SelfRegulation and Technology
Self-regulationinvolves the use of self-restricted mechanisms to control behavior.It starts at an early age when children follow simple steps thatregulate their self-gratification. It is, however, on the verge ofbecoming meaningless with the invention of new technology. As peopleinteract with new technology, they find themselves going beyond theirself-control in favor of the new methods. This paper will lay insighton the effects of technology on various aspects of self-regulationand the effects on human behavior.
Oneof the areas of self-regulation that has been adversely affected bytechnology is self-control. Self-control involves drawing a boundarybetween one’s behavior and the needs of his emotions. Some of thethings that the body demands cannot be subject to immediatesatisfaction due to other prioritized needs. According to Pomerantz(2013) the use f technology continues to instigate a behaviorwhereby, people satisfy their immediate needs as demanded by theirgadgets and leaving out the other priorities. It ranges from the useof time and resources. It is common to have people sitting in frontof the television for long hours while they could have been doingsomething constructive (Pomerantz, 2013).
Apartfrom the influence of technology on the level of self-control, peoplealways find themselves in an internal war between impulses and thesocially beneficial behavior. Self-control involves the ability tounderstand and take charge of emotions. (Pomerantz, 2013).
Peopleare always striving to keep their self-control in pace but at timesthey fail, and they give into behaviors that do not have any benefitto them or the society at large. For example, My Big Fat Diet Showthat is trending TV program in America insists on people cuttingtheir fat intake by taking fruit salad. However, due to the thoughtof sweet chocolate on peoples’ tongues, they cannot help but go forchocolate (Hoffman et al., 2009). Impulses call for an immediategratification. However, it may reduce human beings to a race withouta future. Most of the times, impulses do not take care of futureneeds. Satisfying every immediate need may contravene the long-termdevelopmental goals.
Technologyhas a direct effect on delayed gratification. As innovators continueto align new inventions for people to use, the social distancereduces every day, and people can have what they want at the push ofa button. The need to wait is no longer there unless when dictated bycircumstances. Delayed gratification involves postponing a desire toa future date with the prospects of it being better that the initialoffer. Technology denies people this chance and it also maims theirself-regulation since they have a lot of means to get to theirtarget. A good example is the increased use of short messages inrelationships whereby people communicate all the time and discussissues online without having to meet face to face (Pomerantz, 2013).In general, the face to face communication would be more fruitfulthan discussing sensitive issues from far.
Insummary, the use of technological devices has the adverse effect ofpeople’s concentration that is reducing with time (Vohs &Baumeister, 2011). Poor concentration affects the ability to evaluatesoundly a situation and, for this reason people develop poorself-control. Due to the fast access of information, people satisfytheir immediate needs without necessarily having to wait for thefuture (Pomerantz, 2013). Technology is also detrimental to delayedgratification whereby there is no need to postpone a need becausetechnology eases the means of access (Pomerantz, 2013).
Conclusively,the aspects of self-regulation like self-control and delayedgratification are at risk of being future compromised with theintensified use of technology. The line between the sociallyacceptable behavior and impulses is becoming thinner with theweakening of self-control. Self-discipline when using technology isnecessary.
AsPomerantz (2013) puts it, technology like any other innovation shouldnot disrupt the normal functioning of the person but it should onlymake it efficient. Personal discipline is, therefore, important whenusing various gadgets. As we use technology, we should bear in mindthe need for a sustainability f the future generations. The ease ofperforming tasks should not negatively affect the benefit accrued toself-gratification.
Hofmann,W., Friese, M., & Strack, F. (2009). Impulse and Self-controlfrom a Dual Systems Perspective. Perspectiveson Psychological Science,4(2),162-176.
Pomerantz,S. G. (2013). Attachmentand Delayed Gratification in the Technological Age.Seton Hall University. Paper 1882.
Vohs,K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (Eds.). (2011). Handbookof Self-regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications.Guilford Press: New York.