How to Combat Technology Depression Through Communication
New technology is being developed constantly, all with the promise to make people’s lives easier. Because of technology, it is possible to connect with people around the globe, order groceries online, watch hundreds of movies on Netflix, and so much more. While technology benefits people in many ways, it has also made them more prone to developing depression. In fact, the number of Americans who will experience a depressive illness at some point in life is ten times the rate of people who lived before the development of computers and smart phones (Ilardi, 2017).
Since technology is not going away any time soon, what can be done to avoid depression brought on by technology? Researchers found that having limited face-to-face social contact nearly doubles a person’s risk of having depression (Bergland, 2015). Therefore, it is incredibly important to balance screen time with face-to-face communication to help prevent depression.
Here are five easy ways to get more face-to-face contact in your daily life.
- Be intentional
Instead of emailing that question to your boss, walk to her office and ask the question in person. Additionally, simply avoiding self-checkout at the grocery store or holding the door for others are small changes that provide more face-to-face interactions every day.
- Get a workout buddy
Not only does regular exercise decrease risk of depression and improve overall health, it is a great opportunity for face-to-face communication. Having a regular workout buddy is a wonderful way to develop consistent face-to-face interactions.
- Slow down
This one is probably the most difficult because we live in a society that thrives on constant movement. Society teaches us to worry about what we need to accomplish. However, with this mentality we are unlikely to stop and make sure we are getting quality face-to-face interactions. Slowing down allows for us to take the focus off our busy lives, creating time for face-to-face interactions.
- Invite one person to get together each week
Whether it’s your mom, best friend, brother, sister, grandparent, an old friend or a new acquaintance, make it a goal to invite someone to get together each week. You could catch up over coffee, grab some lunch or dinner, or just hang out at home and talk.
- Get involved in the local community
Your local community provides multiple opportunities for face-to-face communication. Whether volunteering, attending a local church, or participating in community activities, becoming involved with your community will not only provide you with more face-to-face interactions, but strengthen the community as a whole.
– Alli Williams ’19
Bergland, C. (2015). Face-to-face social contact reduces risk of depression. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201510/face-face-social-contact-reduces-risk-depression
Ilardi, S. (2017). Why personal tech is depressing. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-personal-tech-is-depressing-1509026300?mod=e2fb