There are some physical problems that can be caused by computer use such as eyestrain, blurred vision, fatigue, headaches, backaches, and wrist and finger pain. One kind of health problem that occurs is repetitive stress injuries, which is when doing the same thing over and over causes hand, wrist, shoulder, or neck pain. Using the keyboard and the mouse can cause repetitive stress injuries.One repetitive stress injury that is related to repetitive finger movement is carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a painful condition of the hands and wrists. Another repetitive stress injury is related with typing on the smaller keyboards of mobile devices and this is called DeQuervain’s tendonitis. There can also be many eye problems caused by looking at a computer screen for too long.
Another concern is hearing loss because many portable media devices can be turned up too loud and cause hearing problems. There is also a concern with radiation that can be emitted from wireless devices. There are ways to avoid these physical health problems caused by computers. One way is to make sure that you are comfortable while at the computer and that you use a good chair that will be supportive for your back and neck.It is also important to just be aware of these possible physical health risks caused by computers because it is something that is often overlooked.As mentioned before, most people today interact with some type of computer daily. We have learned that there are many risk factors associated with the extended use of computers. Some of those risk factors include eye strain, fatigue and upper and lower body discomfort. Luckily, there is a solution to these problems. It is called ergonomics. Ergonomics is a technology which focuses on making the workspace as functional, safe and comfortable as possible.
One thing computer users should consider when using the computer is wrist strain. It is important for the user to keep his wrists as straight as possible. Some causes for a bent wrist can be the keyboard being too low or high, or it being tilted upward. A solution to this can be to adjust the keyboard to the appropriate height or adjust the height of the chair. Another solution could be to use a split keyboard or what is known as an ergonomic keyboard. Another risk people face with extended use of the computer is back discomfort or even back disorder. This can be caused by an inadequate chair that lacks support for the back. It can also be caused from lack of foot support or from slouching due to fatigue. Some solutions to these problems would be to use a lumbar cushion or to utilize a foot rest.
It is also important for a user to take frequent breaks and change positions often. Many people today are exposed to extended computer use whether it is for a job or for entertainment. It is important for computer users to know the risks associated with over-usage and to be familiar with ergonomics in order to create the safest and most comfortable environment for themselves.
Stress of Ever-Changing Technology
Today we see a lot of kinds of changes that are causing a great deal of stress and anxiety. Most of these changes are directly related to the digital revolution and have only become problems in the last 10 to 20 years. Some people can’t figure out how to connect the game station to the TV. The cell phone rings just as the person about to walk out the door. Modern technology has infiltrated the workplaces, people’s cars and their homes.
According to the Angus Reid, 14% of Canadian workers identified new technology in the workplace as a significant source of stress. Never before have individuals been asked to adapt as rapidly. Instant communication and exponentially growing technology lead us to one of the few absolute truths – Technology change is constant. Technology has reconfigured the nature of work and our social relationships on the job. People feel overwhelmed by the volume of emails and calls that they receive. Though people cannot stop this technology roller coaster, they can use a variety of practical strategies to develop resilience and renew and replenish themselves. Some of the simplest skills that the people can learn to be more resilient to stress are deep relaxation and self-care. It can convert fatigue into energy and restlessness into calmness.
Because of our fast growth and use of technology there are many positive advantages of using computers and much more; however, in recent years emotional health has become an important factor with the use of computers and technology. The use of computers in general can cause much stress and anxiety for workers in different fields today. When computers were first introduced to the working field, secretaries had to learn how to change from a typewriter to a keyboard. Many people now widely understand the use of computers, but the downfall is keeping up with the changing technology. Every few years a new system, computer design, etc. are updated and sent out to the market. This makes operating a company more difficult when programs and systems need to be updated.
Because the Internet can be accessed 24/7 the stress of being “on-call” is worrisome to many workers. They worry they do not have enough down time to themselves, after they come home from work that day. In the U.S. information is right at citizens’ fingertips, which can sometimes create an information overload. There is always news to be caught up with, as well as catching up with email, text messages, and social media as well. Many can become exhausted from being on the computer (or cell phone) too much. This is called burnout which is long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. A more common type of “emotional health” deals with teenagers who have a technology addiction. Social media plays a huge role in this now today.
Many people today are addicted to the internet. Additionally many people do not know that they are addicted to the internet. There are many signs of internet addiction as well. For example if you ever feel like you are always thinking about the internet that would be a good sign. If a person is using the internet increasingly in order to receive satisfaction, and if you are continually failing to cut back on using the internet, those are also signs of addiction. If you ever feel restless or depressed while not on the internet, or feel like you are on longer then intended to be, those add to come signs of internet addiction. If some or all of these signs describe a person then they are addicted to the internet. Some tips on breaking this internet addiction on your own are to understand that you have a problem with the internet.
