Well-being, by definition, is commonly defined as the “state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.” Since the advent of digital media and the proliferation of devices that enable easy connection, researchers have considered in what ways this access, use, and potential reliance within all features of everyday life may affect well-being. Concerns over users’ stress, social fulfillment, self-esteem, and psychological states have been linked to general use, as well as media sites in general.** Additionally, the Internet has allowed public shaming to proliferate wildly. This connects strongly to wellbeing (but is mostly covered in our “Identity” section). The question left to users and educators is: how to make use of the positive aspects of technology without its use undermining well-being? First, we explore the potential negative effects of technology, which are also potentially linked to issues of self-control:

**the following resources assume unlimited access to digital media and related technological devices, and that users are not relying on technology as health or accessibility solutions.

A question not yet definitively answered by U.S. science is: Is technology “addicting?” At what point does the  line of “overuse” cross into “addiction” territory? Whether or not technology can cause addiction, in the way that other substances such as drugs or alcohol may cause addiction, is a question that is slowly being acknowledged as a treatable concern throughout the world. Examples of addressing technology use through language related to addiction include:

Not to be ignored is the question: Does technology improve well-being? Social media feeds on human beings’ needs and desires to feel connected. While many researchers and social commenters point out its negative affects on social interaction, other studies show that for some, social media may improve well-being outcomes.

Personal use of digital technology has also become a new trend for managing wellbeing. Wearable technology (like health trackers) may provide incentive to increase overall health and well-being. In fact, Gallup polls say that one in five people use technology and apps to  regulate their mental and physical health.