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Three ways good tech goes bad

By George Kiongo | Published Wed, February 14th 2018 at 10:50, Updated February 14th 2018 at 10:54 GMT +3


Mobile devices and apps can have negative effects.

I think we can all agree that technology is great. That revolutionary piece of hardware in your pocket that helps you stay connected to your family, friends and foes, increases your productivity by giving you the option of working on the go, helps you answer almost any question in the world and even directs to your destination of choice in seconds, is quite something.

From calendar apps to games, from social media to banking and payment apps, there seems to be no end to what this tech offers. It’s why losing a phone can be such a destabilising event – our lives depend on these devices. Unfortunately, as with everything, too much of a good thing can be harmful. These mobile devices and apps can have negative effects, which is why you should moderate your use of this marvellous tech to stay off the point of diminishing returns.

1. The time wasters

The first set of apps we’ll look at are those that nibble away at your time, making your day an unproductive mess. Here, I’m talking about the Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Score Hero and Subway Surfers of this world. Much as these games help you while away time as you wait for service, say at the doctor’s office or at the bank, the same effect moved to your workplace can be a disaster. You can use an app like Checky to stay aware of how much time you spend on your phone, and limit it to specific hours.

2. The depressors

I might get burned at the stake for this one; however, believing in the adage that states that fortune favours the brave, I will continue. The social media apps we’re all familiar with are great at helping us keep up with the Musyokas and Otienos and showing how great God has been in our lives (read, passive-aggressive gloating of how well your life seems to be going).

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However, the temporary high that keeps us going back to check on the like counter after a post also has the effect of actually sending us into depression.

Whenever you get likes on your posts, your brain gets a shot of that feel-good hormone dopamine, which essentially gives you an actual but temporary high. This is what keeps us going back. Unfortunately, as this is happening, your brain is getting rewired and is getting used to this temporary high as the norm. This has the effect of making our normal lives – which can’t provide a constant stream of this dopamine shot – boring. Here’s one way to help yourself: kill app notifications.

3. The work drug

Apps that tend to make you work all the time hurt your work-life balance. Having that always-urgent work email to send while you’re at home enjoying dinner with your family, or having an active work WhatsApp group constantly calling for your attention can have a devastating effect on your social life. Much as society celebrates the hardworker who ‘goes the extra mile’, do you want this to come at the cost of your not having friends and family to enjoy the trappings of your corporate gains with?

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