Digital overstimulation is an uprising dilemma. We live in a digital world at present with our lives stuffed with digital products and we cannot help but use them. From waking up in the morning to making food, earning money, and accessing entertainment, our first touch is digital. Digital overstimulation is harmful to our well-being and very real, indeed. And that is why an understanding of how to deal with it is necessary. Do not let your digital life lead to addiction!
Electronic screens tend to overstimulate the human brain which results in dysregulation and disorganization of different biological symptoms.
What is Digital Overstimulation?
You might have experienced, at times, an overwhelming feeling where you become extremely irritable in certain situations; either it is a loud noise, bright light, or a crowd of people.
But why does that happen? It is because of a phenomenon called sensory overload. Sensory overload is when your mind receives more information than it can handle. The amount of stimulus from your environment overloads your capability to function correctly, the name suggests, ‘overload.’ And when this sensory overload happens due to excessive use of screens or digital products, it is termed digital overstimulation.
Are Humans And The Digital World Compatible?
If living in a digital world poses harm to human health, why has it been developed in the first place? It is no doubt that technology has made our lives easier and saved us a lot of time. Our lives have become fast, and convenient. Moreover, we get access to the whole world sitting from the comfort of our homes. The digital world has made humans successful. Technology is not the enemy of humans if one uses it responsibly.
Access to information increases human knowledge, something that’s very innate to us. We get knowledge, we share it, and globalization happens. Out of curiosity, we begin to explore, and what better than a screen with everything just a click away? Technology is like an extension of the human brain, an extra box to store information.
So it will be wrong to say that humans and technology are not compatible. However, excess immersion in anything is harmful. When the line of balance is crossed, our biggest friend becomes our enemy.
Digital Addiction Is Turning Humans Into Robots
I said that because it is true. We are forgetting our true selves or the world. Humans are lacking emotions or emotional intelligence. Nothing matters to them except all the unnecessary information they are consuming.
Though addiction is harmful yet it is a very common issue, especially among children and millennials. Too much reliance on technology can lead to addiction and a lack of productivity, creativity, and even our grasping power. Digital overstimulation is a reality similar to that.
Over-dependency on technology has led to disconnection from the real world. We try to stay inwards more than connecting with the outer world or nature or making meaningful connections. Humans are trying to work out indoors and even bring work home. They don’t want to step out and breathe in that fresh air and some give an excuse for visualization to avoid traveling.
In fact, many have stopped journaling or meeting friends, hence the Note app knows us better than any pages or people. The addiction has only become strong as the moment we hear that notification sound, our mind remains constantly distracted until we take that slip to check the notification. Social media platforms have content flowing in consistently. But due to digital addiction, we can’t help but scroll and scroll all day long. And why wouldn’t digital creators love that? Money flows in like water for them.
Signs Of A Digitally Overstimulated Brain
There is little to no awareness about digital overstimulation yet it is what most people are affected with nowadays. As far as sensory overload is concerned, sensitive people are more prone to it.
The signs are similar to other conditions, so the recognition may not be clear. Hence, it is advisable to seek professional advice to confirm it.
- Discomfort is a vague sign but is commonly used to describe the feeling. You should pay attention to the discomfort of the emotional and physical kind.
- You seem agitated and irritated all the time. Even the conditions that don’t bother you otherwise make you uncomfortable. Aggression and yelling are quite common too. Continuous exposure to the causes of digital overstimulation affects severely in the form of burnout.
- Excessive sensory stimuli such as bright light, harsh shrill sounds, and some textures are difficult to handle. In the case of shrill sounds, an affected person tends to cover the ears. In the instance of uncomfortable textures, a person yells to make it stop. Bright light is avoided by covering the eyes or leaving that place.
- Anxiety is often reported by digitally overstimulated individuals.
- Sleep deprivation due to the hyperactive brain is common as the brain does not get to relax. Thoughts are stuck and the mind struggles to decide what to process and what not to focus on.
- One can experience confusion, brain fog, lethargy, lack of motivation, and poor memory.
How To Overcome Digital Overstimulation?
Social media apps, digital games, and even excessive work on laptops/computers are responsible for digital overstimulation. And we also understand that addiction is not easy to cure. However, nothing is impossible. Hence, we have found a few solutions that could help you fight digital overstimulation.
Since almost all of us are trapped in the virtual web and it’s so hard to stay away from digital gadgets in this time and age, we need a midway solution. That way we can still continue to make our lives easier yet less dependable on technology.
Let’s practice together an exercise that could help reduce your addiction to screen time.
- Limit your screen time by putting your phone on DND mode or airplane mode
- Put your phone on a table away from your bed so that you do not use it first thing in the morning. Get yourself an alarm if you have an excuse of setting it on your phone.
- Don’t leave those books dusted! Do plenty of reading before bed and say no to scrolling.
- Spend time in nature. Nature deprivation affects negatively your mental health in many ways.
- Meditation is a powerful tool to beat addiction. Exercising will have similar positive effects.
- Remember, when you use too much screen, your skin becomes unhealthy and ages faster due to the rays. Moreover, the skin healing ability reduces. Your skin knows when you stay awake after midnight so don’t try to fool it with expensive creams and treatments.
- Eat healthily, it has positive effects on your mental and physical health.
- Seek professional help personally (not online) if the situation is bad.
Technology Could Worsen The Situation
Indeed, technology is not going to stand here. We are in 2022 and soon our lives could become more and more machine inclusive. How are we going to deal with that? The perfect answer to that is still under consideration but a vague solution could be to never cross healthy limits. Self-control is the answer to a healthy lifestyle and mindset.
Whenever you feel burned out, return to a primitive lifestyle for some time. Interestingly, that lifestyle has healing power though the results may not be instant.
Is Technology Responsible For Digital Overstimulation?
We know businessmen are playing in millions and billions. Their aim is to use us as their experimental rat in the lab. However, we can’t blame the companies. Whatever their aim, it has pros and cons both. And it is the positive outcomes the companies focus on to make our lives easier. Technology companies may have an overflowing bank balance, but we have overflowing solutions to many problems.
They have become millionaires by applying psychological techniques to keep us stuck to the screens. Such clever tactics have made digital overstimulation a problem that did not exist before. However, we can’t blame the wolf for planting a trap, can we? Thus, again I would like to highlight that it starts with us, addiction or self-control, it is your personal choice.
Even I was a victim of digital overstimulation due to unhealthy habits. So, I can relate to the pain you are going through. But you are not alone in this. Let’s decide today to practice a healthier way of life together and not let any addiction take over our bright minds!