Hazards of the Digital Age


There are hazards to this digital age – defined as having information readily available at all times – and more quickly than we can assimilate without hyper focus (focusing on one point-of-interest at the expense of other points-of-interest). Some of the hazards are in the realm of muscle fatigue, and some are in the realm of overusing some neurophysiological abilities at the expense of others.

There are commercial and also academic centers that study ergonomics (Apple has its own Ergonomics study group, and MIT has its Consumer Electronics Laboratory at the M.I.T. Media Lab). In addition, there are numerous safety risks associated with the digital age – they range from inadequate guardedness as we become insensate to the concept of “stranger danger” all the way to mistakes with technology, and include the ever-ready portal of un-checked impulse toward interpersonal aggression.

Similarly, the Psychologists have helped us to use science to study the effect of “being connected” and find that the digital age exposes us to stressors that can reinforce unusual emotional responses or even change gender-specific neurologic activity. In particular, the digital age makes it too easy to get good at, or most comfortable with, one digitized interaction instead of learning to adapt for the vagaries of “in-person and live” relationships.