This is a special guest post by Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19).

These days, the Internet has become an extension of our social environment—we socialize, sell things, and even work in the digital atmosphere. This has happened over the years with the development of tech, but have you ever wondered what’s the impact of technology in your life? 

Artificial intelligence, IoT, and many other tech trends have definitely influenced our lives, and our mental health is no exception. Here are some of the ways that technology affects mental health.


Internet Use and Anxiety

Since the very beginning of the Internet era, many people were concerned about the effects of the Internet on our minds. However, with the evolution of this trend, people have gotten used to the idea of socialization through social networks. Therefore, they now see it as an inoffensive world. However, the Internet can surely bring terrible consequences to our brain if we’re not careful. 


People who suffer from anxiety could worsen their condition when they create bad Internet habits. According to Lee and Stapinski, Internet use could reinforce the feelings of social rejection in anxious people. 


Distraction Caused by Technology

We’ve all been distracted by technology, at least a few hours a day. It is almost inevitable to see a social media message pop out and not read it. We usually say “oh, it’s just five minutes” and those five mins become two hours. So, yeah, we fall victim to tech distraction… again.

Now, what are the true facts about technology distraction and our cognitive health? Dominguez Hills, Professor Rosen of California State University, recently wrote a book where he revealed the effects of technology distraction. He conducted a study to see how much time students actually concentrate while studying. This study revealed that students spend three minutes in a raw concentrated state while studying. The main distraction was technology.

Technology has surely influenced the way we concentrate on our activities, but it’s not healthy to encourage this type of behavior. It can eventually affect other aspects of our lives like our job or school.

The only way to avoid procrastination and distractions is to create healthy habits to deal with technology. Put your phone aside for the time you’re working, turn notifications off and let everyone know it’s work time. This way, you’ll avoid being distracted by technology and even other people. 


Technology and Your Sleep

Numerous reports and studies have revealed the influence of technology in sleep, but the effects are especially dire one hour before bedtime. The blue lights from our mobile devices and our computers restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. You may think that lack of sleep is a physical and not a mental symptom, but it can surely affect your mental health. 

Lack of sleep can exacerbate mental conditions like anxiety or depression, among others. Therefore, it’s important to keep some distance from our phone and other devices before going to bed.

Other ideas are to begin a meditation practice to help alleviate stress and more, especially before bed. Below are to easy mediations.

The Expectation of Instant Gratification

The expectation of instant gratification has grown over the years with the advance of technology. According to many studies, we usually expect to have things done immediately and our patience has decreased due to technology. A survey from UMass Amherst revealed that we abandon videos that take two seconds to load. Another study conducted by Nielsen Norman Group also revealed that most users only read about 20% of the content of any website. 

The consequences of the expectation of instant gratification go beyond technology; they can affect your social relationships as well. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of this issue and act accordingly to avoid this from affecting your health. To become more patient, you need to avoid temptations and create a reward system that incentives you to be more patient. 



When we think about social media we usually think about closeness and connectivity and how they help us communicate even when we’re far from each other. However, social media also provides a me-centered mentality and entitlement. That’s why many psychologists believe that social media has fostered a narcissistic disorder in many people. According to a recent study from the University of Western Illinois, people who are constantly posting pictures of themselves in social media have strong feelings of entitlement. 


Sense of Isolation 

Social media does get us together at some point. We’re closer to people that aren’t physically near us. However, we drive ourselves to isolation from our physical environment. According to a recent study, technology is the actual cause of the sense of isolation many people are feeling these days. We usually spend so much time on our mobiles that we often forget about the people that are surrounding us. 

If you ever feel that technology is keeping you away from the people you love, take a step back and try to focus on what’s currently happening around you.


Cognitive Losses

Technology can help you achieve knowledge and improve your cognitive levels by learning new skills. However, on the negative side, it can create dependency, and this leads to cognitive losses. According to a study of Chinese youths with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), teenagers with Internet addiction also suffered a reduction in grey and white matter. Therefore, if not used properly, technology can negatively affect your intelligence. 

If you want to avoid this, use the Internet wisely—don’t let it become an addiction. It’s important to identify unhealthy habits that could eventually lead to cognitive losses. 


Technology and Depression

Technology is associated with depression in some users that suffer Internet dependency. According to, patients that overly use their smartphones tend to experience symptoms related to depression and anxiety. On top of that, a smaller percentage of users experience stress and other mental conditions.



Abusing technology will certainly affect your health in a negative way and you may develop some of the issues we previously mentioned. However, technology isn’t entirely negative. You can also experience positive outcomes from interacting with technology. Social media is especially beneficial for those who are shy and don’t know how to interact with others. You could also improve your cognitive abilities by learning new skills with technology.

This post was written by Artur Meyster, CTO of CareerKarma, an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech.