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Thursday, December 9, 2021

How Happiness Technology Is Affecting Our Everyday Lives

Our life has been completely changed and surrounded by technological innovations – revolutionizing the way we breathe, live, work or educate ourselves. The most impact has been on our way of communication and technology has changed the way we socialize. The innovation of AI and its evolving way of smartening our lives is something to ponder about because even though it has got some serious benefits, it has got equally serious demerits. There have been web series made on how the changing and evolving nature of AI can turn our worlds into some dystopian consent and yet we do not shy away from diving deep into it. We are living a mental health epidemic with a majority of the population either suffering from chronic depression or constant anxiety attacks.

With that tiny device in our hands, we no longer have to wonder about what is going on around the world because we are updated almost 24×7. We are informed right then and there when something good happens and when something bad happens. This hyper-connectivity with the world is doing more harm than good. We have already established the bad side of social media by now but with each new day, we face we have at least four new apps or websites to socialize and show ourselves or just check others. The constant update of someone’s life or the constant need for someone’s approval is definitely adding to this mental health epidemic that we are going through. We all are in the pursuit of happiness. We are celebrating World Happiness Day on the 20th of March every year since 2012 and it does sound a little weird as to how one decides how the world will be happy on that particular day. Well, a report is published every year to check on the happiness score and the latest report that is the World Happiness Report 2021 shows us a score that is very shocking and surprising. The pandemic and the sudden call for physical distancing have indeed impacted mental health by a noticeable score. How does it matter that we were physically distancing, we all were connected technologically. No?

Digital tools as the Pursuit of Happiness

The digital world is not just limited to social media, there is just so much more to it. There have been several applications that were designed to keep our minds as well as a physical state better than ever before. There are apps to help you listen to motivational podcasts, apps to track your water intake, your heartbeat, your steps, and whatnot, but there are also apps to help you meditate and practice a mindful way of living. These apps help us escape our thoughts at times and breathe and relax. Calm, Headspace, Gaia are some of the apps that help you meditate and lock out your thoughts. Or at least attempts to.

There are also apps that block out other apps. Like Off-time, these apps will take a few inputs from you like what is the duration of the day that you need to be the most focused on and what are the apps that are stopping you from doing so. After they have got the required information they will block out the apps and help you focus at work or study.

We at times are so occupied with what is happening and how to deal with the day as it goes that we often forget to be thankful and grateful to the day as it is. There are apps to help you be grateful as well. Happier is one such app that encourages its members/users to share some pleasant moments of the day and be grateful about it. This is practiced on a daily basis so as to be grateful for something each day.

Digital Detoxing, is it Necessary? 

Technology can be used as a constructive or destructive weapon, it depends on the one using it how they would like to use it. There are increasing cases of cyberbullying, internet threats, violation of data privacy, and whatnot. The world is scary out there and a digital detox now and then has helped people a lot as told by some case studies. But is this really possible? We are living in an age where we need our phone to find our watch, our phone to order our food, our phone to keep an eye on the house in our absence, our phone to go from one place to another by booking a cab, our phone to make payments and the list goes on. Is it really that easy to suddenly call it an ‘unplugged’ month or week?

To answer the question, yes digital detoxing is necessary but the bigger question that arises is if it is really possible. It is if we decide to just hop on a van and go for a nomadic life. But I bet we will still need our phones. 

Technology has got immense potential to create a better tomorrow or simply call for destruction. It also has got immense potential to make us happy or take away our happiness. Here are a few ways to stay connected to the digital world yet not be ruled by it:

  • Using technology intentionally: Make sure you use the technology and not get used by it. It is a tool and let it be your tool. I am sure we will not be making our life all out of the vacuum cleaner or the air filter.
  • Clock out: Leave our workplace and pause on the things that is work-related as soon as you step out. There is just no need to be carrying your workload to your home space and if you do then either you are not doing justice with the work hours or you are definitely not doing justice with your personal hours. 
  • Guard your self-time: Use the apps to help boost your positive side but do not depend on them.
  • The social digital world is not what you see: Always remember that the world you see on your social media is the part that they want you to see, it is far from reality. 

Once you come to terms with these facts. You should not be bothered by the existence of the hyperactive technologically social world around you. There is much more to life than what you see at that little device.

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Josie Patra
Josie Patra is a veteran writer with 21 years of experience. She comes with multiple degrees in literature, computer applications, multimedia design, and management. She delves into a plethora of niches and offers expert guidance on finances, stock market, budgeting, marketing strategies, and such other domains. Josie has also authored books on management, productivity, and digital marketing strategies.

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