Okay people…let’s do the math. That means on average, Americans are dedicating more than 49 days out of the 365 days in a year to technology answering e-mails, surfing the web, and texting on phones. Out of that time they spend more than 21 days per year sitting in a chair attending online meetings and almost 38 days annually (MORE THAN A MONTH) glued to a screen on social media!
Oh wait! I’m not even close to done here! Here are few more fun facts I dug up that you can add to your belt of knowledge:
There is 1 divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces a year (What are the statistics on divorce in the United States? | Hampton Roads Legal Services).
Major depression disorder affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7%of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year (Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA).
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year (how many people are diagnosed with anxiety today — Google Search).
About 6.1 million children in the United States (9.4 percent) between ages 2 to 17 are estimated to have ever been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD), according to a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ADHD Statistics: Numbers, Facts, and Information About ADD (additudemag.com)).
Almost 21 million Americans have at least 1 addiction, yet only 10% of them receive treatment. Drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1990. Alcohol and drug addiction cost the US economy over $600 billion every year (Addiction Statistics — Facts On Drug And Alcohol Use — Addiction Center).
More than 700 000 people die due to suicide every year. For every suicide there are many more people who attempt suicide. A prior suicide attempt is the single most important risk factor for suicide in the general population. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among 15–19 year-olds (Suicide (who.int)).
Holy crap and crap! Please tell me your jaw is sore as mine is from hitting the floor and that I’m not alone here! I mean, come on! These are some alarming statistics! What I find even more disturbing is how many people are shocked at the state of things and can’t seem to understand, “What’s happening with the world these days?”
Man holding microphone
There have been numerous studies that have proven that technology plays a significant role in the development of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD along with many other physical, mental and emotional effects including insomnia, ocular issues, muscular-skeletal issues, obesity, and more. (I could go on forever but for the sake of this article I’ll keep the list short.) From the increased stimulation to our brains, the chemical responses our bodies have to electronic impulses, our emotional responses to cyber-bullying and body shaming, panic responses to apocalyptic news articles and insecurities as a result of comparing ourselves to others, is it any wonder mental illnesses and addictions are on the rise? Not to mention that excessive use of technology itself is an addiction and often stems from and/or leads to other addictive habits and behaviors.
Hmmm….so what does any of this have to do with the number of suicides per year? Let’s have a moment to ponder that little nugget of perplexity, shall we? Despite these well-known and documented facts, we live in a society that feels it’s more humane and effective (and let’s not forget profitable) to camouflage the symptoms of these conditions with pharmaceutical cocktails rather than consider and address the root causes to prevent the issues (which is a WHOLE other ball of wax in itself that I will save for another time).
Now don’t get me wrong here. I am not in any way saying that mental illnesses are not very real and very serious, and in NO WAY am I anti-medication. However, I do believe that as a society we are over medicated, under motivated and overall, highly disconnected from our true nature and spirits. So many people turn to the screens to “get away, unwind, destress, etc.” The fact is technology has become just another drug and another way to escape and numb ourselves from experiencing and feeling the realities of life and those things which we are meant to face head-on and to heal for the greater good of the collective.
I haven’t even begun to look up the statistics and evidence that proves that technology has a direct impact on marriages and leads to an increase in divorces among married couples, but I mean… REALLY! Do I even have to? Dating apps, sexting, local hook-up sites galore available right at your fingertips. Aside from the convenience technology provides making infidelity even more likely than ever to occur in a marriage, there’s the obvious disengagement and disconnection between couples who spend more time communicating and finding stimulation from their phones and computers than with each other.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” -Albert Einstein
Oh Albie Albie…you have no idea how right you were back in 1946. If you were only here today. What would you think of us now? I’m willing to bet you’d have a thing or two to say.
Are there advantages to technology? YES! Is technology all bad and pure concentrated evil? OF COURSE NOT! But like anything else, moderation is the key. Too much of anything can hurt you (even drinking too much water can make you sick), and I think it’s safe to say that technology is dangerously tipping the scales WAAAAYYYY over to the unhealthy side.
If you took a flower and planted it in a bed of cement, would you be shocked when it didn’t grow and its petals started to wither and fall? If you put a polar bear in the jungle or an elephant in the arctic, would you be surprised at the fact that they couldn’t adapt to the drastic climate changes and died? Human beings are NO DIFFERENT. We are not robots and are not equipped to thrive in an excessively electric environment. Yet we continue to ignore the obvious signs our bodies and emotions provide signaling us for a more nurturing and less strenuous environment and plunge ourselves deeper into the toxic sea of technology which drains and depletes us of our very essence.
If we have any hope of surviving and thriving in this world, we must consider the impact our choices and our environment are playing in our lives. The fact of the matter is that if we want to change the climate of the world we’re living in we have to be willing to take responsibility for our own choices, habits and behaviors. We must be willing to recognize when we’re doing something that isn’t good for ourselves and/or others and commit to doing something to change it. We cannot and will not break away from these cycles if continue on this path. We need to turn the screens off and turn our hearts and minds on! It’s time for us to unplug from the devices and reconnect with ourselves so that we can return to a world of human BE-ings and break away from a world of human DO-ings!
Other Sources used for this article:
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