of well-being in mind. Many products, appliances, and websites are being developed and restructured in ways to decrease stress and calm over-active minds.

Of course, too much technology can still be a bad thing, but it’s not a bad idea to start focusing on the ways technology can help, rather than harm, our health.