Your Gadgets Are Causing A Slow Death

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Today the Nerds are here to share some tips that might just save your life. The way that we use our gadgets today is actually leading to a slow death for some. A few side effects of our addiction to tech are loss of attention span, eye strain, and insomnia. The internet has proven so addictive in fact, that one in three people say that they would give up sex rather than their smartphone.

For those that react immediately when they notice a notification on their phone, the response triggers a release of dopamine in the brain, forcing a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. Some believe that every chime could be a sexual, social, or professional opportunity and feel the need to respond immediately. This is similar to the addictive compulsion created by hard drugs, which can lead to a slow death.

Constant internet usage actually causes users to have decreased brain function for basic skills such as speech, motor skills,  emotions, and sensory awareness. The longer a person is online, the more likely they are to cause a slow death, as well as affect the brain function adversely. As of 2012, the average attention span of Americans is only 8 seconds long which is less than a goldfish. We have grown accustomed to distracting ourselves as soon as we are bored by pulling out our cell phones.

Almost all mobile device owners said that they use their devices during the last hour before they go to bed. This greatly affects the chemicals in the brain and can lead to poor sleep. Nine out of ten Americans from age 19-28 say that they sleep with their phones right next to them. One in ten people say they are awoken by a text or phone call a few times during the week also, which means even less sleep. Almost two thirds of people that sleep with their gadgets say that they are not getting enough sleep. Lack of sleep is just one step towards a slow death that can be caused by our addiction to tech.

The University of Florida performed a study in which they concluded that those who receive notifications are distracted by them even when they are not actively responding to them. Simply being aware that is a message awaiting you makes you more distracted. What can you do if you are struggling with your tech addiction and worried about a slow death? Try the 7 day digital detox from Pop Sugar to put yourself to the test and see if you can make it a week using your gadgets less.

Video Transcript

Ken: Gadgets are killing you. Ryan is here to explain how they are slowly killing us.

Ryan: I’m gonna let you in on a secret plan. They’re coming to take us over and they’ve got it all on on schedule.

Ken: They’re organizing everything?

Ryan: Yes, they are. So, your gadgets are trying to kill you. Not everybody realizes this, but they’re doing it, in several ways. First, they’re gonna stop us from having little babies.

Ken: Why? How?

Ryan: Here’s how they’re gonna do it. So, one in three people who have a smart phone say that they would give up sex, rather than give up their phone.

Ken: What?

Ryan: Isn’t that crazy? We’re so addicted, that we’d be wiling to say, “You know what, honey? Not tonight, I’ve gotta look at this text I got from somebody.”

Ken: Okay. I mean, it kinda does make sense.

Ryan: They’re also gonna deprive us of sleep.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: So, here’s an interesting fact. Is, oops…let’s go back one. It’s…dopamine is released every time your phone rings.

Ken: Yes.

Ryan: Or it gets a little buzz or a text or whatever. And that’s an addictive substance. Its the same thing that gets us hooked on heroin…

Ken: Ohh.

Ryan: And cocaine and all the other good stuff. So, every time that notification goes off, we go, “Ooh, I want a little bit more. Ooh, I want a little bit more.” And that will keep us from being able to sleep at night. Also, that little screen that we are looking at?

Ken: Right.

Ryan: Suppresses melatonin.

Ken: Ohh.

Ryan: Which regulates our internal clock and gives us the ability to decide when it’s time to sleep and when it’s not. Most people, 90% of people surveyed, have said that they watch television, text or email prior to going to sleep.

Ken: Uh-huh.

Ryan: And of course, that keeps us awake. So, here’s another thing that’s going on…is your brain is being rewired by your technology.

Ken: I knew it.

Ryan: Here’s the interesting thing, is that people who spend more time on the internet, their actual pre-frontal cortex shrinks a little bit in the areas that our speech, emotions, empathy, all of the high-functioning things we like to do as humans…

Ken: Right.

Ryan: That gets smaller, the more time we spend online.

Ken: So, it’s making you stupid?

Ryan: Well, it makes you a little less nice. That’s why people on the internet are so mean.

Ken: Whoa, they are.

Ryan: It’s because their brains are smaller and you can just tell them I said so. Here’s the other thing, is they’re turning us into goldfish. Did you know in 2000, that the average American’s attention span was 12 seconds? Guess what it is right now.

Ken: Huh?

Ryan: Eight seconds. Eight seconds. Goldfish have a better attention span than…

Ken: Squirrel!

Ryan: Us Americans. Isn’t that insane? So, here’s the other thing is ADHD has risen…

Ken: Yes.

Ryan: 66%, in just the last few years. And most scientists believe there is a correlation between our gadgets.

Ken: A contributing factor would be…

Ryan: Yeah.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: So, the other thing is that one in 10 say that they’re awakened, at least a few times a night, by their phone. Is that crazy? We leave the little…

Ken: Right.

Ryan: notifications on. We sleep with our phones on the pillow next to us or we’re using them as an alarm clock, but we never turn off the notifications. So, they are waking us up, all the time.

Ken: That’s just silly.

Ryan: Yeah, I agree. Okay. So, here’s that statistic. 95% are reporting that before they go to bed, they are either texting or playing on their phone. Which, of course, keeps us awake. And of course, when we sleep with our phones, 90% of 18-29 year-old’s say that they sleep with their phone, right next to them. Next to their bed.

Ken: How do we stop all of this?

Ryan: Well, that’s the thing. In the next segment, we’re gonna talk about digital detox.

Ken: Ooh, good.

Ryan: Right now, I’m just telling you that there’s a problem.

Ken: Yeah.

Ryan: And the next segment, we’re gonna talk about how to fix it. We’ve got seven days of how to do that.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: So, the Scientific Daily said that cell phone notifications may be driving you to distraction. Even if you don’t look at your phone and you go, “Ooh, there’s a buzz on my phone.” That distraction…

Ken: Right.

Ryan: makes you think about it, even it you weren’t touching it. Okay. So, 54% of children have said that they felt their parents checked their different devices too often. Isn’t that kind of sad?

Ken: Yes, it is.

Ryan: And 52% of parents say that they agree. They totally do. Well, what happens is that when we’re looking at our phone, it’s like this digital vibe. We don’t see our kids.

Ken: Right.

Ryan: And then, they start thinking, “Their device is more important than I am.” Isn’t that ridiculous?

Ken: Yeah.

Ryan: So, these are the ways that our technology is driving us to distraction. They’re gonna kill us, eventually unless we stop them.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: And I’ve got a plan. So, in our next segment, we’re gonna to talk about a seven…

Mark: Hey, Ken…

Ryan: Seven-day digital detox and how to get off…

Mark: Rudolph, Ken…

Ryan: the train.

Ken: Hold on, we’ve got a question from the floor. Yes, sir. You, with the pumpkin in your set.

Mark: Yes, I had a quick question. But…oh, hold on, I’m getting some Tinder activity. Never mind.

Ken: Oh, never mind. He had a question about his phone. He’s got a notification.

Julissa: I just got tagged on twitter.

Ken: Okay, we’ll get back to you guys. Seriously, we need you help. “Help us, Obi Wan, you’re our only hope.”

Ryan: I will help you, it’s no problem at all.

Ken: We need some help. Alright, Mark, back to you. Get off the phone and read the tease.

Julissa: Squirrel!

Mark: [inaudible 00:04:18]. Someone talking? Oh, okay. Hey, still to come…