As We Cure Old Diseases, Technology Brings Up New Ones
This is written a relatively short time after an inquest into the death of a 15-year old London girl who invented a fantasy cocaine-taking alter ego and became, in her mother’s words, ‘addicted to the internet’ saying that 18,000 people ‘loved her online.’
As we cry at that we can rejoice that it’s been three years since India reported a new case of polio. The nation is now regarded as polio free. Brilliant. An example of how concerted global effort, money and determination can wipe out, virtually wipe out or contain unpleasant diseases like diphtheria, measles and smallpox.
The fact is, however, that we humans are part of the process of creating and spreading new diseases.
Technology Is Both Good and Bad
Technology has brought untold benefits to our health and general well-being. However, there has been a downside in that many machines and devices lead to illnesses that did not exist before this era.
We hear a lot about self harming and cyber-bullying, particularly among young people. These are either newish diseases or variations on ones that have been around for years.
That includes stalking and trolling too: A New Evil from Sick People Stalks the Net, 11 June 2012
We understand that resistance to antibiotics is a serious life-changing scenario for mankind.
We have to live with addictive devices: Compulsive, Addictive Behaviour Is the Price of the Device, 23 April 2013 and Digital Addictions Hook More People, 16 February 2012.
We know all about ME, repetitive strain injuries, back problems from sitting at screens, eye strains and obesity…. but did you know there is a whole medical book’s worth of other contemporary ailments?
Compulsive Internet Use Outside the Workplace
Various studies over the past two years (Henley School of Business, Northampton Business School) have suggested that some of the highest flying staff in Britain are at risk of depression and anxiety while displaying signs of increasing, addictive use of the web outside their offices.
Many staff log on at home after work, afraid not to keep working or because they are addicted to it. Reports suggested companies frequently overlook dangers to the well-being of such staff who cross the boundary into compulsive, unhealthy internet use.
Of course, many workers manage to use the net at work for their personal uses, so it is perhaps not the same for everybody. But the fact remains that such addicts are at risk isolation and depression which is not good for anybody.
Game Transfer Phenomena (GTP)
This is a condition where the visual perception of a gamer can be altered through playing video games. They can also find sleep patterns interrupted and get sudden gameplay flashbacks.
Some victims reported to researches at Nottingham Trent University distorted versions of their real world surroundings. Others see video game menus before their eyes when talking to people and focussed on something else. Even more reported while driving the seeing of coloured images and head-up displays (HUDs).
We last looked at this in March 2013 Not Picking Up the Warnings on Phone Use Can Prove Costly, 11 March 2013, since when the situation appears to have worsened.
Email Hoarding Is New Psychological Condition, 17 April 2012
Still feeling well? Try these:
You Have Just Two Years Left to Live, According to Your Death Test! 9 September 2013
The Cult of the Smartphone Finally Replaces Common Sense, 13 February 2013
Life-Logging Is Not the Harmless Fun It’s Portrayed to Be, 6 February 2013
Facebook Is Bad for Your Health, But Good For Your Self-Esteem, 29 January 2013
A Good Nights’ Sleep Is Not Helped by Duvet Working, 28 January 2013
Holiday Self-Analysis Is Good for Business, Relaxing for You, 13 August 2012
The NHS and New Technology, 25 January 2012
Image: Adam Green
Many modern diseases are being brought to us through technology