Sunday, 11 September 2011

Addiction to technology.

Addiction to Technology
One of the main aims of technical appliances is to make our lives less stressful but in fact they could be raising our stress levels considerably without us even realising.  Due to our increasing dependence on technology in our day to day lives.

Professor Nada Kakabadse who is Director of Research Students and Programmes at Northampton University has conducted a small study with 360 people into addiction to technology.  The study found that 1/3 of those involved in the study were somewhat addicted.  Professor Kakabadse is now conducting a further study into how widespread the addiction is.

The study also found that such an addiction can interfere greatly with ones work life and family life.  “Those who are addicted will get up in the middle of the night and pick up messages on their PDAs two or three times a night You would be surprised how many people had their PDA or Blackberry next to their bed heads” - Professor Kakabadse.

Being obsessed with being up to date with your messages and e-mails can lead to detachment from real communication as the addict becomes from withdrawn from their friends and family.

Of course having your work e-mails sent directly to your phone is a great convenience but it also makes escaping work  all the more difficult.  Unless you have the luxury of having both a non-work related phone and a work related phone.

A study has been conducted on addiction to Blackberry smart phones alone by New Jersey’s Rutgers University School.  The results came up similar to the Professor Nada Kakabadse study finding that those with a Blackberry smart phone’s find it difficult to not check their e-mails every couple of minutes.

Professor Gayle Porter of Rutgers University claims that ‘Employers provide programmes to help workers with chemical or substance addictions. ‘Addiction to technology can be equally damaging to a worker’s mental health”. Professor Kakabadse feels that employers should train employees on safe practice of technological devices to attempt to avoid this.

The advancement of technology over the last decade has made it easier and more convenient to communicate via text and e-mail rather than picking up the phone or going to meet someone face-to-face. 

When technology fails in the work place it can also mean whole days lost as the technology is needed in order for the employees to do their job.  Therefore causing stress and bad morale among employees. 

The loss of important documents due to computer malfunction is also a great cause of stress according to The Kensington Stress and Technology in the Workplace Survey  51% of the 501 adults surveyed said that loosing a document causes “a lot” or “some” stress.

With technology set to continue to advance indefinitely it looks like the problem of technology addiction will also continue to cast a wider net as the number of people dependent on technology increases with new generations.

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