Technology Flu

By | 01:29 5 comments

I came across this title in a magazine called ‘Dignity’ whilst undergoing a funky electro-shock treatment at the physiotherapist this morning.  Don’t worry it’s not as painful as it sounds.

It got me thinking and I made a quick note on my phone on the main topics the article highlighted.

So what is Technology Flu ?  Basically, it can be described as ailments that can afflict mankind due to changing lifestyle, computerization, and hi-tech living.


Computer Syndrome

In today’s day and age, computers are almost indispensible in most office environments.  According to Wendy Strousse Watt (O.D), people who spend more than two hours on a computer each day will experience symptoms of CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome.

The most common symptoms include headaches, focusing difficulties, burning eyes, tired eyes, general eyestrain, aching eyes, dry eyes, double vision, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and neck and shoulder pain.

The best ways to avoid this is to remember the 3 R’s : Refocus; Readjust; and Remove !

Refocus - give your eyes a break from the computer screen whenever possible using the 20-20-20 rule, meaning that roughly every twenty minutes you should pick a point about twenty feet away and focus on it for twenty seconds.

Readjust your sitting position so as to avoid strain on the back, hip and hands.

Remove yourself from your desk every few hours – go for a walk; take a coffee break – go wash your face – but don’t sit in front of the screen for hours on end.

Use eye drops to reduce irritation and dry eyes.  If you wear glasses – there are special computer glasses that you can ask your optician about. 

work-stationCVS can affect people of all ages but it is of growing concern in children as their eyes are not developed as yet.  Ensure that children have good lighting where the computer is; the work station is properly arranged; the screen should be an arms’ length away or 30 inches away from your face and lower than eye level.

Music Blues

How many of you have an ipod or mp3 player ? Do you use headphones or headsets when using your mobile phone ?  Nowadays, even young kids are using headphones !

earphonesEarphones are generally placed directly outside of the ear canal however they are not capable of delivering the same dynamic range that a full-sized headphone can offer for a given level of volume.

The result of this, is that we often use headphones at higher volumes to drown out noise – which in turn increases the risk of hearing-loss.

To avoid such damage, it’s better to use the full size head sets and to keep the volume at a reduced level.  If you like listening to loud music, then you should invest in noise cancelling head phones.

Electro Pollution

I read this term for the first time today and it’s scary !

Do you listen to the radio, watch TV, use your mobile phone  or use a microwave oven? All these devices make use of electromagnetic waves and in turn give off electro pollution and electromagnetic radiation (EMR).cellphoneradiation

Radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and x rays are all examples of electromagnetic waves that differ from each other in wavelength. defines electro pollution as

“nonionizing electromagnetic radiation propagated through the atmosphere by broadcast towers, radar installations, and microwave appliances, and the magnetic fields surrounding electrical appliances and power lines, which is believed to have polluting effects on people and the environment; also called electromagnetic smog

So what can we do about it ?  Prudent Avoidance according to the Feng Shui Network.  In essence, wherever possible, we must try to reduce the use of electrical equipment; more-so in our bedrooms as our immune systems are more vulnerable whilst we sleep.

Gadget Disposal

With the advent of technology and society wanting to keep up-to-date with the latest gadgets, we are constantly 'disposing’ our old computers, mobile phones, TV sets, refrigerators etc.

ewaste2So where does this waste go ? It ends up creating mountains of electronic waste or e-waste which includes electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or  disposal.

According to Wikipedia, the processing of electronic waste in developing countries causes serious health and pollution problems.  E-waste contains both valuable materials (such as lead, copper & gold which is suitable for reclamation) as well as hazardous materials which require special handling and recycling methods. 

We can help reducing e-waste by donating our old gadgets & equipment directly to organizations in need; sending devices directly back to original manufacturers or dropping them to a convenient recycler.

Lifestyle Disorders

This basically boils down to the fact that due to the comforts that technology has brought to us – an increasing number of people from the current generation are no longer going out and enjoying the natural beauty around them.

As a society – we are happy being indoors in the comforts of air conditioning, satellite TV, the Internet, video games – that there doesn’t appear to be a need to go out anymore for the basics.

Almost everything is available via the Internet.  When I was living in London and Montreal – after checking out the grocery stores initially to see what I liked best, I did all my shopping online.

Now that I’m in India – I’ve noticed that I spend almost all of my free time ‘indoors’.  Bombay as a city doesn’t offer me perks such as parks or beaches (the public beaches here is NOT where you want to be – that’s what Goa is for) to go and hang out. 

When was the last time you went for a bike ride ? Or a walk in the park ? I know I haven’t in a while – but it boils down to the fact that I’m living in a city where parks close by 8 p.m and I don’t get home from work before that. 

Other lifestyle disorders include suffering from back pain and developing blood clots from sitting at a desk too long.  Obesity is a growing concern in some countries as people are no longer ‘active’.  One can also suffer from increased blood pressure and stress levels from being in an environment that is sending out EMR’s.

Conclusion : In our attempt to create a more convenient world, we are unwittingly paying the highest price – our health.  I have put down a few pointers on how to prevent these problems – however we must be ‘aware’ of the problems in the first place.  The old saying goes ‘prevention is better than cure’ – please spread the word !

I would love to know your thoughts on this subject as it really had an effect on me after reading the magazine article.  What do you think we can do to avoid the ‘technology flu’ ?  Are there any other symptoms we should look out for ?  What else is out there that can affect us ?

Additional & Reference Links


Dhiman said...

CVS is something a big hazard that I am living with but do take precautionary measure like the ones you have mentioned....
I have been disposing the electronic gadgets like mobile phone by dropping it at original manufacturer's place some of them do have provision for that....
And I do go for grocery or trivial things by walk whenever possible its real fun...

mincognita said...

I'll be darned if I don't have all the symptoms of Techno-Flu. And here I thought I was just getting old. Actually, I guess the symptoms are interchangeable. haha.

Dazediva said...

@ Dhiman ... Good to hear that you are disposing old gadgets; and getting your walks in ... CVS is a major issue in today's time with everyone using computers and laptops !

@ Mincognita .. I definitely have some of those symptoms :( unfortunately how does one work without a computer these days ? *sigh*

Anonymous said...

When I first started blogging I had serious CVS. I've eased up a hell of a lot in recent times and the achy dry eyes aren't worth it. Thanks for the tips D, I've adopted some already and there's others I can adopt now. Not sure if I'll be getting rid of any of my gadgets though...I'm a sucker for anything thats small and at the same time constitutes a technological marvel :)

WhiteSockGirl aka The Fabulous Bitch said...

So, that is what is wrong with me? And I thought that I was suffering from a never ending hangover!
Have told people so many times that wine can only be good for you, but did they believe me no!!! And what is killing me now is all my techno toys.

Girl, this is a great article,... scared me, but still great.