Is Technology Making you Worry?
by mwing1 on February 17, 2014 - 6:42pm
Technology has grown exponentially since the first television and telephone. This, accompanied with the changing social anxiety seen among adolescences begs the question; just how, exactly, does the technology of a culture influence the anxiety of the youth today? “Trends in Anxiety during Adolescence” explores this issue by breaking down the two main types of technology influenced anxieties. The first are self-body issues with an increase in the desire to modify or self-harm the body based on visual stimuli. Graham investigates this in connection with two women, ‘Brenda’ and ‘Chloe’, and a Fijian study. The women and the study delve into the effects of visual stimuli on the development of BDD or body dysmorphic disorder which is a disorder affecting both genders involving the imagined image of a distorted body, or feature (Graham 2011). The second anxiety is seen from an increase in social and communication networks. ‘Adam’ believed his virtual world was better than realty and suffered anxiety when his family tried to pry him away from it. All three of these adolescents were affected by technology in negative ways, but the technological influences go even deeper. The establishment of identity is effected by technology as it creates distress as noted in ‘James’. His obsession with self-diagnosing using the internet led to a depressed outlook on life. As seen in all these cases, anxiety isn’t increasing in regard to the rise in technology, but is changing over time, to parallel the current ideas, beliefs, and technology (Graham 2011).
This article’s main purpose is to inform the reader how culture, in specific, technology in culture, affects anxiety of adolescents. Throughout history the youth have always dealt with anxiety; the types, however, have changed. As our culture and technology changes, the anxiety changes with it. Being a woman in this society I can understand what this article is exploring. In our culture today, technology is everywhere giving people access to all resources; including the media. The television shows beautiful, touched up, perfect women, while the internet is telling us the “Five easy ways to lose 10 pounds.” I don’t see how adolescents in our society couldn’t have anxiety; whether it is BDD or an obsession with self-diagnosing just like ‘James’. If the types of anxiety continue to parallel our culture, then over time, our anxiety types will continue to change. If our culture becomes more and more reliant on technology, then our anxieties will probably become more and more focused on aspects of technology. This means that counselors and psychologists will eventually have to change the way they deal with their patients. In a broader respect, this article also shows how everything is really influenced by our culture; our technology. “Trends in Anxiety during Adolescence” allows the reader to learn about how negative personal factors (anxiety) parallels the culture and technology at large. However, it doesn’t explore the depths to which technology affects us; couldn’t one say technology in our culture helps us too?
References: Graham, Richard. (2011, January). Trends in Anxiety during Adolescence. Healthcare Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal, 14-18.