Next is to build coping skills. Many people become addicted to the internet because it is their outlet for stress and anger. Being able to change the way a person copes with their problems would be extremely beneficial. There is also therapy, counseling and support groups to take advantage of and help with this addiction like any other. It is important to be able to overcome an internet addiction to be able to fully appreciate life and not be concentrated on intangible items and ideas like the ones on the internet.
The U.S. Digital Divide
Though the exact percentage is argued over by the experts, we can be happy to know that in the United States the digital divide continues to shrink. About 80% of the population of the United States uses the Internet. They use the Internet at school, work, home, and everywhere else. It’s rare to find a Mcdonalds, one of the lowest common denominator eating establishments, that doesn’t have a Wi-Fi connection. Computers and Internet access are always getting cheaper, which is great news because staying connected to the world is such an important quality. We stay alive and thrive through building relationships of all different kinds and the Internet is a powerful means of obtaining these relationships. Not only that, but most jobs today require the use of the Internet in one way or another.
Due to the importance of the Internet however, ideally the statistic of users in the United States would be closer to 99%. According to Forbes, there are several reasons why some people have never used the Internet or don’t use it very often. The biggest percentage of them said they don’t want or need to go online, because they’re either too busy or because they think the Internet is a waste of time. A slightly smaller number of them said it is difficult or frustrating to go online, either because they don’t understand or are physically unable.Ultimately, the importance of the Internet is understood the world over, meaning that the digital divide in the U.S. will continue to shrink so our country can stay competitive with Europe and Asia especially.
Global Digital Divide
The Global digital divide is an issue that our world seems to be facing more and more as time goes on. Like the US Digital divide, it is a comparison of groups of people with access to technology but on a global scale instead of a country scale. The problem arrises when one country’s people has more access to technology and /or communications than another country. Most developed countries have a majority of their population with some access to technology, however it seems that many developing countries lack the technological accessibility that the others have. The largest problem caused by this is the lack of education.
The internet today is such a source of information that one could potentially gain their entire college degree while hardly ever stepping foot in a classroom. Many people around the world lack the opportunity to gain an education because of their lack of access to the internet and other technology that would help them to learn things at a faster, easier, or more efficient rate. The internet has so many uses: school courses, communication, language tutoring, translations, calculations, and so many more.
More On The Digital Divide
The concept that is called the digital divide is the reality that technology, specifically computers and the Internet, is not available to all individuals. The digital divide is thought to be based on physical access to computers, Internet, and related technology. Some people consider the people that have access to computers and the Internet but do not understand how to use it are also part of the category of people that do not have true access to digital technology. One article explains that there are multiple dimensions to the digital divide. It claims the difference in not necessarily determined by the access to the Internet, but by access to ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) and to Media that the different segments of society can use.
Other factors that should be considered are the quality of connection to the Internet and the cost of access to the Internet. Researchers also report that disadvantages can take such forms as lower-performance computers, lower-quality or high price connections, difficulty of obtaining technical assistance, and lower access to subscription-based contents. The reason that the digital gap is a concern for society is that information and communication technologies are vital to quality civic life. One article explains that access to new technology splits clearly along socio-economic class lines.
According to U.S. census data, more than 30 million homes have no broadband access, most of them concentrate in some of the poorest parts of the country. According to another survey 84% of the teachers surveyed felt that today’s digital gap is leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools. Technology can inform people by creating mutual understanding about different cultures and societies; technology also plays a part in education and governmental reform. By lessening the digital gap economic equality, social mobility, and economic growth will be more readily available.
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires companies with more than 15 employees to make reasonable accommodations for anyone that has known limitations. Nowadays, there is hardware and software specifically designed to aid individuals with physical disabilities. The most common technology that has been introduced is used to help those who are visually impaired or hard of hearing. There are various input devices available today to assist users communicate, usually on the computer.
Braille or large-print keyboards, one-handed keyboards, switches, eye tracking systems, pointing devices, and voice input devices are all used today. In addition to the various input devices, there are output systems as well. The most common one is a screen reader that can read text information for the blind. There are also printers that can print in Braille instead of the conventional ink. Assistive technology is not always the best option, however. Often times it can be too expensive for the individual and not match their exact needs. Devices should be researched and tried out before purchasing. Training for these devices also needs to be taken into consideration. For example, what if this technology stops working for the user?