In this latest episode of Future Lens our hosts Gord Stencell and Mark Pundzius talk about anxiety, where it comes from, how technology can often amplify it's effects on how we operate day-to-day.
But don't worry, there are innovators out there that are also leveraging technology to fight back against tech induce anxiety with more specially crafted tech designed to help us cope, heal from, and overcome anxiety in its many forms.
Somnox - Robotic pillow that helps us sleep more soundly
Somnox is for anyone who suffers from stress, anxiety or other worries that impact on their sleep. It’s ideal for those who struggle to fall asleep at night because of worries and ruminating thoughts that prevent them from naturally dozing off. Also, Somnox can be used in cases when you suffer from night awakenings and find it hard to get back to sleep. The sleep robot is intended for people who are looking for a non-pharmacological alternative to achieving a better night’s sleep.
Tech Anxiety - Social Media is Judgment in Public.
No matter the platform, likes, followers, and comments are measured for the world to see. Public adoration or public shaming happens in front of everyone. And for teens and young adults still figuring out their identity and moral compass, managing social media can feel like a social crisis.
Social anxiety is a fear of being revealed and judged as somehow deficient and social media pushes all those buttons perfectly. In the short term, we may feel a sense of relief when we can curate and control our digital lives. But long-term, all the impression management that goes into curation and filtering can make us feel like any approval we get is more for our “brand” and less for us as an authentic human.
Can On-Screen Communication Replace Face-To-Face Interactions?
I’m dating myself here, but remember when email first became popular (or for that matter, when the internet had a White Pages?) Experts in the early 1990s predicted we’d spend half our workweek sunbathing with the time we saved using this newfangled thing called electronic mail.
But what’s happened in practice is that all the methods of communicating via a screen—email, texting, and posting to social media—actually allow us the comfort of reacting to things on our own timetable. And that takes up more time.
Here’s what I mean: on-screen communication allows time to compose, edit, and perfect, whereas face-to-face communication (or even calling someone—that thing in our pocket is called a phone, after all) happens in real-time.
Technology insulates us from small uncertainties, leaving us vulnerable to the biggies.
Uncertainty is the root of anxiety. We ask ourselves questions, hoping to rely on something known: “What’s going to happen?” “What do they think of me?” “What if this goes badly?”
In some ways, technology takes away uncertainty. Smartphones allow us to control our world and our consumption like never before. We can stay immersed in a controlled world of our choosing for long stretches. We can be guided by Google Maps, read reviews before spending money on trips or activities, rehearse answers to job interview questions using Glassdoor, and review invites to see exactly who’s on the guest list. But as a result, we log less practice navigating an uncertain world.