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E-books: A Psychological Effect in all Aspects of Our Life

Willie Olsen
Nov 10, 2019
Nov 10 at 10:51pm

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E-books: A Psychological Effect in all Aspects of Our Life
E-books have become an essential yet damaging part of our lives. Not
only do they provide countless hours of recreation and entertainment
for people of all ages, but they have also become impactful in our
professional lives as well.

Employment- It is a realistic assumption that most professional fields in
existence have been affected by e-readers. White collar jobs like
doctors keep notes in surgery about the patient and the procedure for
quick access. Lawyers have access to an unlimited amount of past cases
to quote during trial. Bankers and loan officers have instant access to
resources like Kelly Blue Book
(Links to an external site.)
and mortgage rates. Blue Collar job’s
such as HVAC
(Links to an external site.)
(Heating and Air Conditioning) technicians use e-
readers to keep a track of jobs and materials, as well as invoicing.
Landscapers have access to resources like SLP (setting of landscape
plants), which is a state required course for a license. Repair
technicians make utilize e-book type touch screens to navigate very
complex commands, for instance, technicians who repair highly
specialized medical equipment. Even mechanics require the use of e-
readers because companies such as SnapOn
(Links to an external site.)
use a form of e-reader as
their diagnostic computer to ascertain vehicle codes needed for

Many companies have made the switch to a digital version of company
manuals and policy handbooks. They now also offer training through e-
books, making it easier than ever for employees to work on
professional development. In today’s world, employees simply don’t
have the time for training and studying of materials. In an article by
Thomas Madsen
(Links to an external site.)
, a study was sited that showed “employees can only
spare about 1% of their weekly time – on professional development.
That amounts to about 24 minutes a week”. Training through e-books
gives the employees flexibility to allow for training whenever they can.

Education- E-books simplify and enhance the overall learning
experience and has had a positive impact on the quality of education.
E-books make the learning process more interactive and engaging.
Digital learning content is some of the most exciting and potentially
impactful content to date. By utilizing the multi-faceted abilities of the
internet, the student working to earn a degree has more technology at
their disposal than ever before. From researching paper topics to
taking notes in class, e-books can successfully perform a plethora of
tasks which formerly required the student to spend unlimited hours at
the university library and manually taking notes. One of the most
engaging features for students is that e-books give the ease of
highlighting, annotating, and sharing notes with friends, tutors or study

Although e-books seem to have greatly enhanced our lives by making
our education and jobs easier, they have proven to be equally as

Digital Dementia – ‘Dementia’ is a term sadly all too familiar these days,
as instances soar of Alzheimer’s disease and other comparable
conditions all characterized by confusion, disorientation, and impaired
memory—literally a ‘loss of mind.’ However, the notion that an
analogous state might be linked to the screen lifestyle is as
controversial as it is potentially troubling.
“Digital Dementia” is a term coined by neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer
to describe an overuse of digital technology resulting in the breakdown
of cognitive abilities.1 Spitzer proposes that short-term memory
pathways will start to deteriorate from underuse if we overuse
technology. Although, in this blog, we have recently explored
outsourcing your memory to smartphones, these two concepts are
different—the mental disarray within the brain implied by the term
‘dementia’ is far more basic and complete. An under-practiced memory
process is far from being comparable to the wider cognitive
devastation that is dementia. (Susan Greenfield)
Loss of social skills – Children’s social skills may be declining as they have
less time for face-to-face interaction due to their increased use of digital
media, according to a UCLA psychology study. UCLA scientists found
that sixth graders who went five days without even glancing at a
smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better
at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school
who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic

“Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education,
and not many are looking at the costs,” said Patricia Greenfield, a
distinguished professor of psychology in the UCLA College and senior
author of the study. “Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing
the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the
costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen
interaction seems to be reducing social skills.” (Stewart Wolpert)

Social Isolation- What are the repercussions of social isolation in
teens? Research has shown that verbal conversations and face-to-face
communications decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental
health issues. Connecting with others through social media is not as
rewarding. Kids that feel socially isolated already may be more drawn
to social media, while also being more emotionally vulnerable to the
risks. An unbalanced portion of time online may contribute to:

Higher mortality rates. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh
report that kids that feel socially isolated have a higher rate of

Distractions. The frequent interruptions from pings and notifications
keeps teens engaged (or addicted) on social media sites, and distracts
teenagers (and adults) from being fully engaged in the present

Social comparison. Research suggests that using Facebook frequently
can increase the likelihood of unrealistic social comparisons and

Lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, self-esteem. The University of
Glasgow researched the potential influence of nighttime use of
technology on teenage sleep, anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. The
study concluded that the nighttime use of social networking increased
the incidences of depression and anxiety.

Failing grades. Sleep disruption contributes to failing grades.

The list continues to grow as science and research reveals more and
more effects of the use of e-books on our psychological states. All of
these negative effects that have been revealed thus far beg the
question – How do we cope with the damaging effects of e-books,
whilst benefitting from the technological advantages?