The ability to quickly text a friend, check your work emails, and snap your meal all in a matter of minutes means we’re compulsively sharing more than ever. According to research from Deloitte, Americans across all age groups said they look at their phones within five minutes of waking up, and those people are checking their phones 150 times a day!
Device addictions consume more than just our time and data plans as valuable personal connections are being compromised at an alarming rate. In an era where belly laughs have taken a backseat to LOLs, heartfelt conversations have become passive-aggressive tweets, brunches gushing about a proposal have been replaced by public Facebook posts, and daily chats with that hilarious friend have been traded for meme accounts, the realization that our culture is starved for real-life human interaction should come as no surprise.
YOU, ME AND SIRI MAKE THREE
If you’re noticing a rift in your closest relationships, the elephant in the room could very well fit in your back pocket. In a 2014 study reported in Environment and Behavior, Virginia Tech psychologist Shalini Misra monitored the conversations of 100 couples and identified what has been dubbed the iPhone effect: the simple presence of a smartphone, even as an object in the background, degrades private conversations, making partners less willing to disclose deep feelings.
These findings are supported by Essex University’s Andrew Przybylski and Netra Weinstein, who reported in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships that smartphones “inhibited the development of interpersonal closeness and trust and reduced the extent to which individuals felt understanding and empathy from their partners.”
WHAT’S STRESS GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations, real or imagined. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to effectively conquer important tasks. However, our bodies are designed to only take stress in small doses. Constant and pervasive stress – like Cultural Stress, or the stress of modern living – is more than our bodies were designed to handle, putting us at risk for long-lasting and dangerous consequences.
The irony of technological advancement is that we are more digitally connected than ever before, yet less connected to one another in meaningful ways. This has profound implications for our skin, health, and ultimately happiness. – Dr. Murad
This relatively new type of stress is so ingrained in our lives that it tends to go unnoticed, but it impacts the entire body with a particularly visible effect on the skin.
WEARING STRESS ON YOUR SLEEVE
At Murad, we understand that healthy, beautiful skin is a reflection of how you live your life.
There is a powerful, yet often overlooked, connection between the mind, body and skin, and our tech dependence is rapidly taking its toll on each at an alarming rate.
Dr. Murad and the dermatology community have long recognized the neuropsychological connections between the appearance of the skin and overall health. According to The American Institute of Stress, chronic stress, like that from Cultural Stress, has been shown to weaken immunity, increase inflammation, and accelerate aging.
THE CONNECTION ANTIDOTE
True health not only means the physical body is free from cancer, disease, and illness – but that one has a passion for life, meaningful connections with friends and family, and an overall positive sense of self.
The ultimate antidote to ever-increasing Cultural Stress is the power of human connection. Real-life, face-to-face, eyes-up connection. By spending more time with loved ones, we mentally, socially, and emotionally solidify our support group, reminding ourselves that, even when there’s poor cellphone reception, we’re never truly alone. This confidence helps us to take on new challenges, explore passions, and do more of what we love. When we’re surrounded by people who support and understand us, we can put things into perspective and realize that we’re too blessed to be chronically stressed.
Cultural Stress is changing how we exist as humans and, without intervention, it will continue to have devastating results. While we aren’t telling you to burn your mobile devices in a 1960s-style protest, we do think there is a compelling need to hit the “off” button from time to time and experience the people we love face to face.
That’s why we are launching EyesUp, a powerful campaign designed to educate people about the danger of purely digital relationships while reinforcing the power of real-world human connection.
In the spirit of technological moderation, we invite you to join us by mindfully going #EyesUp for a few minutes or even a whole hour in order to build stronger connections in real life.
Who will you go #EyesUp for? Share your answer in the comments!