With the rise of technology and social media, the internet has reshaped the world, and humans are still adapting to the new unwritten rules of society. For many decades prior to the rise of computers and smartphones, humans were wired to socialize and work together in a more hands-on way.
But we’re now in a transitional point in time where there are three generations with different levels of technological experience caught in the mix. Those generations include Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980) and Millennials (1981-1996).
This transition has led to a rise in mental health issues, as all three generations are forced to adapt to the rapid technological advances in the world that is quickly making the world we thought we knew unrecognizable. And each generation processes these technological advances in different ways, leading to many misunderstandings.
Although there’s a rise in mental health issues, there are thankfully treatment services arising to help people through their trauma. Psympatico prides itself on this, but we also want you to be aware of how some of these problems come about. The following is a list of ways in which technology increases depression and anxiety among people, particularly in the workplace.
The Internet Saturates Markets Faster
Most businesses nowadays rely on the internet in some form or fashion, and even if the department you work in is different from the more techy departments, it will still trickle over to your position in some way.
The internet has given birth to more competition in more markets, and more competition put additional pressure on companies to bring immediate results. This leads to tight deadlines and the need to crunch for many workers. All departments are affected, and soon enough it impacts your (the worker’s) happiness.
People are forced to learn technology even if they dislike it
If you’re reading this, chances are that you know the basics of using computers and smartphones, but not everybody is computer literate. It’s unfair to expect that everybody is wired to use computers as well as others, and for those who don’t pick up the skills as easily, it puts pressure on them when the entire world is advancing at a rapid rate.
Even if you are someone who grasps the basics, there are a number of advanced levels above your level of expertise; such as programming, networking and engineering. If your workplace lacks an efficient I.T department then the chances are that you may be required to step up and learn some of these skills yourself, and sometimes having to learn these new skills causes great anxiety among people.
Furthermore, if you’re on the I.T side of things, you’re probably used to speaking a jargon-based language that the common person doesn’t understand. This often leads to miscommunications and/or misunderstandings which again increases the level of frustration and anxiety in the workplace.
As a former web-developer myself, the toughest part of my job was always communicating potential issues to employers who might not understand the complexity of the process. Long story short, I had a breakdown and decided to change careers.
The increasing lack of social etiquette
As I mentioned before, with the clash of the three different generations, there are often many differences in how people deal with social situations. For example, Generation X individuals may wish to be more direct and open about how they communicate, whereas millennials may opt for minimal talking and more isolation.
The many communication tools on offer to workers now, including Skype, Slack and Discord, has meant that some workplaces rarely even have a need for people to communicate in person. This isolation can lead to many social etiquette disasters in the workplace, and can make social situations feel increasingly awkward for younger workers who are still getting their feet wet. Not to mention, Millennials may be put off by Generation X’ers who wish to speak more directly on matters.
If no middle-ground is established between workers, this can quickly lead to one or more party becoming socially anxious at work. Which may lead to them resenting their job altogether.
The need to step-up and cover for workers
In the UK specifically, I’ve found that many workers lack adequate training that Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers may have received. Perhaps technology has become such a significant part of training that there’s less hands-on experience to be offered in certain fields.
Oftentimes I hear about friends and family who have to continuously pick up the slack for their colleagues. If this happens repeatedly and is never addressed, it will lead to the person feeling like they’re doing double the work for same amount of money. Soon enough, this person will be at risk of suffering from stress and/or depression due to being overworked.
This is something that needs to be addressed immediately, whether with management or the colleague(s) in question.
These are just four ways that technology causes stress, anxiety and burnout in the workplace but there are many signs to be aware of. Remember, if you’re experiencing symptoms of stress, anxiety or burnout, it’s important to see a specialist before it escalates.