Health & time – can technology help?

By November 30, 2016Debrief

rerights_impact-blogs_7In previous posts, we looked at your opinions around your rights to be informed, to privacy, to socialise and to be protected from violence. But digital technology impacts your rights in many other ways.

When Agents told us which rights they felt are impacted in the digital age, only one person selected the right to health. Interestingly though, when we invited you to tell us about the positive and negative impacts of digital technology on your rights in Mission Opposites, you mentioned the right to health a number of times, and always as a right that is challenged in the digital age.

From the effects of staring at a screen on eyesight to not spending enough time outside, being less active or even to concerns around addiction, the idea that digital technology might not be so good for your health came up several times.

“When we get addicted to our digital devices, we tend to stay up all night playing a game, watching movies, chatting with friends or simply listening to music, and that is really bad for our health.” Malaysia, 14

Surprisingly, the idea that digital technology might support better health is rarely mentioned. Yet, technology now plays a big role in health research, treatments delivery and outcomes. With apps to support mental health or monitor chronic conditions, and an avalanche of devices to track fitness, we’re wondering: could a negative be turned into a positive? Does digital technology support the community’s overall health and wellbeing, or not? Is digital technology mostly good or bad for your health? Tell us what you think by posting a comment.

You explored the tension between positive and negative impacts of technology in other areas too. One Agent in Malaysia highlighted how technology is both a great tool to save time, but also interferes with daily life by wasting time!

I have many things to do in a day and having digital technology such as laptop and printer really do help me to save times by printing and typing my assignments instead of writing it on my exercise book and etc.
I used too much time with my digital technology [so] that it disturbs my life. I don’t have enough time to do my other responsibilities due to my time wasted by playing with the digital technology such as my smartphone.
Malaysia, 17

Technology saves time on things that used to take longer and allows time for activities that perhaps did not happen before, so why do we feel that we waste time by doing them? We cannot create more time, so how do we fit more in the time we have? Should some activities be left out? Or should we split our time between all the things we feel we should be doing? How do you decide what deserves more or less time, or what is ‘a good use of time’ versus ‘wasted time’? We would love to hear more on this topic – leave a comment and share your experience.

Now that you have considered the impact of digital technology on your rights, what does it mean for the Convention that was written before the explosion of internet? Should it be updated?
This is what
Mission Evolve is about. We have received some interesting insights from Agents already. So, if you haven’t already, join in and share your ideas. We’ll be looking at the results very soon – stay tuned!



About RErights made it online in January 2016 after months of dedication and hard work. It is a place for young people to rethink their rights in the digital age. We would like YOU to join us, if you haven't already!


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