Will technology really make us pop the hump? | Nerd League

To fully understand the impact that everyday technology has on us, Los Angeles-based telecommunications company TollfFreeForwrding.com selected several scientific research and expert opinions on the subject and then worked with a 3D designer to create a human prototype (whom they named Mindy) whose body has physically changed due to the constant use of smartphones, laptops and other technologies. The result is that Mindy, the woman of the 3000s, compared to us has an arched back, a 90 degree elbow, a thicker neck and skull, a third eyelid and, unsurprisingly, a smaller brain. All true? Let’s look at some of these traits:

Head, neck, elbow, back…

The design of modern technology items, such as smartphones and computer monitors, have a significant impact on how we sit and stand. Constantly adjusting your back and neck position to look down at your phone or up at your office screen has been shown to strain parts of the body that determine our posture. Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistic explained which parts of the body are under pressure when using technology: “Spending hours and hours looking at the phone strains the neck and unbalances the spine. As a result, the neck muscles have to make an extra effort to support the head. Sitting in front of the computer in the office for hours on end also means pulling the torso in front of the hips rather than keeping it straight and aligned”.

The link between technology and posture is well established and that’s why the back and neck of Mindy are angled towards the chest.

A closer look at the arm by Mindy reveals two significant anatomical changes directly caused by the use of a particular technological device: the smartphone. A recently coined condition, the “text claw” (text claw), occurs when you constantly hold your smartphone, curling your fingers in an unnatural position for long periods of time.

Other noticeable physical change on Mindy’s arm: the elbow at 90 degrees. Also known as ‘smartphone elbow’, it’s caused by the typical position of the arm when holding and using a smartphone, both for general use and to hold it to your ear during phone calls. Text claw and 90-degree elbow (or, in scientific terms, cubital tunnel syndrome) both indicate a similar type of unnatural behavior, as Med Alert Help’s Dr. Nikola Djordjevic explained: “This syndrome is caused from pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve as it runs in a groove on the inside of the elbow. This causes numbness or tingling in the ring and little fingers, pain in the forearm and weakness in the hands. Keeping your elbow bent for a long time, most often while holding the phone, can stretch the nerve behind the elbow and apply pressure to it”.

Going back to Mindy’s posture, the effects of technology on the neck have given rise to a new pathology, aptly named “technological neck“. In an article published in Health Matters, Dr. K. Daniel Riew of the New York-Presbyterian Orch Spine Hospital explained exactly what the tech neck is: “When working on a computer or looking at the phone, the muscles in the back of the neck must contract to keep the head elevated. The further down you look, the harder your muscles have to work to keep your head up. These muscles can become excessively tired and sore when looking at smartphones and tablets or spending most of the working day on the computer.

mindy 3000 - Notas de Actualidad

We all know that technology can distract our brains from important work, but does this do long-term damage? Given the impact it could have on all of us, Mindy has developed a skull slightly more often, which protects it from damage. But there is a change in Mindy, compared to the man of the 2000s, that is not noticeable to the naked eye. We could develop thicker skulls, but if according to a scientific theory, the technology could also change the size of our brains. Thanks to technological advances in agriculture, health care and many other areas of life, today we have to do much less to survive. According to evolutionary theory, it’s not just people with larger brains that are selected. This is largely because survival no longer depends on being the largest and strongest person of the species. Similarly, reproductive success today depends on a wide variety of parameters, including financial capabilities. In the future, the most tech-savvy people are likely to be the most successful.

… Eye and mind

The most extravagant change is also that what most of all will unite us with animals, especially birds and reptiles, amphibians and fish: the third eyelid, which in zoology is called the nictitating membrane, eyelid tertia or plica semilunaris of the conjunctiva in scientific terms. Its function is to protect and hydrate the eye while maintaining visibility. In humans and many other mammals there is only a small vestigial residue at the corner of the eye (except for cats and bears which have a true membrane).

If modern man has a simple remnant of thethe third eyelid in the corner of the eye it is because, evidently he no longer needed it, it seems that in three thousand we will retrace our steps: research on screens that cause headaches, eye strain and even blindness, are well established; so, to combat this problem, Kasun Ratnayake of the University of Toledo suggests that, there will be a radical evolutionary development that could limit the amount of harmful light our eyes are exposed to:

“Humans could develop a larger inner eyelid to avoid exposure to excessive light, or the eye’s lens could be evolutionarily developed to block incoming blue light, but not other high-length light. wave like green, yellow or red”.

In addition to changes of a morphological nature, the study that led to the creation of Mindy also includes a whole series of changes that are not visible since they affect the mind: Evidence is rapidly accumulating that demonstrates the damage technology can have on our mindsets. Recent studies have highlighted a link between Facebook use and long-term well-being decline, and social media is also blamed for increasing anxiety and childhood depression.

Dr Sal Raichbach of the Ambrosia Treatment Center summed up the current concerns: “Privacy, security and outright dependence on technology are top concerns when it comes to communicating through technology. Technology has evolved faster than politicians, psychologists or parents can do”. Even from a business perspective, technology can hinder employee performance. It has long been proven that the blue light emitted by technological devices disrupts sleep.

Ellen Wermter of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine explains how this has a knock-on effect on productivity: “There is a biological phenomenon that improves communication, creativity, productivity, endurance, reaction time, concentration, memory , mood and much more: sleep. “A major influence on our sleep patterns is light, especially the light we receive through our phones, tablets and laptops, which many of us use late into the evening and even bring into the bedroom.”

Mindy is to raise awareness, not scare

The reality behind this project, as stated by the authors themselves, is that Mindy’s characteristics are plausible but they were you exaggerate, with the aim of raising awareness: the three thousandth woman represents some science-based concerns that companies need to keep in mind. Technology unquestionably increases the profits of almost every company, but the question that the company is asking is:

“How can we ensure a balance between maximizing productivity and maintaining employee well-being?”

The need to consider, however, Mindy and her anatomical changes is advocated. Technology, just like the well-being of employees, brings immeasurable benefits to the company, but there is one point to work on to avoid finding ourselves hunched over and totally stressed, namely, the corporate welfarestructured between regular breaks, physical activity within the company, quality of the technological devices, reduction of the highly performative conception of the employees.

Mindy is over the top in her features. But it’s not so unthinkable to imagine ourselves like her when we think of the man of the three thousandth century. When you read Mindy’s physical characteristics, none of them sound right to you familiar? We are certainly not talking about the shrunken brain, never mind, perhaps however pulling the torso in front of the hips instead of keeping it straight and aligned when we are in front of the computer is not such a futuristic position. Let’s also say that, net of everything, the third eyelid wouldn’t be so bad to have.

Will technology really make us pop the hump? | Nerd League