Dr Chetna Kang features on PwC’s latest podcast discussing the risks of mobile ‘overload’

Nightingale Hospital consultant psychiatrist, Dr Chetna Kang features on PwC’s latest podcast episode, ‘M: For mobile’, as a part of ‘The A-Z of tech’ series.

The podcast series takes listeners on a journey through the alphabet of technology and trends, led by PwC technologists and special guests.

In ‘M for Mobile’, the panel discusses the transformative nature that mobiles have had on businesses and lives; and conversely, delve into the associated risks of overload and addiction to the devices.

Dr Kang marks a rise in individuals presenting in her clinic with conditions such as anxiety and depression, that are being exaggerated by the use of technology.

“More and more I am seeing that mobile devices, or certainly use of the internet and social media, is either contributing to exacerbating their mental health problem,” she said.

Dr Kang highlights that excessive use of technology starts to become a problem when it is “overly relied on for our sense of who we are, evaluating what others think of us”, and replaces face-to-face deep and meaningful interaction with loved ones.

In order to find a healthy balance with mobile use, Dr Kang points out three themes that people should keep in mind, to prevent technology from becoming an obstacle.

Time

Dr Kang says we should all monitor the amount of time spent using mobile devices.

“It is not just about the amount of time we are spending on mobile devices, even more key is the time of day,” she says.

“Often if we are using mobile devices close to bedtime, people will often describe that they have disrupted sleep. Why? Because if your brain thinks it is daytime and you fall asleep, the most your body’s going to do is like a daytime nap.”

The content we consume

Dr Kang says we should be mindful of the content we consume, and what platforms we are using to consume that content.

“People like to have free apps, free games, free everything, but nothing is actually free, because the price you are paying for it is the bombardment of advertisements and the extraction of your data. So, just be careful of the content that you are using.”

Relationships

Dr Kang cautions listeners to balance digital connection in our relationships, with the face-to-face connection.

“Now I know we have been challenged in the last few months with that and it has been much harder to do, but what I’ve seen more recently is where there have been opportunities for people to meet face to face, they are not, because they’ve got into the habit of the quickness and ease of doing it digitally.”

She explains that often when mobile devices start to facilitate serious discussions in relationships, replacing face-to-face discussions, it can lead to certain obstacles and misunderstandings.

“In a normal conversation, there are pauses, there is eye contact, there is an opportunity to think and say I will come back to you. But we have an expectation at the minute our message is seen, you see the two blue ticks, and you expect a response.”

In a serious conversation online, Dr Kang highlights that it is “much harder” to “evaluate those things through digital media rather than in person.”


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