Technology affects your memory, attention and sleep cycles. How can you protect yourself from the negative effects?

Using smartphones, tablets, and computers has become a way of life. You've likely outsourced your memory and processes to Google, GPS, and calendar alerts. This may increase your productivity, but it can be bad news for your mind.

It’s a fact

The phrase ‘Left to your own devices’ has taken on a more literal meaning in the 21st century!

EffectSolution
FOMO (‘fear of missing out’). You stay in, but seeing your mates at a party on social media can make you regret your choice.Go for a walk, play a board game with family, or meet friends in town instead of scouring social media.

A poor night’s sleep. Glowing tablet or mobile screens can trick your body into thinking it's daytime so our internal body clock gets confused.

Take regular breaks from any devices and avoid all screens for at least an hour before bed to allow your mind to unwind so you can sleep soundly.

You remember less. Why bother to learn the capital of Kenya  when you can ask Siri?

Quiz yourself with a friend. See who can remember the most capitals around the world.

Shorter attention spans. You're used to short snippets of information read at speed.Give the screen a break and read a book or a print magazine article instead.
Skewed relationships. Social media gives an edited portrayal of friends' lives which can alter your perceptions of someone.  Meet new people at afterschool clubs and develop offline friendships to get the full picture of someone's life.

Written by Victoria Evans and Jane Bianchi of Teen Health Guide, and edited by Dr William Swallow MBChB, DRCOG, MRCGP

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